Wray & Nephew celebrates 50% staff retention rate

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Highlighting the rarity of its nearly 50 per cent retention rate and the impact it has on product quality and competitiveness, managing director, J Wray & Nephew Limited, Jean-Philippe Beyer, lauded 400 employees for their dedicated service at the 2019th staging of the JWN/Campari Spirit Awards.

The event, which has been resuscitated from its last staging in 2012, was revitalised and saw 422 Camparistas from across the business being recognised for their long service last month. Tenures which ranged from 10 to 50 years with J Wray & Nephew Limited were applauded and recognised with prizes and awards.

J Wray & Nephew is again reaffirming that it is indeed a great place to work and has outperformed the industry standards of a 50 per cent staff turnover rate in 10 years. The company views the occurrence as unusual.

According to Bureau of Labour statistics released in January 2018 by the United States’ Department of Labour Chief Evaluation Office, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.2.

Given the number of employees recognised at the awards ceremony, the handing out process alone kept the HR, management and support staff busy, but they were efficient and exemplified Camparistas’ value — ‘Together we Achieve’.

In recognition of their commitment, contribution and dedication, Beyer said: “However great or small, each left an indelible mark in the history of our company and again given us bragging rights to boast that almost 50 per cent of our employees have been with the company for 10 to 50 years.”

He added: “This is extremely rare and not many companies globally can claim this fact. This ability to retain and engage our staff is a competitive advantage for J Wray & Nephew and one of the fundamental reasons that we have remained the premier spirits company in Jamaica.

“In so doing we are embracing the challenge and driving the change to become ‘the smallest big country in the spirits industry in the Caribbean’, again demonstrating that like Jamaica, ‘wi likkle but wi tallawah’,” Beyer pointed out.

Proving that they weren’t just there for numbers, Camparistas eschewed regal approval for friends and fellow awardees with handclapping and loud voices. The biggest roars of approval went to esteemed master blender, Dr Joy Spence, CD, the 37-year-old veteran recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award; and JWN’s affable and accomplished chairman, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence, CD, who joined the group at Federated Pharmaceutical as Plant Manager in 1995, before moving on to Lascelles DeMercado. He was rewarded for 34 years of service.

“As we celebrate on this momentous occasion, let us celebrate our years of service and bask in the honour that is being bestowed on us. I am elated to be sharing in this moment with all of you, particularly the esteemed likes of Mrs Joy Spence, who we all seek to emulate,” the chairman said.

Paula Lee, the longest serving awardee, with 50 years’ service dating back to 1969 when the company was based at Church Street, then Port Royal Street, before a permanent move to Spanish Town Road, got huge shouts of approval. She is now based at Dominica Drive.

Lenroy Daley, recognised in absentia for 49 years’ service, was also roundly applauded. A column still operator, he has worked at Appleton Estates practically all his life.

There was entertainment to boot, with a pair of female dancers virtually walking a tightrope, with acrobatic, breathtaking performances intertwined in sheets above ground. And there is no celebration among Camparistas without the company’s wide range of exotic blends, accompanied by delectable delights and music, which included a staple of recordings reeled off by the lyrical Agent Sasco, with songs such as Banks of Hope, Change, So Blessed, ‘Mama Prayed’ and ‘Winning Right Now.

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