Dot takes her place in the boardroom

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One of the region's flagship companies has kicked off a major new initiative designed to give colleagues a new perspective on the firm and experience new areas of the business.

Leeds-based food manufacturers Symingtons launched its Director For A Day programme by giving machine operative Dot Ellis, who has worked for the firm for 14 years, a chance to sample life in the boardroom.

Dot, 50, stepped out of her safety shoes and into those of a director when she was collected from her home in Middleton by Symingtons chief executive officer David Salkeld.

She then spent the day touring the firm's various sites, accompanied by Mr Salkeld and group operations director Jon Wood, as well as taking her place in the boardroom to contribute to group-wide meetings on marketing and company strategy.

Dot said: "Directors have previously joined us on the shop floor to make sure they know how every part of the company fits together, so it was nice to get the chance to see what they do in return.

"What struck me most was the size of the company – I didn't realise quite how much was involved in making Symingtons work. It's a very complex process."

Any of Symingtons' 500 colleagues can put their name forward for the scheme, which aims to broaden their understanding of the company and share best practice with colleagues, as well as taking processes used at other sites back to their own individual roles.

Dot added: "I have learnt a lot from the day. It has really opened my eyes to all the opportunities there are to progress here at Symingtons.

"I had a lovely time and I would certainly recommend this scheme to my colleagues, as well as to other businesses."

Mr Salkeld said: "We've already had great feedback about our Director For A Day initiative, which is now embedded in our overall colleague engagement programme.

"It gives our directors an invaluable opportunity to speak at length with our colleagues who at the same time are given a chance to see how the company, as a whole, fits together."

Vicar Lane, Leeds City Centre.

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