Wessanen UK is a pioneer in natural and organic food, distributing household brands such as Clipper Teas, Kallo, Whole Earth, Almond Breeze and Mrs Crimbles. They define their mission as ‘healthier food, healthier people, healthier planet’ and vegetarian products account for 97% of their range. In the UK, they employ c. 150 people across two sites: their head office in Camberley and a tea factory in Beaminster, Dorset (the home of Clipper Teas).
Wessanen UK’s challenge
When their newly appointed internal HR Manager suddenly went on long-term sick leave, Wessanen found themselves in urgent need of external HR support to manage the HR function for their production site in Beaminster – home of the Clipper Teas brand. Maintaining a high level of HR service was critical for business continuity.
Wessanen UK’s HR Director, Ann Chambers, explains:
“To find ourselves without an HR Manager so suddenly was hugely problematic. We didn’t have the internal resource to fill the gap, so we needed a long-term sustainable solution, not a short-term quick-fix.
“If this wasn’t challenging enough, we were also experiencing major problems with our payroll system. Our Time and Attendance system was simply not fit-for-purpose to handle our many and varied shift structures. We were losing credibility with our employees and found that we were fire-fighting payroll problems every month which left us with no time to get to solve the real issue.”
Swift action to resolve an urgent problem
Reality HR responded immediately with a pragmatic approach to the urgent situation. To enable Clipper Teas to retain the level of HR support needed, they took the following action:
Results: HR support continuity – and a brand new payroll system
As a direct result of Reality HR’s support, Wessanen has experienced the following benefits:
A trusted partner
Ann Chambers, HR Director of Wessanen UK, summarises the advantages of working with Reality HR:
“Reality HR reacted extremely quickly and were able to deliver a solution that fitted our needs perfectly. Our HR Associate was on site within a week and fully focused on addressing the ongoing payroll problems.
“Within a month our payroll was back on track, in fact, one of our employees was so impressed they gave her a ‘high 5!’ We simply couldn’t have coped without her, and the fact that she was able to offer such flexibility with her working days and hours meant the continuity of HR support at the times we needed it most.
“We are now assessing options for a new Time and Attendance system which will manage the complexity of our business and Reality HR will work alongside us to ensure its successful integration.
“Our management training means we will have leaders with more confidence and ability to lead their teams. The positive effect has had an impact across the whole business. As a result, we have a happier team and overall our HR presence is in a good place for when our internal HR Manager returns to the business.”