Jerba Campervans values individual contribution to business success

Jerba Campervans workforceManufacturer of Volkswagen campervans Jerba Campervans, which employs 15 members of staff, chooses to recognise its workforce as a whole rather than as individuals or teams.

The firm is 100% employee-owned, and as a result of its employee ownership trust (EOT), pays each member of staff an income tax-free financial bonus per annum, based on the number of hours they work. To be eligible, staff need to have worked from Jerba Campervans for a minimum of 12 months, with full-time employees receiving £3,600.

Every employee contributes in their own way to the success of the business, whether as part of a team or as an individual, explains Simon Poole, founder and managing director of Jerba Campervans.

“At Jerba, we’re all in this together,” he says. “The key way we recognise and reward contributions from everybody is through the EOT financial bonuses. Outside of this, we always say thank you to those who have done a good job, either on the spot or during team meetings.

“Any employee can also use our campervans for holidays around the UK free of charge, which we introduced as a way to highlight how we value our employees and want them to enjoy working here. By providing benefits which show that and are equal to all, it reflects that everyone is important to the business.”

Birthdays are recognised with cakes and, as the firm is Edinburgh-based, every Burns Night is celebrated with a team lunch where everyone joins in to cook something. Jerba also celebrates employees’ individual skills through volunteering initiatives to help the local community.

Staff who remain at Jerba for five and 10 years receive an additional one and two days of annual leave to recognise their loyalty. It also has a wellbeing in the workplace group, which allows employees’ voices to be heard, hearing and taking into account their views on flexible working, the workplace environment, and other ways they want their working lives to be improved.

Poole believes that it is important to recognise employees, because they are the most important part of a business, and key to success.

“Employers should be valuing their staff and looking after their emotional wellbeing is vital to the success of the business,” he explains. “People can be unpredictable, so looking after them is incredibly important. If they come to work, enjoy it and know they are genuinely valued, they will work much harder and be more constructive in the business.

“However, if they are not recognised at all for their work, businesses will see a higher turnover of staff, more sick days and lower levels of teamwork. It’s common sense; if employers look after employees, they will look after their employers. The long-term financial impact of treating them well reaps returns in the form of staff retention and engagement.”

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