ATS Euromaster invests in engagement

Tyre manufacturer ATS Euromaster has increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and decreased staff turnover following a three-year business turnaround programme.

Speaking at the Employee Benefits Summit in Alicante, Spain on 25 June, Irene Stark, HR director at ATS Euromaster, described its programme in a session titled ‘How can engagement drive a business turnaround’.

“What would you do if your organisation was losing £30 million a year,” she asked delegates. For ATS Euromaster, the answer was obvious. It invested in employee engagement.

“Employees who are highly engaged work for companies that are profitable,” said Stark. “You need to look at how the company works. That’s what I convinced the board we were going to focus on.”

The change programme’s steps included: writing out the business plan with the help of employees, increasing investment in learning and development, creating and rolling out leadership seminars, and communicating with all 3,000 staff.

Stark engaged all employees by involving them in the creation of the business plan. The organisation then held a two-day event to educate and engage 50 manager-level staff with the project, who in turn held face-to-face briefings on the strategy with all 3,000 employees.

ATS Euromaster also canvassed staff to find out what was important to them. For some it was holidays, for some it was health and safety, and for some it was learning and development. Stark added: “It was not a one size fits all.”

As a result of the programme, the organisation increased its employee engagement score from 30% three years ago to more than 60% in 2013. It is also on track to meet its original objective of breaking even this year.

“You can do a lot with a little,” said Stark. “Any one of you can do the same thing.”