Massive bullying culture. Most depots are ran by uneducated, unprofessional managers of whom many are in that position because they are friends with equally uneducated and unprofessional area managers and regional managers. Nepotism is rife in Howdens. Several years I gave to this company and when it comes to career progression it literally is a case of "Its not what you know, its who you know".
Depot managers are actively allowed to recruit their children/siblings/cousins/best friends to work in the same depot as themselves and fast track and promote them up the ranks ahead of other more hardworking, loyal, deserving and long serving employees as well as protect them.
This happens all over the country, even though they have a Staff Handbook.
Has a depot manager ever rang HR to report a blood relative for poor performance or inappropriate behaviour?? I would bet my last dollar the answer is 'NO'. Everything gets covered up if its in their interests to do so. This scenario alone makes an absolute mockery of the staff handbook.
Depot managers are literally bullet proof providing they are not on the rob. They are protected by both their Area Managers and HR, meaning if your boss doesn't like you, he can deliberately tell lies about you to ruin your career and with their blessing and support, they will simply take his/her word as Gospel. One word that you are the bad for business is all it takes, when more often than not, it's the depot manager who is bad for the business. I worked for 4 depot managers in my time. Every single one of them was bent and corrupt to the core in their own ways and not one of them was intelligent, just pals with their superiors.
It's pretty much as follows:
imagine there are six candidates for a new job at a depot at Howdens Joinery or an internal promotion.
five of them have bags of experience in the industry, a fantastic CV, excellent references and would require little or no training in their new role. They are ready.
One has no experience in the industry, does know anything about kitchens and joinery, his CV is awful, but he is either big pals with the area manager or his dad runs the depot he's applied to work in and is also the interviewer.
Guess who's getting the job.
Find out who your area manager is going to be and get to know him personally and before you know it, you can get a depot without even having an interview or any knowledge of the industry, and then you can soon be partaking in all the drink and coke fuelled social gatherings they all go on together whilst everyone else does the work back in the depots.
It also helps if you are an arrogant, egotistical cretin of human being. That way you'll instantly fit in.
What would you suggest Howdens Joinery Co management do to prevent others from leaving?
Treat your staff with respect and at least pretend you care about them would be a good place to start.
I worked as for Howdens for 9 years on the Fylde Coast. 4 years as a designer and 5 years as an assistant manager.
The problem was and still is that bullying is condoned in Howdens Joinery.
This is because only depot managers have the power to bully and any grievance against them for doing so is very quickly and very corruptly dissolved once it reaches HR and the area managers. Especially if the depot the allegation has come from is hitting its precious targets and the depot managers are soon off the hook and free to continue their hate campaign against anyone they personally dislike. There is a massive protection racket around depot managers providing they are producing results.
The company is internally rotten to the core. Their staff handbook is an absolute joke and is nothing more than a box ticking exercise.
Unless you are a depot manager at Howdens, you are expendable and your physical and mental health is of no concern whatsoever to anyone above you in depot or at head office.