A Gripple department head has been listed in the latest The Manufacturer Top 100 initiative, run by The Manufacturer magazine, to recognise the most dynamic and inspirational leaders and innovators in the UK’s manufacturing industry.
Delighted with this prestigious recognition is Katrina Ritchie who is head of the people and culture department at the employee-owned, multi award-winning manufacturer of the iconic Gripple joiner and wire fastener found across the globe. She was selected from hundreds of nominations for the standards they set to people working in or applying to join the industry.
Joining Gripple 19 years ago, initially working in the export shipping team, Katrina became head of the new people and culture department five years ago for her inherent understanding of the Gripple values-driven culture, with people at the core of all she does.
Although Katrina has no formal qualifications normally associated with HR, Katrina’s department meets the rapidly growing company’s human resources needs, with a team of nine, working with Gripple employees across the world,
One of Katrina’s first initiatives was to establish The Gripple Spirit – a framework to define a Gripple person who captures key values and behaviours and how they look when put into practice.
Katrina said: “As an employee-owned business all our employees are passionate about what they do and engaged with the business to drive improvement and ultimately, sales. We need to ensure we are ‘walking the walk’ not merely ‘talking the talk’. The Gripple Spirit means working together with respect and integrity and go the extra mile. We always recruit on values and behaviour first, ability and skills second.”
Katrina became the first woman to join the Gripple management board and the first time people and culture had been represented on that board.
“I believe the strategies and initiatives of the new department are increasing employee engagement and thereby improving performance and delivering business growth. It blows my mind to see how far we have come, and where we might go. I am incredibly proud to be part of the journey.”
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