Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in our 2020 staff survey.
Your feedback helps us identify areas where we can improve. It also allows us to celebrate areas and people where we are ‘going beyond’.
The scores showed that staff overall feel even more positively about the company than in 2019, which is great. 76% of responders said they would definitely recommend working for VGC to a friend or colleague.
Areas consistently complimented include communication, safety, and the way VGC looks after staff. There were also some areas where you suggested improvements. Thank you for these. We have already made some changes, and continue to look for ways to make working for VGC even better.
Remember you don’t have to wait for a survey to give feedback.
If you have ideas, suggestions, or opportunities for improvement, we want to hear them.
People said VGC communicates often, clearly, and respectfully with staff. Responses were particularly positive about how we kept everyone informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We adapted our communications when lockdown started in March last year, publishing daily briefings as we all got to grips with the situation.
Thanks to the IT rollout, MS Teams helps employees working from home and at more remote offices to keep in touch with colleagues.
When it was hard for people to deliver safety briefings in person, we created videos of the monthly Be Safe brief. The video plus text versions make it easier for everyone to access safety messages.
Of course, good communication is two-way. We launched the innovation portal in March 2020 as a way for everyone to submit ideas for improvements. A number of submissions have been taken forward and it’s great to see employee ideas being put into action… but we want to hear more! So please go to vgcgroup.co.uk/ideas if you have a suggestion on how we could make your experience at work better, or improve our service to clients.
Safety and wellbeing
Both office and site-based staff agreed that VGC takes safety seriously, and that staff wellbeing is important to VGC.
The survey showed that you want this to continue, particularly with mental health. Our new wellbeing steering group is leading a programme of learning and awareness events throughout 2021. These include new toolbox talks (eg sleep and fatigue) and social media campaigns (eg stress awareness month).
We have 10 mental health first aiders and 20 mental health ambassadors on sites and in offices. The Construction Industry Helpline is available 24/7 to anyone who wants advice on wellbeing or other issues (0345 605 1956). We also recently introduced an Employee Assistance Programme for office-based staff.
If you need support, please fill in the support request form.
Just like last year, lots of staff thanked our payroll team for paying wages on time, and for being friendly and helpful.
Plans are under way to upgrade our payroll system. That will make it easier to access information you may need.
The survey asked about how people are managed at VGC. Over 90% of responders agreed or strongly agreed that their manager or supervisor sets clear expectations, has time for them, trusts them to get on with their job and is a good role model.
However, the quality and regularity of feedback given by managers didn’t score quite as highly. So we’re developing our managers’ skills with training funded by the CITB.
In December and January, managers from across the business took part in workshops to develop their skills in conversations about performance and development. Areas covered included how to give constructive feedback, effective listening and questioning, and how to set good quality objectives. The training helps managers to have meaningful conversations about development, at annual PDP (personal development plan) meetings and throughout the year.
Our leadership and management training started being rolled out to office senior managers in April 2021. And site supervisors will begin development programmes in summer 2021.
Some office staff suggested that more could be done to welcome new joiners. We are now using Teams to introduce office-based starters, and have changed our induction materials to include photos of key people to help them learn who’s who.
During 2020, we started to publish regular video recruitment updates with labour solutions and personnel roles. These recruitment videos have had more than 20,000 views and helped us to continue to grow VGC despite coronavirus.
We’ve started to review all our onboarding processes for new colleagues. We are looking at everything, from the recruitment process to getting people set up with the right equipment and access, to ensuring each new person gets a tailored induction.
Site staff felt VGC does a good job of providing relevant training and ensuring tickets are kept up to date.
Developing our workforce is still a priority for us. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, VGC invested over £150,000 in training during 2020. We put 18 people through the NVQ level 3 in Occupational Work Supervisor and NVQ level 4 in Construction Site Supervisor. This gives them the right to apply for a gold CSCS card. These qualifications are an excellent opportunity to build their career, as well as progress to new pay levels.
It was mentioned that it would be good if site staff could access the VGC Academy personal development modules, as well as office-based employees. Although coronavirus caused some delays to our training schedule, we plan to hold our first core development courses for site supervisors in summer 2021.
Since the VGC Academy launched in autumn 2019, around a third of our office staff have completed both the foundation and intermediate modules. We recently started rolling out the management and leadership programme. This will increase skills in mentoring, coaching, empowering teams and managing conflict. The performance and development review (PDP) process has highlighted more technical training requirements too, and the HR team is currently creating a training plan for these.
Remember that you can access all the free e-learning from the Supply Chain Sustainability School. Make sure you register as a member of VGC staff. The system should link your learning to your file, but you may want to send a copy of your completion certificate to HR [firstname.lastname@example.org] to be certain.
Some people felt we could promote our successes more. We encourage everyone to share good news stories and examples of people going the extra mile. The Go Beyond staff awards are an excellent way of doing this – nominate any time at vgcgroup.co.uk/award. We were delighted to see many nominations (and a number of wins) from on-site staff for the 2020 awards. It would be great to have even more in 2021!