Success for JAmes Coles (Nurseries) at the 2014 Family Business Awards


Coles were successful at 2014 Family Business Awards, scooping 'Highly Commended' in the Employer of the Year Award.


Celebrating excellence in Family Business across the Midlands, the Family Business Awards is a charitable, not for profit initiative run by The Wilson Organisation. Now in its fifth year, the Family Business Awards are open to any Family Business or Family Business Advisor based in the Midlands.


Family Business Awards (2014)


Coles’ entry into the Employer of the Category focussed largely on the Company’s approach to staff training, development and retention. Caring for staff has always been a top priority for the Company and has led to the creation of a bespoke in-house training programme, giving staff the opportunity to progress through the company via structured channels. Departmental training modules, administered by our own site managers and assessed by a dedicated team of in-house assessors, have been running since 2010 for all staff involved in propagation, retail or production of field grown and containerised trees and shrubs.


The Company also supports staff by funding external training programmes. In the past two years, around 20 members of staff have been put through courses including NVQ’s in Team Leadership, NVQ’s in Management and Lean Training Programmes as well as more specialist courses such as the Certificate in First Line Management (agricultural industry management programme) and the Diploma in Professional Marketing.


Family Business Awards (2014)


Through this development process and continually promoting staff from within, school leavers have advanced into nurserymen, site managers and even company directors. This has empowered the work force and ensures a high level of staff retention. Over 50% of staff have been employed for over 10 years, 20% for over 20 years and 10% for over 30 years. The collective experience and expertise shared by the staff means Coles can offer it’s customers an unparalleled level of knowledge and service excellence.


The improvements in staff morale, responsibility, skill-sharing, knowledge and management confidence continues to be visible across all disciplines. This has enabled the company to continue to develop production methods, management and personnel development. The Company has been asked to present at external forums, and at least one other company will be using this successful model as the basis of their own programme within their organisation. Coles are currently in the process of gaining full accreditation for the training model, meaning that the company will soon be able to train candidates from other organisations, on nursery sites, using the same system.


A big thanks and congratulations to The Wilson Organisation for another successful, well put together Family Business Awards.