Spotlight on Alan
Hardstaff Barriers is passionate about manufacturing and supplying high-quality roadside safety barriers, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) systems, perimeter fencing and concrete security barriers, which are all designed to keep people and property safe.
But the company’s ethos, which is reflected in its ‘For the Love of Lives’ tagline, not only applies to the products that it provides to protect the general public.
Perhaps even more importantly, it relates to the opportunities, care and support that the multi-award winning company provides to its employees.
Alan Norton, the company’s Depot Manager, is testimony to Hardstaff Barriers’ commitment to staff equality, inclusion and diversity and to the career pathways that it actively provides to its workforce.
He joined the Nottinghamshire company 18 years ago as a shy and quiet 21-year-old and was initially trained to cast concrete barriers. He then progressed to a yard worker, yard supervisor and finally to Depot Manager in February 2021.
He is now responsible for managing depot logistics and operations in compliance with the company’s policies and vision, overseeing and allocating resources, receiving goods and yard storage management.
He also oversees the loading and unloading of vehicles, maintenance operations and ensures the safe and effective running of the depot.
A hard-working and committed member of the team, Alan became knowledgeable and passionate about safety barriers and his confidence grew with each new role.
More than just a job
During his career with Hardstaff, Alan has visited many significant places and has installed barrier systems at numerous events which have enriched his life.
His most memorable experiences include visiting 10 Downing Street, going onto the pitch at Wembley Stadium, working at various Olympic venues prior to the 2012 event and watching the US president arrive in his helicopter for the G8 Summit
He also stood on the 18th Green where Europe won the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor and spent three weeks working in Holland for the Nuclear Summit.
Alan was also invited to attend awards ceremonies alongside the Hardstaff Director and even went up on stage to accept an award on behalf of the company.
He has also been actively encouraged by Hardstaff during his career to develop his skills and to undergo various safety, supervisory and vehicle-related training courses.
Alan said: “Over the years with Hardstaff, I have been very lucky to experience some very interesting scenarios and experiences due to the nature of our work with high-profile events and places.
“Attending the awards ceremonies were very proud moments. To go onto the stage and accept an award on behalf of the company was great. The evenings were funded by the company which was a great gesture.”
He added: “I will always be grateful to the company for helping me to develop my skills and funding me to complete so many good training schemes.”
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Members of the Hardstaff Barriers workforce range from 19 to 68-years-old.
The company takes equality, diversity and inclusion very seriously, and all employees – no matter what their age or skill set – are given the same opportunity to progress within the company.
This nurturing and commitment from Hardstaff has earned respect and loyalty from its workforce, with more than 30% of staff members working in the company for over a decade.
This mutual respect between Hardstaff and its employees has been developed through the range of schemes and practices in place to develop skills, to support staff both physically and mentally and to remind them of their value.
These initiatives include creating a ‘Speak Up’ culture, with all employees encouraged to have their say and give feedback on positive and negative elements of their job. In 2019, more than 750 staff feedback reports were submitted.
As soon as a new team member begins work at Hardstaff, they are provided with a road map for success within the company. This is continually promoted within the organisation and staff are encouraged to buy in and own it.
Staff are also invited to voluntarily attend a monthly staff forum where their ideas and any subject can be put on the table to discuss with senior managers and directors.
Other initiatives include the development of leadership and coaching skills at all levels, improving staff engagement and developing greater accountability and responsibility.
Hardstaff has also shifted its leadership approach from a directive “push” to a “pull” empowerment preference, with fundamental leadership and mentoring skills from top to bottom.
More than just employees
Wayne Bordoy, Senior Operations Manager at Hardstaff Barriers, said: “Our people are our biggest asset and are the reason why we have achieved what we have. Having this belief is the secret to our success.
“Alan has worked his way up the career ladder within Hardstaff Barriers and is a very experienced and valued member of our team. The company is quick to recognise expertise and passion and supports employees to become the best they can be.
“We pride ourselves on giving opportunities to everybody in the organisation, encouraging them to contribute to the direction, ethos and values that ultimately influence processes, procedures and outcomes of the business.”
He added: “Valuing people for what they bring to the table, understanding our differences and ensuring we treat our staff, colleagues and clients fairly are what lend us to having a great diversity of thought pool.
“This leads to cutting edge innovations and, ultimately, delivering a great service to our stakeholders.”
“Our people are our biggest asset and are the reason why we have achieved what we have. Having this belief is the secret to our success.”Wayne Bordoy, Senior Operations Manager, Hardstaff Barriers