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  • Writer's pictureBarry Michael Aldridge

The need for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Established in 1995, Loughborough-based Flotec is a trusted and leading supplier of hydraulic, pneumatic and pipeline products to a wide variety of industries.

The East Midlands SME manufacturing and engineering firm has also built a positive reputation within the rail sector, supplying various train fleet and rail asset companies with reliable hydrostatic and coolant hoses, market leading couplings and clamps, train fleet battery charging units and an award-winning variable pitch fan which helps to eliminate train engine failures.

Having recently become an employee-owned trust, each member of the team has a vested interest in the company’s performance and understands the importance of diversity and inclusion, not just for ethical reasons but also for on-going commercial success, with an understanding that diverse and inclusive teams are high performing, creative and innovative which in turn, has a positive effect on the financial books.

As an SME of only 25 employees, discrimination and hostility would create an incredibly toxic workplace culture and with Flotec being such a small team, would be devastating to the business.

Every employee understands this and by the very nature of having to work closely together are incredibly supportive, empathetic, and kind.

This is a quality seen to great effect in SME (small to medium) organisations as teams and departments themselves are typically much smaller than those witnessed in larger companies and as such, work more closely with one another and rely much more intimately on the varied skillsets and personal qualities to help the business flourish.

The Flotec team (whilst small) is incredibly diverse with many different talents, experiences, and qualifications to contribute.

Whilst this diverse and inclusive culture is quite organic and natural, official policies have been formalised.

With being employee-owned paving the way for the future of the company, its structure, operation and culture, the following have been formalised:

  • Mission Statement

  • Core Values

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Duty of Care Publication

The Core Values consist of:

  • Innovation

  • Belonging, Empowerment, Ownership and Accountability

  • Ethics and Trust

  • Customer Support

The CSR publication addresses the following:

  • Quality

  • People, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking

  • Health & Safety

  • Safeguarding

  • The Environment and Sustainability

  • Supply Chain Transparency

  • Anti-Bribery

With an understanding that data protection safeguards not just employees but all stakeholder groups, Flotec is a member of the Cyber Resilience Centre for the East Midlands.

It is these foundations which are not only forward thinking but also quite rare for SMEs that sets Flotec apart from its peers and competition whilst setting in place a legacy for the company for the present, near future and distant future of the business and its people.

All foundations laid down are not cemented and will evolve throughout time.

The impact of and positive outcomes from embracing diversity and inclusion have contributed towards the success of the company in measurable ways:

  • Higher staff engagement, collaboration, productivity

  • Reduced absenteeism

  • Lower staff churn

  • Increased retention

  • Award-winning product innovation and development

  • High value contract wins through the application of innovation and evidence of ethical conduct

Flotec’s purpose for embracing diversity and inclusion is by no means a ‘box ticking’ exercise and was born out of a genuine desire to protect employees, stakeholders, and communities.

This was not dictated from directors, CEOs, or HR as often seen in larger organisations but was led and driven by Flotec employees themselves who are not hindered by bureaucratic red tape.

The importance of mental wellbeing was introduced by Chloe Lofthouse and Sophie Wright, with Barry Michael Aldridge driving overall CSR endeavours, disability employer confidence and cyber security missions.

Being disabled himself and having once been the victim of a hate crime, Barry champions the need for equality, diversity, and inclusion with full support from colleagues.

With the belief that equality, diversity and inclusion leads to teamwork, productivity, creativity, and innovation, Flotec’s diverse and inclusive culture has witnessed high value contracts in the rail sector being secured.

Further evidence of Flotec's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is the recently published #sharetocare campaign where colleagues raised awareness about good causes which felt important to them.

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