Specialist manufacturer and distributor Kyocera SGS Precision Tools EU employs many skilled, office and field-based workers at and from its European Headquarters in Wokingham, Berkshire. The company, as SGS Tools, experienced huge growth over the last few years, and its acquisition by Kyoto-based Kyocera saw it transition from a relatively small business to part of a multinational corporation.

As head of a subsidiary of a multinational business, EU MD Hugh Welch saw a need to reinforce his UK operation’s corporate governance, legal compliance and people management. Having previously experienced the limitations of employing in-house HR, Hugh began a search for a consultancy that could support the business’s strategic needs.

Our company has experienced massive growth and gone from being a small independent business to part of a multinational corporation. We have had to grow up very quickly with it. With an in-house HR function there is a risk that person or team can become tired or institutionalised or lose the passion for the work. Reality HR stood out from its competitors – we could quickly tell they were the right sort of people, talking the right sort of language, and not just ticking boxes. HUGH WELCH – EU MD

Reality HR Consultant Nicola Gater developed a close working relationship with Hugh and the team at Kyocera SGS. She has direct contact with all the managers and supports them with a range of services including recruitment, performance management, contracts and handbooks, salary benchmarking, management training, supported exits, and redundancy and absence management. Nicola also provides day-to-day support to managers with any people management questions, often as a sounding board to talk through what is happening in the business and its teams.

At the heart of the business’s HR is a programme, developed in collaboration between Reality HR and Kyocera SGS Precision Tools EU, called GROW. These are monthly, one-to-one, hour-long meetings in which managers and their team members discuss employee development, training, and any issues staff may have concerns about. Nicola is on site regularly and available for staff to ask her questions on issues such as pay, tax and holiday entitlement, as well as attending management meetings and presenting at quarterly Companywide Communication events.

Employee satisfaction surveys are carried out to help gauge the impact of the GROW programme, which is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it delivers results.

Hugh Welch said: “Working with Reality HR, we don’t just talk about engagement, we do it properly – we take the process of developing people very seriously. Reality HR helped us develop a programme that was entirely bespoke and was designed with our business at its centre. When we do have an issue that needs resolving, Nicola and the team are always reassuring in the immediacy of the response that we get.”

The Outcome

Staff at Kyocera SGS feel engaged, happy in their work and valued. HR issues are kept to a minimum and when problems do arise, they are resolved quickly with the support of Nicola and the team at Reality. Staff retention is high – in the last employee engagement survey, 93% said they would be proud to recommend their place of work to a friend or family member.

Reality HR have been a perfect partner. They don’t wait to be asked – they are proactive, always looking for actions to support the business. It’s not just a case of us telling them what we want them to do. It’s a highly collaborative relationship.