As an organisation employing more than 2,600 people, we focus on building an inclusive environment launching programmes and initiatives to empower our employees to have a career with no limits.
We asked two members of our UK HR Team what they are especially proud of when looking back at 2016 and what our people can expect this year.
Focusing on gender diversity
“While our inclusion strategy moves beyond gender looking at how we can support diversity in all its forms, we last year further strengthened our focus on increasing the representation of women at all levels within the business," explains HR Diversity Manager Victoria Morgan.
Our HR Team is convinced that our focus on inclusion and diversity helps us build a strong management pipeline, attract the best talent and makes sure people are engaged and happy at work.
“One of the big 2016 successes for us in the UK&I region, was that we hired more women to join our business, increasing female hires from about one third in 2015 to 40% last year,” says Neil Hunsworth, Head of HR in UK&I.
He continues, “We are also proud that we’re currently looking at more than 40% female representation at Business Manager Level. Having diversity at every level in the organisation leads to more diverse ideas and different perspectives which will benefit our teams, customers and business.”
But it’s also for Director Roles where we see things shifting.
“Since 2012, we have more than doubled our representation of female Sales Directors globally and have increased the number of female Team Managers by 13% too. It’s also encouraging that looking at our Support Services functions, 40% of Directors are now women,” adds Victoria.
Embracing cultural change
One of the reasons why we’re encouraging an inclusive and diverse business are the positive cultural and behavioural changes that come with it.
“We held two leadership events in June where we discussed the culture we aspire to have and the next steps we need to take to get there,” explains Neil.
To create a truly inclusive place to work, SThree invested heavily in research and collecting feedback about our current culture and what we need to change or build on.
“We want our people to speak up and tell us if they think rules are applied fairly and if they feel they can talk about problems and challenges openly. Obviously, there are still areas which need improvement but we’ve seen a lot of positive changes already.”
“People are more confident in raising issues and the teams in our offices are working together to define cultural and behavioural commitments. We’ve broaden the range of incentives on offer in order to appeal to more of our people and are placing more emphasis on rewarding customer service excellence,” says Neil.
Taking performance management to the next level
Driving performance management is also something our people teams are hugely invested in as they know that this can make a real difference to our employees’ career progression as well as our growth and success as a business.
"In 2016, it was all about putting the right tools and processes in place to manage performance properly. We introduced [email protected], our innovative, cloud-based performance system, and ensured that everyone knows what good performance, expectations and SMART objectives look like. We’re also helping people create competency-based development plans that support their career progression,” says Neil.
With this infrastructure in place, the plan for 2017 is to move from managing our people's performance to maximising their talent.
“It’s about allocating our resources better and thinking long-term. It’s exciting that we now already have and will continue to collect performance data which can be used for things like identifying high potential employees and reviewing and improving our people’s development. For example, we’re starting to use competency and development plan data to inform learning and development provision,” concludes Neil.
Continuing to take advantage of mentoring
In 2014, we introduced our global Mentoring Programme, and have organised three cohorts so far.
“I’m really proud of this programme and the fact that more and more people want to get involved. Since its launch, about 30% of the employees eligible to start the programme have taken up the opportunity to be mentees. 37% of our people meeting the criteria to be mentors got involved supporting others to fulfil their potential within SThree,” says Victoria.
She continues, “It’s proven that mentoring has a positive impact on employee engagement and how successfully our people can progress in their careers. Let’s make sure cohort four will be as beneficial to our people!”
If you want to find out more about our inclusion strategy and how we're supporting our people in their career with us, browse our videos on YouTube.