Our success is dependent on the contribution and commitment of each of our colleagues. For information on careers at Grafton visit our Careers page.
As part of our ongoing strategy to improve diversity within the Group, the Group launched a diversity action team with representatives from each of our businesses coming together to review key action points and agree on targets. We also started a data capturing exercise to improve insights into our diversity and help us towards achieving our diversity goals.
- A workshop on gender diversity was held during the year with senior women from across the Group, facilitated by #YesSheCan founder Sophie Turner. Gavin Slark, Group CEO attended a portion of the day to hear the perspective of female colleagues working in a male dominated environment.
- For International Women’s Day 2019 Chadwicks Group ran a ‘Women in our Business’ campaign to celebrate the contribution of women across their business.
- Buildbase held its second ‘Women in Buildbase’ conference, bringing together senior women from across all departments to discuss how best to attract and retain more female colleagues.
Monitoring the pay between men and women is an important step to ensuring that all colleagues are fairly rewarded for their work and their contribution to our business. Gender Pay information has been published on the websites of UK businesses that are within the scope of the UK Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations.
Training and development is a key part of our continued investment in our colleagues and is fundamental to our ability to attract, retain and develop top talent. Colleagues are provided with opportunities to maximise their experience, expertise and skills both for their own career development and for the success of the Group.
2019 saw the introduction of a new Learning Management System across all businesses which provides online learning modules and online classroom facilities to all colleagues.
Some examples of training and development initiatives undertaken by Group businesses during 2019:
- The Group welcomed the second cohort of its ‘Next Generation Leadership’ programme in conjunction with Coventry University. This programme was developed specifically for Grafton with the aim of identifying and developing a diverse group of high-potential colleagues and equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop as future leaders of the Group.
- Chadwicks continued to run its Management Development Programme and Sales Academy. In May 2019 they held the first graduation from the Builders’ Merchants Sales Traineeship scheme, a programme accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).
- Selco launched their Rising Stars Management Development Programme which creates opportunities for colleagues to create career paths that align with Selco’s strategic goals.
- 250 Woodies colleagues graduated in 2019 from the QQI-certified Seeds to Success programme. Woodie’s also became one of the first companies in Ireland to launch an apprenticeship in retail with 9 colleagues taking part in the two-year programme in association with Retail Skillsnet Ireland.
- The Isero business in the Netherlands continued its in-house business academy with a new class starting in September 2019 to train apprentice customer service representatives.
- Over 120 Buildbase colleagues took part in the Building for Your Future training programme which offers accredited courses in business relevant areas such as sales, project management and leadership.
- The Timber Group launched their Seeds to Success programme to develop their Assistant Branch Managers through a series of training workshops covering IT, Marketing, Sales, HR, Health and Safety and Transport, and providing key skills required for future management roles.
We are committed to high standards of employment practice across our businesses and we aim to reward colleagues fairly by reference to skills, performance, peers and market conditions. We provide incentives to employees through remuneration policies that promote commitment and reward achievement.
UK Colleagues have access to “Reward Gateway”, an online communications and benefits platform. Colleagues in Ireland have access to Wrkit, a similar platform that provides colleague discounts across a number of retail outlets. Colleagues in Ireland also receive a Colleague Discount Card which provides generous reductions in Group businesses.
Woodie’s introduced Flexi Wage app in 2019 which offers colleagues the benefit of selecting from monthly, fortnightly or weekly salary instalments. The Group operates a Save as You Earn Scheme that enables eligible UK colleagues to share in the success of the overall Group. The Irish merchanting business also operates a Revenue-approved profit-sharing scheme. Performance related bonus schemes are also in place in a number of the Group’s businesses.
The majority of Group businesses took part in employee engagement surveys during the year. The results of all surveys across the Group demonstrated ongoing improvements in both participation rates and employee engagement scores. Selco, Buildbase and NDI took place in the UK Best Companies Survey resulting in a ‘One to Watch’ accreditation, while Woodie’s was again recognised as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for 2019.
In early 2019 Woodie’s launched Workvivo, a communications tool which allows for sharing of company updates. 98% of colleagues have downloaded the app and over 20,000 comments were posted in the first year. A Group IT project is under way to assess the potential to roll out a similar tool across other businesses in the Group.
Colleague recognition programmes are run across a number of our businesses. In 2019 the Irish Merchanting business enhanced their loyalty programme by adding new long service pin badges and a new 5-year award to their existing programme where 10, 20, 30 and 40 years’ service is rewarded with gift vouchers. Woodie’s also offer long service pins for 5, 10 and 20 years’ service. In the UK, Selco introduced a loyalty programme with a retrospective rollout in 2019 seeing over 1,000 colleagues receiving awards for service with the company.
Leyland held their first ever Colleague Awards in November 2019. Woodie’s also held their colleague award ceremony, the Woscars, in October 2019.