People

KPIs 2018 2017
Staff turnover (unplanned) 22% 31%
Training days 4,505 3,914
Apprentices 37 20
Customer satisfaction rating* 4 star 2 star

* Based on the HBF star rating relating to legal completions in the annual survey period 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018

Customers

Employees

The Group operates solely in the UK and complies with all relevant legislation and regulations. The Group continues to apply its employment policies to not discriminate between employees, or potential employees, on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, age, colour, creed, ethnic origin or religious belief.

Bovis Homes passionately believes in equality and diversity for all. To that end, we have a Diversity and Inclusion policy which is rigorously enforced and promoted. It is also Group policy to give full and fair consideration to the employment needs of disabled persons (and persons who become disabled whilst employed by the Group) where requirements may be adequately covered by these persons and to comply with any current legislation with regard to disabled persons. The Group’s policies are supported by the Group’s Dignity at Work policy which prohibits bullying, harassment or victimisation.

The total employee turnover rate decreased significantly to 28% (2017: 44%) due in part to a reduction in the number of redundancies made during the year. Furthermore, unplanned staff turnover reduced to 22% (2017: 31%) which is supported by a much-improved overall employee satisfaction score in 2018, rising to 7.7 (2017: 7.3) recorded in November 2018. We now have a number of initiatives in order to attract and retain staff, including a benefits portal “mybenefitstoolbox” which allows our employees to view and amend their benefits from any internet-enabled device.

During 2018 we also introduced a number of additional employee benefits, including the cycle to work scheme. In addition, deals have been agreed with a number of popular consumer brands that allow our employees to purchase goods and services at preferred rates.

As part of the focus on improved communication, a People Forum continued to run through the year comprising of employee representatives from each of our regional businesses. In addition, a confidential employee engagement survey is sent to all employees every second month covering a number of topics that are assessed regularly by the senior leadership team. A new weekly podcast from the Chief Executive called the Bovis Homes Bite provides regular light-hearted updates on a range of topics including business priorities, performance and an opportunity to provide individual and collective recognition across the business.

The Group believes that it has a key role to play in ensuring that employees have an appropriate work life balance. To that end, we are committed to working towards ensuring that no employees work excessive hours. In addition, we seek to minimise weekend and late night working to a minimum and when it is essential. Moreover, the Group has introduced a process of buying and selling holiday. Bovis Homes also encourages flexible working.

We have launched some smaller initiatives to improve employee experience such as a relaxation on our office-based dress code and an improvement to a number of employee policies.

The Bovis Homes Annual Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of our people across the country. The awards recognise those individuals and teams that particularly represent the Group’s values of Integrity, Caring and Quality. Recognition of our people including contractor of the year, to reinforce our commitment to the supply chain. We remain committed to our valuable apprentice scheme with the intake during 2018 having increased significantly over previous years.

As well as the company induction that all new starters attend, the Group continues to develop its appraisal process to ensure that its values of Integrity, Caring and Quality are considered and discussed by employees and their line managers. These values feed into many communications with staff, and are regularly referenced in the CEO’s messages and those of other ELT members and regional directors. The importance of this was also cited within the Culture internal audit which reinforced the progress made within the business to improve communication and support.

In terms of mental health, we were the first house builder to commit as a supporter of Mates in Mind. This construction industry wide initiative aims to increase awareness of mental health and reduce the stigmas attached to it. To build on this, all managers attended an absence management course which included training on the early signs of mental health issues, alongside the support that is available and the support available to individuals through the company.

In 2016, the Group adopted an Anti- Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy in support of its efforts to combat modern slavery. A statement in line with the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is available on our website.

The Group auto-enrols new starters on to the People’s Pension scheme, alongside operating a defined contribution pension scheme which is recommended to all employees.

The Group has a Share Incentive Plan, Save As You Earn share option scheme and a Long-Term Incentive Plan to motivate employees and encourage strong involvement with the Group.

Staff are kept informed of the Group’s performance and news from around the business through a variety of means. There is the Bovis Homes bite, a weekly podcast from the CEO or other ELT member, which was launched in 2018. This is a five-minute audio round-up of news and events, which is broadcast every Monday, distributed via an email from the Group Communications team linking to the audio file hosted on the intranet. Other communication channels include Update News, the quarterly staff newsletter, and biannual regional roadshows, which see the CEO and GFD travel around the regional offices in the weeks following the full-year and half-year City announcements to deliver a bespoke presentation to both site and office staff, supported by that region’s Managing Director. Each regional business also meets regularly with employee representatives to discuss matters that may impact staff. Two-way communication is encouraged across all employee engagement platforms and the whistleblowing policy and contact details are regularly promoted.

