Salmon farmer’s investment in people earns three top work awards

ScottishSeaFarms head of HR Tracy Bryant-Shaw with colleagues Emma Leyden and Claire Scott. Photogtaph: Phil Wilkinson.

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Scottish Sea Farms has won a hat-trick of prestigious Investors in People (IIP) accolades for its sustained investment in jobs, training and employee well-being.

Scottish Sea Farms – Investment in People triple accredited.

The internationally recognised awards, which require companies to apply for re-accreditation every three years to ensure continual professional development, are seen as the global benchmark in people management.

The We Invest in People Platinum Award, first achieved by Scottish Sea Farms in 2018, has been retained, as has the We Invest in Young People Award at Gold level.

The salmon grower also scored gold for the first time in the We Invest in Well-being category, making it one of just two companies in Scotland to have achieved this level.

Scottish Sea Farms head of human resources Tracy Bryant-Shaw said: ‘We have worked hard over the past three years to build on our 2018 performance and reach even higher standards.’

Key to the success has been the introduction of a comprehensive new health and well-being strategy; something that was already under way prior to the arrival of Covid but gathered new momentum in the months after.

‘During the pandemic, when we couldn’t see everyone, we looked at what more we could do for our employees and their families,’ said Tracy.

‘We offer a wide-ranging suite of support: from our employee assistance initiative and training programmes to new innovations including a dedicated well-being app and one-to-one help with employees’ physical, mental or financial health.

‘We’ve also added staff well-being to our health and safety meetings as a further way of checking we’re doing everything we can to support our people.’

Other initiatives introduced in recent years include:

• Real Living Wage – independently calculated based on what people need to live on and higher than the government minimum wage and national living wage
• Young People’s Council – actively involving younger generations in the decisions that will shape the direction and growth of the business
• Family friendly policies – offering working parents enhanced maternity and paternity leave
• Aquaculture Academy and Management Academy – helping nurture and develop existing and potential employees
• Move to online learning – making training programmes more readily accessible to everyone, regardless of location.

There have also been new partnerships with the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre to help develop the sector’s next generation of leaders; Argyll College UHI to offer Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture within the region and local schools to introduce emerging talent to the sector.

The next challenge for Scottish Sea Farms Human Resources team is to improve on an already impressive achievement.

‘We’re thrilled to be where we are, but there is much more we can do in terms of employee engagement, management behaviours and skills and attracting our future workforce, as well as taking into account the feedback received through surveys and assessor reports,’ added Tracy.

‘And we will be integrating Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK into Scottish Sea Farms, aligning their people with the company so they feel equally valued and empowered.’