Our People Policy lays the foundations, setting out our people management expectations, including in relation to diversity and inclusion, training and development, reward and employee engagement.
This commitment is embedded through our governance structure. The Group Human Resources (HR) Director reports directly to the Chief Executive and chairs a Global HR Council, ensuring alignment between our strategy, policy and delivery. This has allowed the organisation to deliver a range of commitments in 2021, recognising our business is dependent on our ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce with the talent and skills to deliver excellence to our customers, including engineers, designers, software developers and project managers. We have identified this as a principal risk and we continue to take a range of actions to mitigate the risk.
As we continue to build a high-performing culture that delivers our shared strategic objectives, our Values and Behaviours have become integral to this success. Since the Group launched its eight Behaviours in 2019, these have been integrated into all our people processes, including performance, talent, reward, recruitment and learning.
Across the enterprise, our Behaviours have been added in to the Performance Development Reviews (PDRs) for all people managers, alongside key Future Talent Programmes. The feedback from PDRs allows employees to drive their own personal development, while the Group increases efforts to foster cross-business collaboration and agility.
A number of cross-Group working groups have been launched to align our approach, share learning and collaborate across the business. This includes UK workplace climate, which is delivering 17 different projects in 2021/22 focused on career development, inclusive and hybrid working, flexible benefits and our sustainable future. A global Sustainability Steering Group is setting the strategy and direction for our environmental, social and governance priorities, while our Future of Work teams in the UK and US are driving new ways of working.
We have also strengthened our engagement events, including a fully virtual conference for mid-level management in the UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Sponsored by our Executive Committee, it was attended by approximately 900 employees, providing an opportunity to listen and contribute to our key strategic priorities, alongside employee-led workshops that will inform our work on workplace climate and culture. These themes also featured in the 2021 Graduate conference.
New ways of working
In a year where adaptability has been integral to our success, adopting an increased flexible and hybrid approach has been key.
In response to the pandemic, we have maintained flexible working across the business. This includes a long-term hybrid working framework that balances the need of individual business, site, team and employee needs.
In the UK, we developed a new policy framework and line management guidance, equipping line leaders to support their teams. Locally-led, experimental ‘pathfinders’ are helping to test and inform an enduring hybrid proposition including new workplaces for hybrid and onsite workers. A range of technology support was also delivered, from hotdesk booking through to hybrid-friendly videoconferencing and collaboration tools.
For our onsite population, in discussion with trades union leaders, we are launching a review of the worksite experience, working patterns and any broader flexibility that can be offered in order to maintain parity across all employees.
In the US, we launched a workshop series on leading hybrid teams. This featured the fundamentals of hybrid leadership, insights on leading virtually with a people-first approach, and sustaining successful hybrid teams. In addition, the US team built a ‘Return to the Workplace’ eLearning module focused on the top priorities for leaders engaging with employees in the new hybrid environment.
Keeping our people connected, informed and engaged has never been more important as employees in all of our markets continued to experience major impacts on their personal circumstances and ways of working through the pandemic. We used a range of channels to make sure our people had access to the information and support they needed throughout the year, as well as keeping employees informed about the performance, developments and prospects of the business. This included engagement through our intranet, employee app, email, videos, podcasts, newsletters, leadership communications, virtual discussions and briefings, and through our line managers who played a key role in keeping their teams connected and engaged. We continue to focus on two-way communications, ensuring we have channels through which employees can express their views, feedback and any concerns, helping us understand employee sentiment on an ongoing basis and respond appropriately.
The Chairman’s Awards
We’re proud of our people and truly believe they are the key to our success.
One of the ways we recognise and reward our employees is via our annual Chairman’s Awards – a global scheme that celebrates the outstanding achievements of our most talented teams and individuals.
Established in 1996, the awards span four categories; Excelling for our customers, Advancing technology solutions, Driving operational excellence and Building a sustainable future.
It’s a competitive process - judged by panels across the business – with recognition awarded across three levels:
- Business Leader Award
- Executive Committee Award
- Gold Award
Our Chairman, Sir Roger Carr, presents the Gold Awards – the most prestigious of them all – at an annual ceremony. All finalists attend the event, with the winners announced on the evening.