Celebrating 35 years of service

Here at James Burrell Builders Merchant, we believe that our greatest asset is our staff. This is reflected in our investment in training, career progression and staff well-being. We believe this is why approximately 30% of our workforce have been with the company for 10 years or more.

Retaining staff has substantial benefits to the company, they have in-valuable knowledge of company culture, products and procedures and will have seen considerable changes in the business. Seeing first-hand what works and what doesn't, means they can positively influence future decisions, ultimately increasing productivity.

The knowledge of our long serving staff can also be passed on to new employees who are just starting their career path with us or to staff who are taking on a new challenge within the company.

We believe that creating a positive, rewarding and equal work environment for all of our staff members is the fundamental rule to success.

One of our longest serving staff members, Caroline Usher, is celebrating 35 years of service in June 2019. Caroline joined the company on the 1st of June 1984 as a Telephonist and we sat down with her to find out more about what it was like working for the company 35 years ago, how the role has developed and to find out some advice for those just starting in the industry;

"The Telephonist role included receiving all incoming calls and, in those days, making all outbound calls. Everything was done using a typewriter, so typing all the invoices and then placing them in envelopes by hand as all post had to go the same day, filing, photocopying, basically general office activities. Anything that needed to be done, we all just mucked in!

We used to have an office tradition of jam and toast on Friday mornings which was made for the whole office, I always remember Steve Richardson's dad, John, loved his toast and jam and Steve too.

One of the biggest highlights for me was the company hitting a turnover of £ million for a month. We opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate and to take a moment to reflect on the James Burrell journey so far. My advice would be to work hard, learn as much as you can, be helpful, and have a good work ethic!"

Fast forward to today and Caroline's role now includes a broad range of duties such as contract negotiations for landlines, mobiles, intruder alarms, fire alarms, photocopies, office supplies, etc. Ensuring all areas of communication across all of the company are working correctly, assisting with the setup of new branches, the procurement of any hardware of services for our branches and that's just to name a few!

Caroline is a perfect example of how long-serving staff members are an integral part of a company's success and we would like to thank her for all of her hard work, passion and dedication over the past 35 years.