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Employer of the Year: Winner

Winner: Novus Property Solutions

As a maintenance business, Novus Property Solutions’ 1,000 employees are very much the face of the company, dealing directly with customers on a daily basis.

The company’s mission statement, “to continually exceed expectations through quality, safely delivered by a professional, experienced, well-trained workforce”, is reflected in its approach to its employees’ recruitment, retention and development.

Previously known as Seddon Property Services and part of the Seddon Group, Novus has been a standalone company since 2013.

It describes its culture as ‘the Novus way’ – which is based on being a national business built on family values.

The company believes the best people are to be found locally, and more than 90 per cent of its staff are locally employed.

The company continues to work to improve diversity, with its recruits including ex-offenders, the long-term unemployed and the homeless. 

Novus runs a number of staff development programmes including Stars of the Future, which offers those about to become first-time managers mentoring from strategic operations managers, and a scholarship programme that has put 20 employees through leadership development and mentoring by the company’s MDs in preparation for board-level positions.

All staff have personal development and training plans, there is a graduate programme and the company has trained 131 apprentices over the last three years. More than 90 per cent of Novus’s apprentices continue their careers with the business.

“Everything they put in place is industry-leading. Progressive and forward-looking, they recognised what they need to do to be and remain the employer of choice”

Judges’ comment

Staff are eligible for a number of awards and rewards and are encouraged to communicate via the Employee Representative Committee.

Novus benchmarks salaries and benefits and takes its CSR seriously, offering staff the opportunity to give back to the community in the UK and provide help further afield, such as taking a trip to help transform educational facilities in South Africa.

Novus takes a proactive approach to talent mapping – identifying skills it will need in the future – and to succession planning – all too rare in a family business.

The judges were also impressed with Novus’s attitude and approach to health and safety.

The results of all Novus’s efforts and initiatives are clear: the company has seen turnover rise from £96m in 2013 to £112m in 2014, profits are up and – perhaps the greatest testament to the strength of its workforce culture – repeat business makes up 70 per cent of the company’s work.

Highly Commended: Tamdown Group

Tamdown stood out because of its evident commitment to providing the very best training and development possible.

It has invested heavily and in 2014 added a bespoke business development degree to its existing graduate programme, future talent programme, apprenticeship programme, site training bursary and performance development reviews.

With a view to future growth, succession planning, staff retention and individual employee development, Tamdown decided that not only would it fully fund a three-year business management degree for 12 selected staff members, but that it would work with Anglia Ruskin University to develop a bespoke degree.

The course has an element of work-placed activity so employees are able to remain focused on their job role, along with the flexibility of being able to study when it suits them via the university’s distance learning platform.

Many of the senior management team are mentors for the programme and the company chairman was heavily involved in the design and implementation of the course.

Finalists

CGL

Elliott Wood

Lagan Construction Group

Paragon Interiors Group

Simons Group

VGC Group

 

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