Who On Earth Would Want To Work At Label Apeel?
Over the years many people have walked through the glowing green gates that are the Label Apeel front doors. Every one of us had that first day feeling, shiny new shoes giving blisters, pen and paper in hand, clutching to the hope that if you always seem to be writing something down then no-one will ask you any daunting questions. Every person that has walked through these doors is brimming with inspiration and talent, but there is a reason we have people and not a long line of robots- it’s because people offer much more than just an ability to work hard. People create connections. At Label Apeel we genuinely believe that we have great set of people, so let’s see exactly what they had to say about us…
Everyone has a different reason for joining, for some, like Ben, it was the chance to learn a trade. Ben joined Label Apeel at 19, and after spending time in packing and learning the ropes, he began his apprenticeship and is now a Print Operator and a very good one at that. For others an element of luck came into play. Abbie first joined us over six years ago doing agency work on a temporary basis. But the thing is, when it comes to the Label Apeel Spark you’ve either got it or you haven’t, and Abbie has it by the bucket load. Too good to let go, she started permanently on reception but then progressed to the Purchasing role. When asked about her movement beyond Purchasing she said “I loved dealing with different aspects such as materials and foils to create our customer’s amazing labels but after 2 years, I was offered a role within the Accounts department and never looked back! I absolutely love working in finance (something I thought I would never say) but I really do love it!”
Abbie isn’t an anomaly when it comes to working your way through the Label Apeel ranks. One of our best examples would have to be Ian who did two weeks of packing age 16 to earn a bit of pocket money because his dad knew Stuart. Two weeks later he was offered a job packing permanently, and then over the next 18 years did labouring, pre-press, reeling, printing (on all presses) and everything in between. He is now our Production Manager meaning nothing happens on our shopfloor without him knowing, but more than that however he has become one of the key pillars around which Label Apeel operates.
We’ve developed a bit of a knack for spotting a Label Apeel-er when we see one, like when Kirstey applied and came for an interview for Pre-Press, she was fab but we could tell that her passions and skills would be better suited in a different role so when a few weeks later a job in our Artwork department as a Mac Operator opened up we knew we needed to get her back! Two and a half years later we’re very glad she said yes. “I love the fact that every day is different, and I know it sounds cliché, but the role I’m in now does mean that every single day is different (even though the structure of the day might be the same… you know the 15 minute morning catch-up, saying hello to every single person in the business, sitting down at your desk and switching on the computer, gathering your thoughts and then finally making a coffee to recuperate from your busy morning errands). But on a serious note , Label Apeel is great for pushing the boundaries, and making us really think critically about why we do things the way we do - it keeps us on our toes (and sometimes I need to be on my toes considering I’m 5 ft 1).”
So, we have managed to get the best people in, but the problem with having the best, is that everyone else wants them too! So what is it that has made them stay for all this time? Andy, who has been with us for nearly eight years and works in Customer Services said, “it is the people as well as the knowledge that when we finish a job, we have happy and satisfied customers.” Though he did also mention one of his best memories is the day that Sanda “finally” made him a cup of tea rather than the other way round so maybe there was an element of spite in his refusal to be the first to back down – we always have prided ourselves in our employees’ resilience! There was one commonality that came up from everyone when asked this question and that is that when it comes to having a strong, supportive unit of people, we’re second to none. James who has worked in Sales for almost four years explained that for him it’s that “the team around me are extremely supportive and friendly and have a real team spirit. You can never ask too many questions, and everyone is happy to take their time to share knowledge and experiences to ensure you can help customers get the best results.”
On the rare occasions people do decide to spread their wings and see if the grass really is greener on the other side, we have a habit of people returning. Take Alex for example, he first started at Label Apeel in in 1996 and mastered his trade here as a printer. After working for several years at Label Apeel he decided to move on to a new challenge, after 17 years away from us he decided to come back. When asked about his reasonings for doing so he said “I always remembered Label Apeel’s professionalism in everything they do, health and safety is always at the forefront and that was just not the case at the other places I worked. I was also tired of the way we were being treated, I wanted to return to the place I have always been respected and valued”.
But it’s not all work around here. “We’ve had many memories working together as a team, but one I would say that stands out the most to me is climbing Snowdon in the torrential rain! We couldn’t have picked a worse day to do it. It was all for charity though, which made it worthwhile, and we all stuck together to get to the top (even if I had to get carried halfway up because my rucksack weighed as much as I do! !)” After all that exercise you can always rely on there being a steady stream of samosas and cakes to celebrate every employee’s birthday and personal milestones. There are plenty of laughs as well, having been here for almost 12 years, Craig, our Sales Manager has been a part of a fair few, his most notable being “one of my very first face to face meetings when I took Stuart (our MD) with me and we walked into a potential clients office that instead of wallpaper or paint, had the walls plastered with nude photos from floor to ceiling.” At Label Apeel you learn to expect the unexpected…
At Label Apeel we are always striving forward, in quality, productivity, employee welfare, the list goes on. So, we decided now would be the perfect time to ask our staff to look back at how far they have come since they first walked through that green entrance in those uncomfortable shoes and reminisce about what they would like to tell themselves on that day. Ian’s reply (after instantly responding “don’t eff about so much”) was that “you get out what you put in”. We truly can’t take the credit for the countless Label Apeel success stories, we simply facilitate the people who truly cared to get the most out of every aspect of their career. Working at Label Apeel isn’t easy, and it can be downright stressful at times but if you’re willing to give it your all and support the people around you to the same extent as they support you, you’ll do things you never imagined were possible.