Family bakery wins national award for employee programmes

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An Ilkeston bakery company has won a national industry award for offering its employees a great place to work.

Family firm Frank Roberts & Sons Ltd won the prestigious Good Employer award at last week’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards held in London.

The award recognises those businesses that have made an extra effort to create a positive working environment for employees.

The company’s human resources director Stephanie Bateson said: “We are thrilled to win. It recognises the work that has gone into a significant cultural and development initiative we’ve been implementing in the last two years.”

Frank Roberts is a fourth generation, family-owned business and bosses say they place great importance on a strong set of values which guide the way it works with its 900 employees—130 of whom are based in Ilkeston.

To build on these values, the company formed an organisational development group bringing together a mix of managers from across the company, and an engage-forgrowth group including staff representatives.

Out of its work, bespoke programmes have been created for all staff to foster professional development of both personal and leadership skills, and a volunteering scheme has also begun to encourage deeper links with the wider community.

Stephanie added: “At its heart is a refreshed set of values that underpin the way we do business. It has been very well received across the business and is reaping rewards for everyone.”

The changes have had positive effects on the business. For example, waste has decreased, accidents and sickness have reduced, product quality has increased, and customer service has improved.

FDF director Ian Wright said: “Frank Roberts & Sons’ employee engagement model is a great example of a business going the extra mile to ensure employees’ work life experience is as fulfilling as possible.”

To read case studies on all the 2016 award winners, visit