A great and improving place to work
Last year, we celebrated our position at number 9 in ‘The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies To Work For’. This year, we are delighted to have remained in the Top 25 and to be one of only three retailers on the list.
Separately, our own annual Colleague Engagement Survey this year revealed that 96% of our people understand how their work contributes to our collective success, 93% feel trusted to do their job, and 90% feel their manager treats them with respect.
From best-in-class training and career development, to driving positive change to our gender pay gap, our commitment to colleague well-being is evidenced by a year of multiple achievements and awards.
- Our in-house training and development academies clocked-up a landmark 11,000 days of upskilling to over 5,000 colleagues since their launch in 2015.
- Our gender pay gap is below the national average, with our mean hourly rate for women being 5.52% less than men.
- We won the coveted Princess Royal Training Award, an accreditation awarded in conjunction with City & Guilds to organisations that demonstrate that they have created a lasting impact through delivering skills development which drives business performance.
- We were presented with a commemorative plaque from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Training for our contribution to their organisation.
Finding, supporting and developing great people throughout their Halfords journey
We aim to be an inclusive employer of choice: giving colleagues equal opportunities to prosper within rewarding and inspiring teams.
We strive to ensure all colleagues enjoy their work and have opportunities to consistently inspire and support our customers through their ‘super-specialist’ expertise. To achieve this, we continue to invest heavily in our technical and leadership development programmes and actively look for ways in which we can promote and increase the diversity of our workforce.
We aim to meet business objectives by motivating and encouraging all colleagues to be responsive to the needs of our customers and continually improve operational performance. This aim is delivered through a range of structured training and development programmes, such as ‘Gears’, where Retail colleagues progress through a structured series of e-learning, technical workshops, one-on-one coaching and shop floor experience modules and are then recognised for their success through career progression and increased pay awards.
Tredz, is undertaking a series of colleague training and development programmes. These include supporting line managers to continuously develop their leadership skills.
In addition, those colleagues who work in our Cycle Republic stores also benefit from supplier training provided by various major cycling brands.
In our Retail business, our apprenticeships are run in-house by our Ofsted-graded ‘Good’ apprenticeship team. In FY19 all new eligible starters in our shops were enrolled onto our Retail Level 2 Gears Apprenticeship Programme. We currently have 1,069 apprentices completing their apprenticeships.
Our ‘Gears in Retail’ qualification programme plays a key role in enabling colleagues to achieve industry-recognised qualifications. They are rewarded as they progress ‘through the gears’, by gaining experience and qualifications.
All new colleagues complete Gear 1 within their first three months. Gear 2 is a programme leading to an expert level of specialist knowledge in either Auto and Leisure or Cycling.
Colleagues can also complete Gear 3 if nominated which gives them ‘technician’ status in either Auto or Cycling and enables them to complete complex fits and repairs. We are delighted that 710 colleagues have now trained to Gear 3 level.
Our established training programmes aside, we also continually enhance and update. This year we delivered additional ‘Customer First’ training to all of our store management and customer service colleagues. The same training was rolled-out to Support Centre colleagues engaged in the customer experience and in driving up customer satisfaction.
We also continue to train colleagues on new products and services, for example E-Bikes and scooters.
Meanwhile, Halfords Autocentres runs a number of technical training courses in conjunction with the Institute of Motor Industry (“IMI”) designed to develop colleagues’ skills.
A total of 246 colleagues have achieved the IMI’s DVSA MOT tester accreditation with a further 140 on track for FY20. Responding to the increasing relevance of electric and hybrid technology, 553 colleagues gained the IMI’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Level 2 accreditation, with a further 250 scheduled to follow the same path in FY20.
Autocentres is also proud to have one of the largest light vehicle maintenance apprenticeship schemes in the UK, with 178 apprentices at differing stages of our three-year programme. We expect a further 100 to join in 2019.
For colleagues further along their Halfords journey, we run our ‘Aspire’ series of leadership programmes designed to identify, nurture and develop colleagues across the Group.
A guided learning suite that offers individuals the opportunity to take their careers further and become leaders, Aspire has enabled 420 colleagues to graduate to new roles as an Assistant Manager or a Store Manager.
Additionally, our ‘Aspire to Assistant’ and ‘Aspire to Store Manager’ programmes are mapped retrospectively to level 3 and level 4 apprenticeship programmes, meaning our colleagues achieve a formal qualification as part of their programme. 195 colleagues are currently completing their management apprenticeships.
An additional benefit is that the vast majority of store manager vacancies are filled internally, reflecting our permanent desire to develop and promote from within.