We actively encourage our staff to engage and support local communities. We offer four half-days per calendar year of paid time off to each employee for them to volunteer their time and knowledge for a charitable initiative of their choice. We also operate a matched-giving policy and will match every pound raised by our people for registered charities of their choice. During the reporting period, we are proud to have supported Dementia UK as our charity partner. This year, our People have voted again and have chosen to support The Wellspring, a charity local to our Stockport office.
Creating space that matters, is also about creating the space our people need to strive and succeed on a long term sustainable basis. The wellbeing of our people has always been a pillar of our culture and drives many of our social initiatives.
The importance of providing a caring, supportive and inclusive environment to our staff has increased during the pandemic, and we have continued to build on the investments made in that area over the past two years.
We continue to evaluate training needs in line with business objectives. We take both a company-wide and department specific approach to training, with an emphasis on both technical and soft skills. We are currently sponsoring several employees to study towards the Assessment of Professional Competence to enable them to become qualified Charted Surveyors (“MRICS”).
We have also provided assertiveness and confidence skills training, as well as time and priority management training to certain staff over the reporting period. We encourage all employees to make full use of the training opportunities we provide, and to come forward with details of any specific training programme they would like to undertake.
We subscribe to an employee assistance programme so employees can seek free confidential advice at times when they may require additional support. We promote wellbeing through a number of additional benefits, including private medical insurance and travel insurance for all employees, a cycle to work scheme and various policies supporting families and a healthy work-life balance.
We have recently updated or launched many of these policies, including new policies on hybrid working, flexible working, adoption leave, maternity and paternity leave and parental leave.
We have developed our employee engagement programme, with a wide range of staff surveys and workgroups seeking employees’ views and feedback on a variety of subjects, from culture and values and hybrid working to sustainability. We want to give our employees an opportunity to be part of the conversation and we are committed to listen.
We believe that this is a driver of productivity and efficiency, and that, with each individual bringing unique skills and perspective, tapping into this diverse pool of thinking does not only improve employees’ satisfaction but is also a great driver of innovation. With the support and contribution of our people, we launched a new hybrid working model, and are proud to report on the opening of our new London office. Feedback received has confirmed that the workplace is an important place for our people to connect socially and we intend to increase social engagements over the coming year.