Communicate openly and honestly with respect for our employees.
We are committed to keeping our workforce up to date with news about what’s happening in the business and across the North West.
We have a set of regular publications that do a great job of ensuring employees are kept informed, including our online news pages, quarterly magazine, weekly leadership webinars and briefing packs for our people managers.
We're always keen to receive feedback which we actively seek through all our communications.
We value the opinion of our workforce and source their feedback though an annual survey. This is measured by Willis Towers Watson, a leading provider in employee and engagement surveys throughout the UK. Company-wide and local action plans are then created in response.
In 2021 our engagement increased to 89% up from 84% in the previous year and all survey category scores increased from the last survey. We also had our highest response rate of 88% - this level of response rate is proven to have a strong correlation with high engagement. Strong engagement also lends itself to low employee attrition levels and that is reflected in our 4.5% employee turnover for 2020/21.
Back in 2020 employees told us, via that survey, that leadership and how we managed and implemented change, were key areas where we could continue to improve. These issues were especially important as we continued to change rapidly as a business, to meet customer expectations. In response, we invested time in up-skilling line managers to be more effective at leading people through changing times and prioritised leadership and line management support to those areas which needed it the most, based on survey results. We have seen improvement from this focused activity, our leadership score increased by 9% and scored above UK High Performance Norm benchmark.
In response to the pandemic, we adapted this year’s survey and introduced two new categories on Wellbeing and Working Differently to capture colleagues views and feelings on the company response to COVID. Both those new categories scored strongly, with 84% with employees feeling that UU had managed the response well and supported employees during the pandemic by adapting working practices; implementing additional health and safety provisions and increased communications.
As we now move out of the pandemic and reset working arrangements, aligned to Government guidance, we will continue to focus on supporting our employees with change including piloting some form of hybrid working for those roles where a flexible work location is appropriate.