As at 31 December 2018, the Group directly employed 1,295 people (2017: 1,203). In common with the construction industry, the majority of our site-based population is employed by our subcontractors. We have expanded our apprenticeship programme to include office based and sales roles, whilst increasing numbers of onsite trade apprentices. We continued our customer service training, which included support from the Institute of Customer Service.

Finally, during 2018 a 100 years, 100 women event saw Bovis Homes employees from a range of backgrounds discuss what could be done to increase the number of women working in construction. The day included speeches from Lt Col Katie Hislop, who talked about her experiences as a female within the Armed Forces, and Jenny Herdman, the director for the Home Building Skills Partnership.

Director and employee profile

The following table shows the gender split within the Group as at 31 December 2018. In common with the construction industry, the majority of the workforce is male at 65.8% (2017: 64.5%). While a lower proportion of senior management and directors are female, the Group encourages and supports diversity, including gender. Bovis Homes gender pay gap report detailing performance and priorities is available on our website.

Analysis by role and gender

Role Female Male Total
Non-executive directors 2 4 6
Executive directors 0 2 2
Senior managers 3 20 24
Managers 77 166 243
Site and sales staff 129 411 540
Support staff 224 188 412
Apprentices 8 60 68
Total 443 852 1,295

Analysis by age

Age No. of employees %
< 21 years 60 4.6
21 – 30 years 246 19.0
31 – 40 years 292 22.5
41 – 50 years 329 25.4
51 – 60 years 278 21.5
>60 years 90 7.0
Total 1,295 100

Training

We have continued our investment in training during the year to ensure our employees are equipped to undertake the functions for which they are employed, and to provide the opportunity for career development equally and without discrimination.

All new starters attend the centralised company induction on their first day with the company, with personal emphasis on our values from the Chief Executive. They receive a welcome personally from a member of the ELT, followed by subject matter experts providing key information on subjects such as our values, HR, H&S, learning and development and IT. This is then complemented by regional and functional induction at the normal place of work from day two.

Training needs are identified against the Group’s H&S core training matrix and where there are role specific training requirements. Training needs are further discussed with individual employees as part of their probation and annual appraisal. In addition to this, training needs can be identified on other occasions, either by senior directors as a result of a change in business need, or as a result of an individual changing position or being promoted. The Group has an educational sponsorship policy to support employee’s personal development and will meet course expenses, including allowing day release, where appropriate.

Employees continue to receive regular training as a matter of course on topics such as health, safety and environmental matters, IT, management, sales and customer care. The sales training programme is embedded into normal business, further HR training for managers has evolved, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and information security training have been undertaken company-wide. A total of 4,505 training days were delivered during the year via our Group Learning & Development team (2017: 3,914), equivalent to 3.5 days per employee (2017: 3.1). Additional training is also arranged by our regional businesses where they identify specific needs.

We have a number of partnerships established that further enhance the training we’re able to offer our people. One such example is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who are supporting the development route to professional qualification for our surveying teams. We have also trained over 150 specialist contractor supervisors in SSSTS (Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme), making a clear demonstration of our commitment to our supply chain. Specialist contractors have also been included in mental health awareness training.

Furthermore, all directors and middle management have benefitted from a comprehensive residential leadership programme, which has been delivered by our own in-house team.

Our Apprenticeship scheme increased with 37 new apprentices joining (2017: 20).

Anti-corruption and anti-bribery

The Group is committed to high ethical, legal and moral standards and all members of staff are expected to share this commitment. The Group has adopted an anti-bribery and corruption policy and has procedures in place designed to prevent such issues from arising.

All subcontractors are made aware of our policies relating to anti-bribery and corruption and encouraged to adopt their own policies. Employees, subcontractors and others are encouraged to use our whistleblowing service to report any suspicion of bribery or corruption. In 2018 Bovis Homes heavily promoted the whistleblowing policy, which included matters relating to bribery, and corruption that were fully investigated. We now have a robust investigation process for all allegations, and we share lessons learned to the entire company, so our people appreciate that their concerns are listened to, and where appropriate action is taken.

All employees are subject to the Group’s corporate hospitality policy. Details of corporate hospitality are reviewed by the Audit Committee on a regular basis.

Priorities for 2019

  • Maintain 4 star for the HBF Customer Satisfaction Survey.
  • Improve employee retention through enhanced rewards and benefits offering, leadership training and employee wellbeing initiatives, together with a revised recruitment strategy to attract talented individuals.
  • Continued investment in IT to improve ways of working and employee experience.
  • Investment in training to support our change programmes including investment in new processes and systems.
  • Renaming our Whistleblowing policy to “Speak up” to enhance visibility.