Finding, supporting and developing great people throughout their Halfords journey
As indicated last year, 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 amaze our customers through their friendly expertise. To achieve this, we continue to invest heavily in our ‘Gears in Retail’, apprenticeship 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 in Retail’, 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 certification, career progression and increased pay awards. Our Performance Cycling division, which trades as Tredz, is undertaking a series of colleague training and development programmes. These include customer focused training for retail and call centre colleagues, offering apprenticeships for colleagues in business, administration, customer service, management and team leading. Those colleagues who complete these programmes achieve nationally recognised qualifications. In addition, those colleagues who work in our Cycle Republic stores also undertake store supplier training which is provided by various major cycling brands.
Halfords Autocentres runs, in conjunction with the Institute of Motor Industry (“IMI”), a number of Technical Training Courses that are designed to develop colleagues’ skills. Similar to Retail, it has its own version of the ‘Gears in Retail’ programme which supports colleagues’ development and rewards via a pay matrix. Autocentres has become the first organisation in 50 years to be authorised by the DVSA to train MOT Testers in-house. Autocentres has embarked on training its technicians in the latest Hybrid technology and has worked with the IMI to train 392 technicians in the IMI Hybrid Level 2 in Servicing.
We also run a series of Leadership Development programmes, called Aspire, to identify, nurture and develop colleagues across the Group. This continues our drive to develop and therefore promote from within.
We continue to invest in our apprenticeship programme in both our Retail and Autocentres businesses. In our Retail business, this continued investment has meant that since June 2017 all new starters in our shops are enrolled onto our Retail Level 2 Gears Apprenticeship Programme. And at Halfords Autocentres we have one of the largest apprenticeship schemes in light vehicle maintenance in the UK. We currently have 193 apprentices at differing stages of our three-year programme, and expect a further 100 to join in 2018.
We are committed to providing equality of opportunity to colleagues and potential colleagues. This applies to recruitment, training, career development and promotion for all colleagues, 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. There is a Group Diversity Policy which 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 being provided if necessary.
We have an established framework of communications, which provides colleagues with information on matters of concern to them and on overall 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 channels to share operational information.
A Whistleblowing Policy and supporting procedures enable colleagues to report concerns on matters affecting the Group or their employment, without fear of recrimination. In addition, we do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying in any aspects of our business operations. Appropriate and robust policies and procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with such matters.