Car maker’s hat-trick built on teamwork

Case study: Nissan

In August car manufacturer Nissan was named most productive car plant in Europe for the third year in a row. While many factors have played a role, the intense concentration on teamwork has been a huge contributor to this success.

The team ethic is encouraged at every level, from the way employees are grouped on the line, through to the fact that everyone at the plant, including the managing director, wears the same blue boiler suits. `We have selected from Japan those elements that would work in north-east England,’ says Nissan personnel manager Danny Griffiths.

The benefits package is also geared to maintaining the team ethic and avoiding a hierarchical structure. Apart from the fact that managers get a free car, all staff have access to the same final-salary pension scheme, private healthcare and holiday leave.

Those employees who do not qualify for a free car are able to buy up to four cars for themselves or their relatives by making use of a range of attractive discount schemes.

An on-site gym, sports hall, football pitch, cricket pitch, bar and lounge mean that staff can keep up the team spirit after hours. Training also plays a big role in boosting staff skills, with vocational and non-vocational training taking part at the on-site flexible learning centre.