AN East Lancashire firm says listening to its "experts" as it drives the company forward.

Veka, the UK's largest window and door systems manufacturer, based in Burnley, has 360 employees at its Rossendale Road industrial estate site.

And the firm are happy to say that people power is driving the culture to make it a great place to work, with awards aplenty.

After the company acquired Bowater Building Products in 2011, the firm grew very rapidly almost overnight and Gabriela Hammond, Head of HR, said the company suffered "growing pains".

She said: "It was a very difficult time after the acquisition but it allowed us to refocus on our people. It's people that make the business. Our people are our biggest asset and our biggest investment.

"They are the most vital cog in the business, they work on the shopfloor and they are in the best place to let us know if something can be improved. And we have been able to make practical changes, which proves the company is listening.

"We are constantly looking at how we do things at all levels of the organisation. And it's working as we have won a prize at the Red Rose Awards for the last two years. And for the last two years we have rewarded the staff with an extra day off."

Charlotte Hulme, one of the firm's HR Business Partners, said Veka had carried out employee engagement surveys and had made changes to the way the business accordingly.

She said: "Some of the feedback we got in the 2015 survey wasn't positive and we refocused the business around our people.

"When we did the 2017 survey, the feedback we got was great and the results on the shopfloor up have been there for all to see and we can really shout about our achievements.

"Everyone gets the feedback so everyone can see what's been said. But it doesn't stop there as we keep the conversation going through various channels."

Paul Ashdown, a production unit leader who has been with the firm for 15 years and has first-hand experience in the changes in the culture of the firm.

He said: "I've been on the shopfloor when things weren't good and there was a big turnover in staff. That makes it difficult as you lose experience and know-how, as well as friends. You're always starting again.

"Things need to change and they have. The company is really engaging with staff and are listening to what the work force is saying and building relationships. Everyone is included.

"The shift leaders do it with those teams and you can see it in all levels of the business.

"People are much happier in their jobs and want to stay and develop, which is good for everyone."