The Group is committed to involving and communicating with its employees effectively. It does this by utilising various channels, such as regular quarterly briefing sessions, the Group intranet and Group briefing calls.
For the fourth year running, the Company has undertaken an employee engagement survey to understand how employees feel about their role, how well they are communicated with and the direction of the Group. We are pleased to say we had a tremendous response rate, with over 94% of employees undertaking the survey, and that the overall engagement score has improved again to 83.3%. The output from the survey is used to inform future engagement driving activity across the Group.
National Living Wage
We are already building the implications of the living wage into our expansion plans in our managed business. In the short-term this will have a small impact given the numbers of managed houses in the portfolio but as that increases we will continue with our labour investment. Paying the living wage supports our aim of attracting and retaining great people to operate our businesses and it will reduce staff turnover and improve motivation and productivity. Retaining employees enables us to improve service standards by providing on-going training and through engaged and motivated teams. This also supports the Group’s objectives of offering career development by internal progression opportunities and recognised industry qualifications.
At Ei Group plc we believe in equality and are confident that men and women are paid equally for equivalent work across the business and we have tested that principle to ensure it is so.
Click here to read our Gender Pay Statement by Simon Townsend, Chief Executive Officer.
We are committed to equal opportunities and the creation of an entirely non-discriminatory working environment. The aim of our diversity policy is to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment because of, amongst other matters, gender, marital status, race, age, sexual preference, religion, belief or disability. All decisions are based on the merits of the individual concerned. The Group is dedicated to undertaking its business operations in a way that respects individual human rights, treats individuals with dignity and allows freedom of association.
We give full consideration to applications for employment from disabled persons where the requirements of the job can be adequately fulfilled by people with disabilities. We endeavour to retain the employment of, and arrange suitable retraining for, any employee who becomes disabled during their employment as well as providing training, career development and promotion to disabled employees wherever appropriate.
Reward and Recognition
Ei group offers a flexible benefits scheme to employees, which allows them to choose from a selection of benefits to better suit their individual lifestyle. The benefits include cycle to work scheme, leisure club membership, private medical and dental insurance, flexible holiday benefits, a health screening service and a childcare voucher scheme. Over half of our employees have opted to join at least one available scheme. In addition, the Group supports the provision of a confidential employee assistance programme.
Management Development Programme
In 2015 we launched our internal Management Development Programme (MDP). The MDP has been developed to support employees who want to progress into senior leadership roles within the business.
The programme was delivered over a 12 month period and consisted of a number of internally and externally delivered courses covering topics such as impact and influencing, employee engagement and presentation skills. Alongside these, each delegate worked on a strategically aligned business project which culminated in a presentation to our Executive Management Group. Feedback from delegates included; “I have found the experience thoroughly beneficial to not only how I work, but how I interact with other employees, departments and customers. The content has been both refreshing and motivational and I would definitely recommend this to other employees looking to develop in their current role.”
Encouraging wellbeing at work
We encourage our people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Ei group offers the opportunity to benefit from discounted membership through national and local gyms and leisure centres.
We have a popular 'bike to work' scheme whereby we contribute to the purchase price of a bike to use to come to work.
We offer private medical and dental insurance, a health screening service and a confidential Employee Assistance Programme.
Our employee and visitor restaurant menus are regularly reviewed to make sure healthy options are always available.
Investors in people
In recognition of our employment policies, we have attained the prestigious accolade of Investors in People Champion.
The Group's employment policies and procedures are described in detail in its Staff Handbook, which is available to all employees on its intranet. This handbook takes account of relevant employment legislation and best practice. New policies, procedures and related training are developed as required. The Group's anti-bribery and corruption code of conduct sets out how Group employees, publicans and suppliers must act to ensure that our zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption is upheld.
We are committed to training and developing all of our colleagues. We place great importance on developing skills and potential in order to support our colleagues, harness talent and drive business performance. Wherever possible we endeavour to fill our vacancies through internal progression. Training is provided in a number of ways, through on the job coaching, formal training courses, e-learning, coaching and mentoring. We also sponsor a number of our colleagues in studying for appropriate professional qualifications.
In recognition of our internal development we have achieved Development Partner status with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Approved Employer status with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). We are currently trialling internal apprenticeships at our head office and intend to implement an apprenticeship scheme within our managed estate.
Emphasis is placed on effective communication regarding matters that may affect employees and the overall performance of the Group. Employee engagement is met through a variety of means, including regular briefings and team meetings. The Group's internal information portal is also widely used to ensure employees are regularly updated on developments and news; feedback is encouraged. In addition, the Group regularly publishes "Deals & Ideas" which contains items of news, current affairs and information relevant to employees and publicans.
All-employee Share schemes
We encourage employee ownership of Company shares through the provision of a Save As You Earn scheme in which 168 employees have entered into savings contracts, at the end of which they are entitled to purchase shares at a 20% discount to the market price of the shares at the time of the issue of the options. We also have the Share Incentive Plan in which 206 employees have purchased shares out of pre-tax income up to statutory limits that are held in a trust. The Company currently offers matching share awards to employees purchasing shares in accordance with the Share Incentive Plan.