Ingredients manufacturer Macphie has revealed how it has been working to keep staff morale up during the coronavirus lockdown.

Around 60% of the 280 people employed by Macphie are currently away from the business, at a time when it has been adapting to trading under coronavirus.

The company, which has sites in Aberdeenshire, North Lanarkshire and Coventry, has launched smaller bags of its mixes to target the consumer market, and has also worked with local distilleries to produce hand sanitiser.

“Things are progressing so quickly. In a matter of weeks, we’ve swapped bottling sauces for hand sanitiser,” said CEO Andy Stapley. “With this pace of change, communication is key in making sure everyone is up to speed on what’s happening and what our next steps are.”

Every week, the team is hosting catch-up calls and issuing email round-ups to keep employees informed. It has also revamped its usual business bulletins to keep morale high by including upbeat playlists and news from the rest of the team.

This week, Stapley is hosting an online quiz show, complete with a theme tune and company-related questions.

And Macphie chefs are getting creative with a Ready, Steady, Cook-style challenge. Team members are invited to share what items they have left in their fridge at the end of the week, and the chef team have to come up with a creative dish using the leftover ingredients list.

“We wanted to inject some fun into our regular updates to keep employees informed, but most importantly, to keep everyone connected.

“The weekly calls have been incredibly positive, and it’s been inspiring to hear how everyone has been supporting each other, and their communities. One of our managers is volunteering for his local first responder group and someone else has been keeping on top of the gardening for her elderly neighbours.

“I’m incredibly proud of how our team continues to adapt.”