Engaging our people

We engage with our people through our values-led and inclusive culture.

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Male employees

77%

Employee engagement score
(out of a maximum of 5)

3.7

Female employees

23%

What this means to us

  • Our people deliver an essential service and keep the nation connected. They are talented individuals and we have a responsibility to support and nurture them
  • We have a strong values-led culture and we encourage everyone to live by our values and behaviours. We achieve this by providing an engaging, diverse and supportive environment where people want to work, develop and learn from each other
  • Through our employee engagement programme, we actively respond to employee concerns to ensure we engage, reward, recognise and retain our people
  • We are also deeply committed to supporting a range of initiatives to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of our people. We listen to every voice and ensure we proactively respond to all employee feedback and needs

Engage with our employees

It is vital that we have a truly engaged workforce as our people are critical to the Group’s success. A culture of positive engagement supports us to recruit and retain the best and most talented people, develop a high-performance culture and, importantly, ensure our people are healthy, happy and work together in a diverse and rewarding workplace.

To support employee engagement, we promote a culture of regular open, clear and transparent communications across multiple channels. This includes a weekly business update from the leadership team and daily updates using a social media collaboration tool, Workplace.

Employee feedback is vital to identifying how happy and motivated our people are and we capture this through regular one to ones with line managers, employee forums and a biannual People Survey. The most recent survey recorded overall engagement at 3.7 out of 5. We explore all feedback in detail and use it to inform our engagement plans and priorities. The People Survey is being redeveloped in FY21 to match “Times Top 100” employer criteria and will be supported with new “Pulse Surveys”, intended to take the temperature of the business at more regular intervals.

Rewards and benefits

We aim to have a culture where everyone’s contribution is valued and rewarded. We offer competitive packages with attractive and flexible benefits, including annual sharesave (SAYE) schemes, to recruit and retain the best people. We have built a strong external business network and we are constantly monitoring external standards to ensure our rewards and benefits remain attractive and competitive.

Develop skills and talent

We are committed to having a culture that focuses on bringing out the best in our people. It is crucial to us to be able to offer all our people a clear career path. We put a strong emphasis on identifying talent and succession planning activities, and every person in the Group has a personal development plan, supported with training, coaching and professional development opportunities. In FY21 we are introducing a new online learning management system (LMS) that will be available to all people to enhance their skills for both structured development and flexible learning.

We have an apprenticeship programme in place to foster and develop new talent and plan to expand our scheme in FY21; we also offer work experience and have provided opportunities to local schools and communities and the families of our employees.

Foster a diverse and inclusive culture

We are an equal opportunities employer and provide an inclusive environment for all our people. We are committed to fostering inclusion and diversity and ensure that all our employees can develop to their full potential, regardless of race, gender, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or background.

In the year, we enhanced our recruitment processes to ensure that we always demonstrate our consistent, diverse and inclusive approach to recruitment.

Support physical and mental wellbeing

We are deeply committed to supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of our people. We have developed a strong zero-harm culture and enhanced our commitment to mental and emotional wellbeing in the year. We introduced our first fully trained mental health first aider and it is our plan to expand the number of mental health first aiders in the business in FY21. We also have access to more specialist mental wellbeing services via an external partner, offer a 24/7/365 wellbeing solution, by providing support through our employee assistance programme, delivered mental fitness workshops, and ongoing mental fitness support, in the year.

Encourage everyone to live by our values

We nurture a strong, values-led culture and we set clear expectations on how we operate in line with our values and behaviours. Values play an important part in our recruitment and selection processes and we measure our people’s performance against our values, rewarding positive examples with “Spirit” awards and “Instant Recognition” awards. We are also investing in a new behavioural mapping initiative to ensure expectations are always clear and we drive consistency in behaviour for all employees.