The 2019 “Your Say” survey was an opportunity for the HR team to gain an understanding of what employees wanted and needed from the business. The core objective of the survey remained the same, to make Arbuthnot Latham an “even better place to work,” but with greater emphasis on acting on the feedback provided, not just listening to it.
The intel gained from the survey would be used to drive key HR strategies and initiatives across the organisation. To support this, the responses needed to translate into tangible actions.
With the new survey goals and required outcome in mind, WorkBuzz worked with the business to create a set of unique questions which would be used to get a real understanding around the key employee challenges previously identified.
Once the new-look survey was designed, it was then distributed via the WorkBuzz platform. Arbuthnot Latham have always received a good response rate, but this survey had one of the highest, coming in at 90%.
Here were some key findings from the 2019 survey and what the business did to address them:
The survey highlighted a desire for all employees to have an improved understanding of the future direction and business strategy of the company.
To achieve this, a Communications Manager was appointed. A new Senior Leadership Team was also formed in late 2019. The team meet on a quarterly basis to discuss updates on the business and plans for the future. Following these meetings, key points are summarised and shared with everyone in the business via email.
A brand refresh was launched in August 2020 and shared across all the offices, with emphasis on brand narrative and visual identity.
To further integrate the brand subsidiaries, a “drop in” event was hosted in London. This gave staff an opportunity to learn more about the businesses and establish key contacts.
The company also relaunched the internal intranet. The newly-designed portal was created to optimise business practices and improve efficiency of communication. It now provides a hub for all business-related content and updates.
Another notable theme across the survey was around employee wellbeing. Arbuthnot Latham understand the importance of all-round employee wellbeing and how that filters down to workplace performance, and therefore were keen to address these areas of concern as quickly as possible.
A new employee wellbeing strategy was created, with focus on four key wellbeing pillars; Our bodies, Our finances. Our minds and Our connections:
- All employees have access to a mental wellbeing mobile app to support with mental health
- All employees are eligible to be covered by private medical insurance, with the excess recently being reduced by 50%
- A mentoring platform is now available to all employees
- Company-wide fitness challenge completed in early 2021 which had high levels of engagement. Recently launched an ‘active hub’, with company-wide events as well as flexibility for teams to create their own challenges, to continue to build engagement in this area.
- Mental health training for line managers has been available for all to access during mental health training and going forward will become a core element of the new manager induction.
- A new pension provider launched earlier in 2021. One of the key objectives of this change was to provide better financial education and support with pensions to all employees.
- Wellbeing Best Practice Group set up, led by Andrew and the team with engagement from key stakeholders across this business. This has been key to staying close to the core wellbeing issues as well as supporting and driving engagement in central initiatives.
Reward and recognition
Reward and recognition was another key topic, with a need to provide greater transparency and structure to ensure Arbuthnot’s remuneration and benefits were seen to be fair and competitive for the sector.
They engaged with an external rewards consultant who worked across the business to create a bespoke plan to suit employees. Whilst the pandemic has caused some delays, the outcome of the project is due to be implemented in Q1, 2022.
The company has continued to enhance a deliver an annual employee recognition event, taking place in the first quarter of each year for the last three years. There are now were five awards up for grabs, with consistently over 200 nominations received across all categories. The focus of the awards is to celebrate colleagues who have gone above and beyond for the business.
Diversity & Inclusion
A consistent message across the survey was the need to review the current maternity/adoption and paternity pay packages.
The existing policies were assessed, updated, and then significantly enhanced to emphasise the support Arbuthnot Latham gives to their employees during this important stage of family life, and to enable people to continue their careers.
Enhancements were also made to the shared parental leave policy.