While The DL Company has moved with the times over the past 50-years, what has always remained is the company’s continued commitment to its staff. A loyalty emphasised by our recreation of a 1985 photoshoot, in which some of the faces seen in the original are still with the company. Since then, many have seen family members join the ranks so we caught up with the team to grab this shot and find out why The DL Company has such longevity in its workforce…

The Sheffield-based DL Company create classy office refurbs, facilitating the entire project from receiving your initial enquiry, right through to final installation, ensuring everything is delivered on time and within budget – and they must be doing something right, given they can boast 50-years’ experience working with businesses across the region!

Where they differ from many other, similar operations is that everything is done in house, including the fit out. Rather than use contractors, they boast their own team of joiners who are passionate about what they do and tend to stick around.

DL Company joiner Carl Booth is currently the longest serving member of the team, with 15-years’ experience under his belt. Carl started as a fresh-faced youngster and has never looked back, putting the reason for this down to the ‘camaraderie’ within the group.
He said: “There’s a family feel to the company and they’re fair with you. I can’t imagine working for anyone else and I don’t think you could work for a better company.

DL Company today
Re-created photo with today’s workforce

“There is a traditional aspect to the company, and I think that will always be there. We move with the times in terms of the jobs that we do, but there will always be that family feel and family links.

“For instance, my uncle worked for the company; another member of the team, Neil, had a brother who worked here and is on that original photo, and Mark (another joiner) even had a son work here for a spell.

“People wouldn’t stick around for as long as they do, if they didn’t like it or they weren’t a good company to work for.”

Carl’s colleague and fellow-joiner, Zac Dyson, started as an apprentice, qualifying with an NVQ Level 2 after two years. He decided to stay on with the company after graduating in large part because of the way he was treated during his time as an apprentice, where he told us he felt ‘listened too’ and ‘part of the company’.

Zak believes that being employed by the company, rather than being a contractor, makes a big difference to their standard. He said: “You’ve got to be professional and treat people with respect. You can’t act like you would around your mates. I learned how to deal with people by watching the others on the team.”

DL company 80s
Original picture from 1985. In the picture are five members of the DL Company team who have a special relationship with the firm. They are: Neil Ledger, Martin Gillot and Mark Ward who are still involved with the company. As well as Ian Whittaker (39 years’ service) who is Uncle to Carl Booth and Steve Ledger (40 years’ service).

Carl added: “Because we don’t use contractors, there’s no hiding place. You’ve got to care. We’re the face of the company and I think that means there’s more pride in the job we do. If something goes wrong, we have to deal with it.

“There’s also a personable aspect to it. We get to know the customers.”

While the company’s ethics and many of the faces have stayed the same, the work Carl has undertaken across his 15-years has changed in that time. “When I first started there was more work in the steel industry, but over time it’s become more office-based than it ever was.” Explains Carl, “I also think that the jobs have become a lot bigger. They’re now all-singing, all-dancing and we’re in charge of everything, rather than coming in for just a bit of it.”

Zak added: “The work is very varied; from fitting kitchens, to building walls and ceilings.It keeps it interesting.”

As the saying goes, a happy workforce, is a productive workforce, so here’s to another 50-years of The DL Company, when who knows, maybe we’ll be recreating this photo once again!

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