A caring boss has been shortlisted for a national business award – after being nominated by one of his staff.
Nick Wilson, owner of sketchbook supplier The Pink Pig, based in Emley, is one of three finalist in the category of Employer of the Year at the prestigious MS Awards, which will be held in October in London.
He was nominated by his longest-serving member of staff, Susan Crowther, who has worked for Pink Pig for more than 19 years and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October, 2013.
“I was away from work on and off for six months before I was finally diagnosed,” said Susan. “I had quite a time off work afterwards. Nick visited me when I was at home to fill me in with what was happening at work and check how I was. He was great at keeping me updated.
“When I first returned to work I could not drive until I was given the all clear by the neurologist. A colleague would bring me to work in the mornings and Nick would drive me home when I finished at lunchtime.”
Susan, who lives at Waterloo, said: “Nick was very thoughtful and understanding in the time I had to take off when I was ill and in my introduction back to work, creating a new role for me within the company when I couldn’t return to my previous position of workshop manager.”
Susan, who is in remission but still taking medication, is now HR manager at the firm, which has 20 employees. “As workshop manager, I was also involved in recruitment and training of staff, so I have the experience," she said.
Nick, who lives at Cumberworth, said: “I was shocked to be sent the email announcing my nomination. I wasn’t aware that Susan had submitted the application, but I am very proud to be included.
“It is difficult – particularly for a small firm – to adjust things when a key member of staff is off long term and then when they come back. We were able to create a role for Susan as we are growing quite rapidly. We are growing into new markets, including Europe, through online sales.”
Commenting on his visits to talk to Susan, he said: “It’s a fine line. You don’t want to impose too much, but you want to keep in touch. Other staff were also in contact with Susan during her illness.”
Nick set up the Pink Pig to supply sketchbooks and other stationery to universities and colleges. He started the business from the cellar at home and sold his products from the back of a van before expanding to take premises at Emley Business Park
Nick will find out if he has won the Employer of the Year category when the MS Awards are held on October 6 at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in London. The awards ceremony will be hosted by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.