Investing in our people

Diversity and inclusion
Our People strategy sets out how we inspire and develop high-performing teams and individuals, able to fulfil their potential in inclusive and supportive working environments.
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. Our Group Human Resources (HR) Director reports directly to the Chief Executive and chairs the Global HR Council, ensuring our People strategy supports the Integrated Business Plan and People Policy in order to meet the needs of our business and our customers.
During 2020, we maintained our focus on identifying, securing and developing the diverse range of skills and capabilities required to meet our customers’ current and future needs.
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.
In 2020, we further embedded strategic workforce planning to ensure that our Integrated Business Plan takes account of the people, skills, technology and facilities we will need to deliver our future plans. This foresight helped us to meet elevated recruitment requirements in some of our major markets in 2020, including surpassing 1,000 employees on the Hunter Class Frigate programme in Australia, and hiring over 500 more people in the UK than in the previous year. It is also enabling us to identify and fulfil requirements for key manufacturing, engineering and software engineering skills, and to proactively manage knowledge transfer ahead of forecast peaks in retirements. Robust strategic workforce planning and analysis were also instrumental in monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and supporting swift returns to productivity.
Our learning and development strategy is also key to building the skills and capabilities we will need to meet our customers’ future needs. We support employees to fulfil their potential through career frameworks, face-to-face and virtual training and development programmes. In 2020, for markets outside of BAE Systems, Inc., we launched a mobile learning app giving employees off-network access to a wide range of digital learning opportunities. As teams adapted to new ways of working in light of the pandemic, we were able to quickly offer line managers and employees anytime access to relevant guidance and support through the app, including how to inspire virtual teams and to maintain wellbeing.
In BAE Systems, Inc. we supported managers and employees through virtual learning activities including workshops on topics such as wellbeing and resilience, and resources to support leaders in maintaining engagement across their teams.
We are taking an increasingly collaborative and future-focused approach to talent management and succession planning. This has facilitated a purposeful balance of internal talent moves and external hires into key strategic leadership roles, to strengthen our leadership teams and further enhance our talent pipeline across our markets and sectors. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, many of our sectors achieved targets for cross-sector talent moves through the year, aimed at giving our future leaders broader and deeper experience of the organisation. For example, across BAE Systems, Inc. we achieved our targets to move or promote 20% of the successors to top roles, and to move or promote 20% of those employees identified as either female or people of colour in the talent pipeline.
We provide our employees with competitive reward packages which reflect their individual responsibilities and contribution to business performance and we recognise individual and team successes through a variety of financial and non-financial recognition schemes across the organisation. We also offer post-employment benefits aligned to competitive practice in each relevant home market. We encourage employees to become shareholders in BAE Systems and, where appropriate, offer share schemes to support this.

Flexible working

BAE Systems understands the requirement of a good work-life balance, which is why we offer a number of flexible working opportunities. Along with competitive maternity and paternity leave, we offer shared parental leave, adoption leave and childcare vouchers aiming to provide parents with the support they need.
We also offer a range of flexible working options to others who need it, whether that’s to care for an elderly relative or for childcare responsibilities. This can consist of part-time working, career breaks or working from home.
It’s important to us to enable our employees to develop their skills in other, often voluntary arrangements, too.  We have a UK Special Leave policy specifically for this, with some employees getting involved in long term voluntary positions, such as reserve positions with the armed forces. 

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 three categories; Embracing Responsible Behaviour, Exceeding Customer Expectations and Innovating for Success.
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.