A large increase in sales in the past year at Glendoick Garden Centre in Glencarse, Perthshire, can only have been achieved by an outstanding group of people all working together for the same end. But there is also so much more than just great financial results to the team at Glendoick.
First-class attributes such as loyal staff, family values, communication, ideas, collaboration, staff development and fun are some of the ingredients that combine to make this team unique. It is what differentiates Glendoick in a competitive market. There are 58 fulland part-time staff, with half having completed two years or more of service and 20 per cent having been at the centre for more than five years.
Communication is important, with daily staff meetings being held. Ideas from staff are encouraged. One employee suggested offering free soup for under-10s. The "Souper Heroes" scheme has seen soup served to 100 children a month. Other successful staff ideas included a beach in a glasshouse to bring in families and a "Pamper Evening" for ladies.
A staff day out to Perth Races was called off when the racecourse cancelled the day's racing. But staff rallied round and organised their own event. They gave it a horsey theme and adopted the ethos that the show must go on.
Staff development includes having a bespoke training manual, SVQ qualifications, in-house barista training, trips to producers, human resources training, merchandising training, HTA online courses and statutory training. Collaborative merchandising includes themed tables such as honey, lavender and Scotland.
Promotion from within is the policy, with examples including Rosie Burgon, who went from dishwasher to assistant manager in the food hall in four months. Al Smith was promoted from general assistant to looking after videos on the website and Facebook pages within a few months. Two staff members are also suppliers - Sharon Barker with corsages and Wendy Farquharson with felt poppies.
A social media campaign has seen Facebook members increase from 200 to 2,000 in a year. Staff members are empowered to post on Facebook, including event details and weekly plant videos.
Sidmouth Garden Centre
Briers remains the market leader and for its award-winning designs of garden giftware, gardening gloves, children's gardening, footwear, clocks and garden accessories. The company has more than 220 new products for 2016 including its William Morris, signature and classic rubber boot collections.