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Developing, rewarding and retaining our colleagues, ensuring they are fully engaged to drive our long-term sustainable growth ambitions.

c.10,200

Number of Colleagues

420

Number of colleagues graduated to management roles

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.

Colleague serving customer
Colleague working on bike

Equal opportunities for all

We are committed to providing equality of opportunity to colleagues and potential colleagues.

This applies to recruitment, training, career development and promotion, regardless of physical ability, gender, sexual orientation or gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religious beliefs, age, nationality or ethnic origin.

Full and fair consideration is given to employment applications by people with disabilities wherever suitable opportunities exist, having regard to their particular aptitudes and abilities. Our Group Diversity Policy is reviewed annually by the Board and training and career development support is provided where appropriate.

Should a colleague become disabled, efforts are made to ensure their continued employment with the Group, with retraining provided if necessary.

Always talking

Excellent colleague communication is key for us.

We have an established framework of internal communication channels which seek to inform, engage and inspire – both on matters of concern to colleagues, plus wider business performance.

We seek to encourage the engagement of every colleague to ensure the delivery of the Board’s commitment to high standards of customer care and service provision. This includes a programme of regular conferences to share progress, strategy and direction; a monthly magazine for all Group colleagues; team meetings known as ‘huddles’; a weekly blog from the Chief Executive Officer, as well as Intranet and interactive Yammer channels to share operational information and drive positive culture.

Importantly, this coming year, representation of our colleagues’ views on the Board will become the responsibility of our Non-Executive Director, Helen Jones.

Whistleblowing

We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying in any aspects of our business operations. A Whistleblowing Policy and supporting procedures enable colleagues to report concerns on matters affecting the Group or their employment, without fear of recrimination. Appropriate and robust policies and procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with such matters.

Driving for diversity

We recognise the value that diversity brings.

Our focus remains on increasing the overall number of women at Halfords - and to increase the number appointed and promoted into more senior roles.

Disappointingly, despite our efforts across the training and recruitment process, the overall number of women has fallen as a percentage of the total workforce this year, from 27% to 23%.

More positively, we have increased the percentage of women on the Board from 33% to 50% and in the Senior Management Team from 26% to 37.5%.

Case Study Halfords Group signed the Armed Forces Covenant in February 2019

Armed forces

We offer guaranteed interviews to service leavers and reservists for all roles where candidates meet the minimum requirements.

We also support service leavers and reservists by recruiting through the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), offering ten days additional unpaid leave for reservists and a range of discounts for those serving in the Armed Forces.

As a result we are now a Bronze Level employer in the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme, with plans to reach Silver Level soon.

Digital Product Owner, Charlotte, joined Halfords last March and balances her role optimising the customer journey on our website with her duties as a Royal Navy Reservist.

She has leveraged the skills learned as a Reservist to help improve her confidence in delivering presentations, coaching and decision making. It means our commitment to the Covenant is beneficial to our colleagues and our business.

It’s great to work for a company that is supportive of my Reservist activities. The Armed Forces is a family, but it feels like I have joined another one in Halfords.
Charlotte

Diversity

Total Women

Women on the Board

Women in Senior Management Team

Case Study Our Work Continues to Support Offenders

Supporting offenders

Halfords works across two locations at HMP Onley, near Rugby, and HMP Drake Hall, Staffordshire.

As the UK continues to battle high reoffending rates, with 83% of former prisoners remaining jobless a year after release, we want to increase the talent pool, lower the cost of reoffending and contribute to the creation of safer communities for all.

The Halfords Academy at HMP Drake Hall offers participants the opportunity to train as cycle mechanics, creating the prospect of steady employment and a chance to put their past firmly behind them. The programme can be tailored for each participant, with an added focus on mechanics, customer services or retail.

Fully supported by Halfords colleagues, participants are subject to the same high standards of training as colleagues in Halfords shops. Even though women only constitute approximately 5% of the total prison population, research has shown that a gender-sensitive approach with a focused and targeted effort can lead to a significant reduction in their reoffending rates.

We are delighted to be offering potentially life-transforming opportunities to those who need them most.