Our employees are at the heart of our business and we consistently strive to ensure they have the opportunity to develop in a job they enjoy.
Growth and change
We recognise that it’s our people that make us different, and we strive to recruit, retain, engage and develop the best. We continue to encourage our unique and supportive culture, which we believe sets us apart from other housebuilders.
We were named a Top 50 UK employer by Building magazine, where we were noted for our employee retention, leadership and overall employee satisfaction.
The year to 31 March 2018 was a year of growth and change for the Group. We welcomed 76 new employees into the business, equating to one quarter of our workforce. In an average day we have just over 1,600 people on our sites or at head office, of which just under 300 are directly employed and the remainder are employed by our subcontractor partners.
In addition to the new employees we are recruiting, we went through a restructure of the Group’s operational departments to ensure the business was positioned well for future growth. The number, size and complexity of our projects has increased in recent years and we realised we needed to structure our operational teams in a different way. The changes to our structure will enable us to manage the growth of our business, ensuring everyone has the capacity to do their job well. The change has also created additional career opportunities for employees, whilst still maintaining our friendly and successful culture.
Despite the changes within our business last year, we are proud that we have maintained our unique culture. Our culture is built on some core ‘Telford Homes behaviours’, and last year we took all employees through a behaviours training session to ensure that everyone understood what our core behaviours look like in practice. Our behaviours now form an integral part of our induction, appraisal and performance processes and are a key consideration when assessing an individual for promotion.
We continue to report strong levels of employee retention, currently running at 90 per cent, unchanged from last year.
We carried out our second employee satisfaction survey in 2017 and overall satisfaction with Telford Homes as an employer increased to 98 per cent with the intention to be working for the Group in 12 months’ time increasing to 95 per cent. These results truly reflect how hard we strive to create a great place to work. We had several great suggestions from employees on improvements to their working life at Telford Homes and as a result we are planning to launch a Loyalty Award Scheme amongst other initiatives.
2017 Employee survey results
Our growth in the last few years has created some fantastic opportunities for our employees to take on more senior roles and to develop with the business. Last year we carried out a succession planning exercise in our operations departments to identify those ready for the next step in their career. We also took the opportunity to define our hierarchy and revisit our job descriptions to give clarity to the different levels within the business. This enabled us to show our employees in a simple manner how they could work towards making the next step in their career with Telford Homes.
As a result of this work we have identified the need to develop the ‘Telford Homes Academy’. This will ensure that our people have the right skills for the roles they carry out and the roles they are developing towards. There will be five programmes developed, one for each significant point in an individual’s career.
We have already launched our ‘Careers Under Construction’ Trainee Programme and currently have 23 trainees within the business, of which 13 were recruited last year. The trainee scheme provides a structured and supportive programme that includes a two day induction that helps the new trainees settle in and get to know some of their colleagues, a workbook specific to their discipline and opportunities to experience other parts of the business. Last year six of our trainees successfully completed their programme and graduated. The trainee programme will form part of the new Telford Homes Academy which we expect to set up over the next two years.
Over the last year, we delivered 750 training sessions, a substantial increase on the 149 sessions we delivered in the previous year. This equates to an average of three training days for each employee.
In the past year 14 people in the construction department have been working towards the achievement of an NVQ in Construction Management. To date, six people have completed their qualification and we expect the remaining eight to do so within the next six months.
As well as equipping Telford Homes employees with the skills they need, we are committed to working to address the skills shortage in the wider industry.
We encourage our subcontractors to offer apprenticeships, and also partner with local authorities such as Skillsmatch in Tower Hamlets to offer opportunities to young people. We are also investing in a Local Labour Manager to help our teams deliver their local labour commitments.