Greg Benson, Ridgeons’ Group Plant Instructor, joined Ridgeons in October 1981, 35 years ago. He began his career at the builders merchants as a forklift driver, working in the warehouse of the heating department at Cavendish Road, Cambridge (now part of the Cambridge South site). At this year’s annual 25 Club Awards, Greg picked up his award for 35 years of loyal service to Ridgeons. The 25 Club was established in 1958, to acknowledge the achievements of all Ridgeons employees – past, present, full-time and part-time who have accomplished 25 years’ service or more.
Here, Greg tells us his story of how his career flourished, and offers his advice to those looking to pursue a career in the builders merchant industry.
“Within 18 months of being a member of staff at Ridgeons, my manager recommended me as a company forklift trainer. After holding this position – as well as my then current warehouse duties – for two years, I was promoted to Heating Supervisor.
During this period, we gained a contract from Rule & Parker to deliver heating equipment around the South of England. It was then that I obtained my Heavy Goods Vehicle licence so that I could become an HGV Driver.
Around 2000, I took on the role of Group Plant Instructor, training my colleagues on all forklift trucks and Hiab equipment; as well as ensuring that we were keeping up-to-date with the legal side of things. This remains my role today – I work across the whole group in whichever branches I am needed for training.
I am fortunate to enjoy every aspect of my job, and I take pride in using my experience and knowledge to help other Ridgeons’ colleagues excel in their roles. When I began my Ridgeons career, I was given the chance to progress as my first manager Ray saw the potential in me and helped me develop my skills further. So, I also try my best to encourage the greatest from my colleagues.
Ridgeons is a truly caring family company, which has always supported me when I’ve needed help. To be part of the 25 Club makes me feel proud and appreciated as a valued member of the team. I think it’s underestimated how much of a difference it makes to be happy and motivated in your job and I can honestly say from experience that Ridgeons brings out the best in its staff.”
Advice for Merchant Job Seekers
“If you go into a job role with the right attitude, hungry to learn all aspects of the industry, including machinery, then the world is your oyster. You should be prepared to work hard and give 100% to the company, and especially to the team you are working within.”