When the company is doing well, the senior management to try to show their gratitude to employees in the form of a summer evening of pub games and management would get treated to the occasional meal out. However, times were usually lean.
Management, from team leaders right up to the UK MD (Steve Toms) and even the group CEO (Michiel Alting von Geusau), are generally approachable and willing to listen, although not necessarily helpful.
The company is small enough (less than 100 employees) to get to know most people well, and most are friendly. Some employees have formed long lasting relationships. Possibly a Blitz mentality, though!
Working in a supposedly hi-tech industry (CD, DVD manufacturer) with people who had no technical knowledge, or interest, in the product. Nobody seems to know what HD-DVD or Blue-ray (sic) is, and even existing CD and DVD standards are deemed too complicated to fully understand. This is very frustrating for few the competent staff and customers alike. Staff seem to be recruited on price, resulting in a high number of inexperienced and often incompetent employees. Childlike squabbles are not uncommon.
There is also a constant feeling of impending doom due to lack of investment, both current and historically, and being in a shrinking market. High staff turnover, both voluntary and forced, creates a "who's going next?" paranoia and is very unsettling to the whole factory.
Poor wages (approx 20% below market), no bonus structure (you might occasionally get one if you are really good at your job, and if they felt like it), no benefits (no sick pay, pension, healthcare etc) and no staff sales/discounts meant that many full time employees also had a second job.
Advice to Management
This company is simply not in a position to grow in a declining market, and I don't feel that they are likely to invest in new formats (ie Blu-ray), so they need to focus on a smaller, more profitable niche. To do this, they need to weed out those who are inept and have a smaller group of dedicated, professional, employees. This applies to management in particular.
I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at DOCdata.
Hired through an staffing agency. Check of CV / credentials there. After approval, an interview with the manager of the company.
The staffing agency negotiated for me. My first demand was quickly accepted.
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