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People & Team


Upskilling our workforce revived staff motivation

Chris Unwin, LAC Conveyors
Chris Unwin created a new division to meet the rising demand for automation

Name: LAC Conveyors & Automation
Location: Nottingham
Employees: 60
Founded in: 2007
Tip: Use training or wellbeing initiatives to demonstrate you care about your staff.

The problem

Many employees at family-founded manufacturer LAC Conveyors & Automation had been with the company for more than a decade, so the firm recognised stagnation was a real threat. Staff were split across several different warehouses and offices, making it hard to monitor morale or motivation.

The solution

Led by CEO Chris Unwin, the firm decided to develop a section of the business that focused solely on automation. 

Not only would this new division meet the rising demand for automation he’d spotted in the marketplace, he hoped it would also galvanise and stimulate his workforce. It would give staff the opportunity to upskill, since they would be able to specialise in a new area. 

The company provided additional training to team members on electrical engineering, robotics, vision systems and new tooling processes. This helped to broaden staff skill sets, foster an innovative mindset at the company and keep staff feeling challenged moving forward. 

To support the new division, LAC brought new talent into the business. Chris recognised that the firm needed industry experts to help drive the development of their offering, but also to inspire existing members of staff.

“The addition of new staff members helped the wider team to think differently and open up a number of new avenues of thought,” he said.

The results

LAC’s investment in staff development and the new department has helped the business to grow significantly in the last two years – despite the challenges of Brexit and an ever-shifting market. The firm has recruited 23 new members of staff in the last year, taking their headcount to 60.

“The best way of identifying potential issues with motivation is to speak to staff. Understand why they might be reticent and what their concerns might be. For example, if it’s a lack of motivation due to a perceived lack of progression or opportunities, sit down with them and discuss a career development plan or if there are any new areas they’d like to train or develop in,” Chris said.

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