As the finalists for this year’s G17 Awards were announced, it was a double celebration for the Veka Group with nominations in two categories.
Making the list for both the Training & Development Initiative of the Year award and the Unsung Hero award, for Gabriela Hammond, Veka will also be celebrating the success of its customers, Glazerite and Thistle Windows & Conservatories, and commercial installer The Window Company (Contracts) who have all been named as finalists across various categories.
When it comes to training, Veka Group says is at the forefront of helping its staff develop into their full potential. From apprenticeship level – such as the BIT qualification – to the Dale Carnegie leadership course: Leading The Veka Way, the company nurtures its employees at every stage and by its own admission, Veka sees its staff as its biggest asset. The theory that ‘proud people make better products and provide the best service to customers’ is clearly one that works in practice too.
As a company with a 30-year history, Veka Group says it ‘has been and forever will be, totally invested in its employees’ showing this through its ‘commitment to their professional and personal welfare’. In the past year, not only has an emergency defibrillator been installed at the site’s main reception, but also a mental health first aider and an EAP (employee assistance programme) free helpline have also been arranged for the use of Veka staff.
Gabriela Hammond of Veka Group said: “The vast amount of training, opportunities and employee benefits on offer at Veka allows us to stand out from the crowd. We value our staff more than anything and want to ensure that not only is Veka a fun place to be, but somewhere that employees can be proud to tell others they work at. With attractive pay packages, a work environment where you feel respected and appreciated, plus a variety of different training opportunities, we really feel that the training and development initiatives here are the best around.”
With regard to Veka’s second nod at the awards, Gabriela Hammond, head of Human Resources, was said to be ‘completely surprised’ by her ‘Unsung Hero’ nomination. Having started her career at Veka as a graduate trainee 16 years ago, Gabriela became head of Human Resources in 2012 and has shown herself to be one of Veka Group’s most loyal employees.
As a champion of the Dale Carnegie training programme, Gabriela has been a major part in helping 70 members of staff complete the course and was also part of the team that created and launched Veka Spirit, an initiative that encourages staff to be proud of their workplace, share ideas and support their colleagues.
Gabriela represents the company at many local network events, such as Burnley Bondholder meet-ups and was integral to Veka being crowned ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Burnley Business Awards in May. However, it doesn’t end there; proud to be Burnley ‘born and bred’, Gabriela takes an active role in helping local students with site visits and represents Veka at a number of higher learning and career events, plus she takes an even more active role in charity events such as participating in Tough Mudder, the Burnley and Manchester 10K runs plus football and golf fundraising tournaments.
As the Unsung Hero Award application was made in secret, Gabriela only heard of her nomination when the finalists were announced at the start of September, saying: “I was so surprised when I heard the news but also absolutely delighted. It sounds like a cliché but even just to be nominated is fantastic. There are 400 staff at Veka and I try my best every day to make sure they are all happy at work and know how much Veka values them. As I’ve been here for over 15 years, I’ve learnt so much. I’ve grown professionally and personally so all of the training programmes and employee initiatives that I help out with are there to hopefully do the same for both current and future employees at Veka. As a local person, Veka is part of the community too and I’m proud to represent it at events and fundraisers.”
The G17 awards will be held on 17th November at the London Hilton on Park Lane.