With many of its major competitors in decline and working through periods of contraction, Kennards Hire continues to grow year on year, all while remaining a family-owned business. Established in 1948 with its first branch in Bathurst, Kennards Hire now has over 150 branches across Australia and New Zealand and a workforce of over 1120 employees.
It is these employees, says CEO Allen Besseling, that are the key drivers to the continued success and growth in an ultra-competitive market. “Over the last few years we have implemented effective internal engagement practices that have helped us connect with our employees on a more meaningful level whilst aligning their goals with the company’s,” he explains.
Employee-focused programs such as WHY SAFETY are integral to the business and nurture a loyal and safe working culture for everyone.
“WHY SAFETY is a four hour workshop that is designed for every employee to attend to help them understand why we value safety in everything we do,” says Besseling. “We use combination of video interviews with injured staff, creative ‘fear’ ads, newsletter articles and personal stories to engage employees and emphasise how important safe practices are.”
Cultivating a loyal staff is the goal for many companies and is rarely an easy task. Kennards Hire’s focus on staff engagement and feedback has enabled them to develop a workforce that maintains their position as one of the best hire companies in the industry. A key driver of this has been placing more focus on the family values upon which the company was originally founded.
A perfect example of this in practice is the roadshow Besseling and Culture & Brand Manager, Manelle Merhi, conducted. The roadshow consisted of 46 four-hour sessions all over Australia and New Zealand that focused on making sure each employee knows what the business is about.
“That roadshow was ground breaking for us in terms of internal engagement with the entire team,” Merhi says. “It allowed us the opportunity to emphasise how every employee under the Kennards Hire banner is an integral part of our family. And the results were fantastic – since the first roadshow we found that this initiative empowered our employees on the individual level, which has lead to better customer service and overall success.”
Similar roadshows and employee-focused initiatives are now an integral part of the Kennards Hire business, and they reap the rewards through a highly motivated and engaged staff, ultimately leading to satisfied customers. Interestingly, Merhi reveals the employee engagement rate increased by a massive 6 points in surveys conducted by Great Place to Work and attributes much of this success to the new family-focused message being communicated.
“A 6 point increase in engagement is unheard of in these kids of metrics,” she says. “Our internal employee survey scores have been continually improving over the years and this doesn’t happen without solid engagement.”
Another indicator of the growing loyalty Kennards Hire benefits from is the length of employment for many of their staff. Out of the 1126 strong staff, a total of 42 employees have been there for more than 20 years while nearly 400 have been there for 5 or more years. These long-serving employees serve as Kennards Hire’s very own brand ambassadors to other employees and customers alike. Combining internal engagement with customer centricity, Kennards Hire is continuing to outgrow competitors and dominate the hire industry – making others take note.
For more information on Kennards Hire visit www.kennards.com.au