Working for Clayton Glass: an Employee Case Study with Sam Stephenson

Clayton Team | 11 Oct 2022
minute read

In this new Q&A-style website article series, we’ll be sitting down with real life Clayton Glass employees and finding out all about their history with the company, from the early days to where they are now, as well as exploring the aspects of the job they find rewarding. This time it’s Sam Stephenson, our esteemed colleague who works in the role of Production Manager at our Harelaw facility…

Q: What has your journey with Clayton Glass been like?

A: “It was 2016 when I started at Clayton Glass. I’d just left my previous job in retail and was looking for a new challenge. My brother first told me about the company; he worked down in the roof end. I asked him to sound out any availability to come and work here, and he put me in touch with one of the Shift Managers.”

“Thankfully I was successful and had my first day soon after. In the beginning, I started out lifting and stacking; this teaches you how to handle glass, which is an important skill to learn early on as it will prepare you for other roles. Once you’re confident handling it, you’re ready to take on more responsibility.”

“I was on this role for about six months, and then progressed to pattern cutting; something I enjoyed because it required a different level of focus. Suddenly you’re having to consider shapes, sizes and orientations of the glass units, this taught me more about glass and the different processes involved in creating a final unit.”

CAPTION: Sam has progressed from lifting and stacking, to pattern cutting, to Team Leader, to Production Manager in six years.

“After a further twelve months in the pattern cutting role, a Production Team Leader position came up. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would be ready for this kind of role, there was a lot of chatter about it and I wasn’t sure if I had enough experience yet.”

“One thing that stood me in good stead was the fact that I had supervisor experience from my previous job in retail, so I knew I’d be good at the man management side of things.”

“The day before the closing date for the job I put my name down for it. This was followed by two interviews that I felt went really well, but I still thought I was probably unlikely to get the job.”

“Then about a week later, after just coming off the nightshift I got a call from David Rowlands (Harelaw Site Lead), he told me I’d got the job and I was absolutely over the moon!”

“I was in a Team Leader role for over four years on various shifts. I learned a lot more about glass and management in this time from the managers I’ve worked for. I’ve now been promoted to Production Manager.”

Q: What do you enjoy about your role?

A: “From my background, I was in school, sixth form and then straight into work, and also back and forth to Australia for a couple of years playing Cricket. In that time, I don’t think I’d ever stayed in a job long enough to fully learn everything there was to learn.”

“Whereas at Clayton Glass I know feel like I know everything, I think I’ve been taught really well and feel confident and competent in my role. It’s nice now being in a position where people come to me for advice.”

CAPTION: Sam enjoys feeling important in his role and is always happy to give advice to anyone asking for it.

“I think now, every time I come into work I feel like I have the ability to have a positive impact on the shift, whether it’s knowledge, ability or quality. I enjoy the expectation of having a good shift.”

“I love helping the staff, I love training them, I see them come in in the beginning and I think ‘that’s where I was’, then I can train them and get them up to a standard where they’re doing well. I think it’s good motivation for them to know that I started out doing exactly what they’re doing.”

Q: What would you say to someone thinking of joining Clayton Glass?

A: “Just come in with an open mind! Once you’re in and you get to know everyone, it’s a good working environment. As long as you come in on time, turn up for all your shifts and work hard, you’ll be given time to learn the trade, and from there progression is always possible.”

Q: What does the Clayton difference mean to you?

A: “For me the Clayton difference is an attitude. It’s about coming in for your shift and doing your part to have a positive impact on your shift. Whether that be hitting your targets, your application, or going the extra mile for the company, and that can be anything from keeping your area tidy to helping someone out on a different job.”

“Overall, I’d say the Clayton difference is about going the extra mile.”