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24 April 2024

The Recruitment & Retention Challenge: Creating a Culture to Deliver Excellence

GUEST COLUMN:

Craig Weeks
Operations Director
JCB Transmissions, Wrexham

Over the span of 27 years my professional journey at JCB Transmissions has been a transformative road of learning and development, beginning as a humble shopfloor agency worker to achieving the esteemed role of Director of Operations.

My journey has been an unwavering commitment to mastering every aspect of assembly, testing of axles and gearboxes, while ascending through various leadership positions.

As a shopfloor agency worker, I was trained to the intricacies of assembly and hot testings, which laid the foundation for my future growth. These roles instilled in me a deep understanding of the operational processes and the importance of every detail of the tasks.

With each passing year I eagerly embraced new challenges and opportunities for learning, eventually ascending to the role of team leader.

This transition marked the beginning of my journey into leadership, where I not only honed my technical skills but also began to cultivate my abilities in people management and leadership.

Progressing through the roles such as group leader, manager, operations manager, and general manager, I consistently sought to expand my knowledge and expertise, taking on increasing levels of responsibility.

Along this path, I encountered siloed teams, negative, disengaged people and non-productive situations, each presenting its own set of challenges and learning opportunities.

Through these experiences I developed a deep appreciation for effective leadership and the importance of fostering a positive work environment built on trust, collaboration, and respect.

As Operations Director, I have come to understand that true leadership extends beyond the boardroom and into the hearts and minds of those I work alongside. It is about empowering individuals, fostering a sense of belonging, and inspiring a shared vision for success.

People engagement has become the cornerstone of my leadership philosophy, as I recognise that the strength of any organisation lies in its people. Likewise, my journey has instilled in me a profound sense of responsibility to give back to the community and leave a legacy for the next generation, whether through mentorship programmes, community initiatives, or sustainable business practices and growth of local jobs. I am committed to making a positive impact that transcends my professional accomplishments.

In essence, my journey from shopfloor agency worker to Director of Operations has been defined not only by professional growth but by a deep-seated belief in the power of people, community, and legacy building. It is a journey that I am immensely grateful for, and one that continues to inspire me to strive for excellence in everything I do.

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