Our success is dependent on the contribution and commitment of each of our colleagues. For information on careers at Grafton visit our Careers page
We are committed to creating a culture where everyone can thrive and be safe and well inside and outside our businesses. We believe there is nothing we do that is so urgent we cannot do it safely. This belief is central to our leadership of the health, safety and wellbeing agenda across all Group businesses alongside our commitment to send our colleagues, customers and everyone we work with home safely at the end of each day.
Colleague wellness is a key area of focus across the Group’s businesses with a wide range of initiatives offering support to colleagues to be healthier and more content both at work and at home.
All Group businesses have wellbeing plans in place which include mental health. We run EAP programs in all UK & Ireland businesses and colleagues have access to confidential helplines to provide assistance with any issues or personal difficulties, which are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Newly acquired businesses ar required to align with Group standards within agreed timeframes.
In response to the changing business environment and in recognition of the changing ways colleagues live and work, we encourage our colleagues to embrace flexible working where appropriate to business needs. Practices on working from home established during 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic continued in 2021 and 2022 with several businesses now operating flexible working policies. During the pandemic we have taken action to help colleagues look after their wellbeing and mental health whether they were working from home or from one of our business operations. This has included providing a range of resources and information, delivering mental health training, and running a variety of webinars and live events for colleagues on topics such as imposter syndrome and steps to better sleep.
We understand the vital role our line managers play in supporting their teams’ wellbeing and to this end we rolled out training to line managers to help them to identify colleagues experiencing mental health issues and assist them to access the right support. As part of Stress Awareness November 2021, colleagues were encouraged to complete “Start the Conversation” training to promote awareness of good mental health.
Businesses across the Group also shared a series of ideas and suggestions to promote awareness of mental health. A number of Group businesses and the Group Corporate Offices took part in step challenges to promote colleagues’ health and wellbeing while also raising funds for charity.The Irish distribution business have launched a series of wellness initiatives including mental health first aid training, facilitated by Mental Health First Aid Ireland with the aim of having trained Mental Health First Aiders in every branch nationwide who are educated on how to notice and support a colleague who may be going through a difficult time with their mental health.
We believe that having a diverse workforce brings not only diversity of thought, but it also drives innovation and progress, which is key to everything we do.
The Group Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy is available here
We are proud to announce that we have joined The Valuable 500, the global movement putting disability on our business agenda.
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.
We have a commitment to ensuring that all colleagues receive at least 1% above relevant legislative minimum wage.
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 and the UK also receive a Colleague Discount Card which provides generous reductions in Group businesses.
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 distribution business also operates a Revenue-approved profit-sharing scheme that is open to all eligible colleagues.
The Group has launched a pensions awareness campaign to highlight and inform colleagues of their pension rights and entitlements.
The Group has introduced Colleague Forums as a means of ensuring that the voice
of colleagues are heard at Board level,
Colleague Forums were held during 2020 due to Covid-19
restrictions and each Country Forum was attended by colleague representatives and a Non-Executive Director of Grafton Group plc. Topics discussed included sustainability, wellbeing and feedback on the Group’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The majority of Group businesses took part in colleague engagement surveys during the year.
Following the successful rollout of the Workvivo internal communications platform in Woodie’s in 2019, the app was introduced for Group colleagues and in a number of Group businesses during 2020. Selco also successfully rolled out their Boost engagement platform.
Colleague recognition programmes are run across a number of our businesses. During the
year Chadwicks continued to celebrate colleague loyalty milestones, while Woodie’s and Selco have also introduced programmes whereby colleagues receive awards for service with the company.
Leyland held their second annual colleague recognition awards with a number of awards recognising exceptional service by colleagues and branches, while Woodie’s held their third annual “Woscars” awards ceremony which washeld online for 2020. The awards were introduced in 2018 to honour dedicated colleagues, teams and management from across the 35 stores and support office.
Woodie’s were proud to be officially named as a Great Place to Work for the fifth consecutive year, with a 99 per cent colleague participation rate.