These values were developed by our people and are the guiding principles by which we work with our customers, our suppliers, our communities and each other. They are the bedrock of our Stronger Together vision and we bring them to life in everything we do.

Developing our people

We recognise that developing our people's skills and expertise is the right thing for them, for us and for our customers.

This starts when people join SIG. Across our Group, new joiners attend a local induction programme that familiarises them with our history, culture, values and strategy. This is an important part of embedding our Stronger Together ethos across the Group.

Throughout people's careers, our Performance Development Review (PDR) process ensures all managers and employees know what is expected of them in their roles and that performance is measured and managed. It also provides an opportunity for employees to discuss their career aspirations with their manager, set development plans and take action on those plans during the year. We continue to support the development of our managers with regional training on how to conduct an effective performance review and over 80% of our colleagues now benefit from an annual, and sometimes bi-annual review.

In addition to our PDR process, we identify people with potential for growth through our annual talent review. In 2016 we worked with the leaders of all business areas to make sure we are identifying both our high performers and also our high-potential employees, with a view to developing them through on-the-job experience, projects, international assignments and coaching or mentoring from internal and external managers.

In particular, we are supporting the development of our high-potential employees through our new RISE programme, which was launched this year. This programme draws together our high-potential middle managers on an 18-month development programme that will:

  • Create a cohort of leaders equipped to drive the strategic growth of SIG.
  • Embed a stronger culture of collaboration and understanding across the Group.
  • Accelerate the development of high-potential managers, ensuring that we significantly improve our talent pipeline and support succession plans.

Of course, we also continue to invest significantly in the training and development of employees at all levels. For example, we are investing in e-learning to give more of our people access to convenient and efficient learning opportunities and we continue to develop our language skills across the Group.

Developing our people

Developing world-class talent

2016 was a successful year for Aisling Hyland, one of our Group Finance team members

After studying for her accountancy qualification for three years, Aisling scored the joint highest mark in the world in one of her last papers – the P5 Advanced Performance Management exam.

To mark this outstanding achievement, Aisling was presented with a special Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Global Prize Winner award.

Thanks to her dedication to studying and the on-the-job learning she has gained at SIG, Aisling is now a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

"Studying while working full time can be really demanding, but I've had lots of support from SIG," explains Aisling. "The Company has paid for my exams and tuition courses, and I've been able to take some study leave each year. Everyone in Group Finance has really encouraged me, too. There's always been someone willing to help if I've had a question or needed advice."

Aisling

Andy Cawley, Director of UK shared services, UK accounts, congratulates Aisling on her ACCA award

Bogumila wins SIG gold

Award

Bogumila receives her award from Marcin Szczygieł, Managing Director – SIG Poland

Bogumila Czernecka, Health & Safety Manager in SIG Poland, was among 11 Gold Award winners in our 2016 SIG Awards. Bogumila was recognised in the Zero Harm category, impressing the judges with her innovative approach to improving health and safety across our Polish business. Alongside other initiatives, she launched a national competition to find the safest SIG branch in Poland, encouraging branch workers and drivers to share best practice and ideas about health and safety. She also introduced state-of-the-art training for lorry and company car drivers which covered emergency braking, avoiding obstacles and even a simulation of an overturning car. This led to a 50% reduction both in traffic accidents and in insurance premiums. Bogumila's health and safety bulletin complemented these initiatives by regularly providing practical tips about workplace risks and how to avoid them. Overall, Bogumila's efforts have helped to halve the number of accidents in SIG Poland since 2013.

Growing our talent

Finding and developing talented people as they begin their careers is key to our future success.

Apprenticeships

Apprentices continue to be a great source of fresh talent for our business. We remain committed to supporting the early careers and development of young people as they come into our business through a variety of local apprenticeship schemes. In 2016, 35 apprentices joined us – 13 in the UK and 22 in Germany.

Graduates

Our International Graduate Programme is now well established within the Group, with nine new recruits joining the scheme in 2016. While we continue to recruit graduates into specific functional areas on a country-by-country basis, the international programme provides successful applicants with insight and exposure across our UK & Ireland and Mainland European businesses. The two-year programme is for high-calibre people who are capable of developing into our future leaders. It involves four rotations in different business areas and five extensive development modules.

Alongside our internal work with graduates, we supported Enactus as a Gold Sponsor. Enactus is a community of students, academics and business leaders that develops outreach projects to improve the lives of people across the world.

Internal communications

We recognise the importance of two-way communication with our people. Normally, we begin with our senior leaders, reaching them through regular broadcast calls, email bulletins, e-zines and face-to-face briefings. Those leaders take responsibility for cascading messages to their teams via emails and team meetings so that they can gather feedback along the way. As well as this cascade process, we use intranet articles, posters, mailings and information booklets to keep people informed.

In 2016, our 'Road to 2020' roadshows brought our senior leaders face-to-face with managers from across the Group to discuss our strategy and direction. Ideas generated in these sessions were then incorporated into our forward planning. Operational employees also get the chance to talk to our leaders through regular "Meet the Group Executive Committee" events and our annual programme of local roadshows.

Of course, communication between our people is crucial too. The ongoing upgrade of our email system is enabling us to explore new collaboration tools so that we can continue to work stronger together in the future.

Finally, our performance review process for employees facilitates meaningful two-way communication. See "Developing our people" for more information about this.

Engaged employees

SIG Listens is our employee engagement survey. It gives our people the chance to tell us what we are doing well and how we can improve, to make SIG an even better place to work.

Throughout 2016, we have focused on the areas for improvement that were highlighted in our last survey in 2015. For example, the 2015 results told us that our people wanted greater clarity about our vision and strategy. In response, we ran our 'Road to 2020' roadshows with managers across the Group and provided them with materials to help cascade information about our future direction to their teams. We have also used intranet articles and e-zines to keep employees up-to-date about progress on our strategy. The SIG Listens results also told us that we could improve the way we recognise the performance of our people and celebrate success. So, we introduced the Values in Practice (ViP) recognition scheme in the UK, alongside our Group-wide SIG Awards (see "Recognising outstanding performance" for more details).

As well as these large-scale initiatives, managers across the Group have held focus groups to understand more about their teams' views and have put local action plans in place in our various countries of operation as a result. These are receiving positive feedback from our employees and are having an impact locally.

We plan to run the next SIG Listens survey in the second half of 2017.

Recognising outstanding performance

Recognising excellent performance and celebrating success is part of our culture.

Our annual, Group-wide SIG Awards give our leaders the chance to nominate employees at all levels who have gone the extra mile for SIG. The awards are presented by our senior leaders and the winners are celebrated through newsletters and intranet articles.

This year, our UK business also introduced the Values in Practice (ViP) recognition programme. This enables our people to recognise colleagues who have demonstrated our values and is especially important as it involves peer-to-peer nominations. We aim to roll out ViP further across the Group in 2017.

Employee benefits

We take a fair and consistent approach to both fixed and variable pay, which is regularly benchmarked both externally and internally.

Our bonus schemes are designed to reward exceptional performance. For our Senior Leadership population, the bonus operates to an aligned framework across the Group, specifically focusing on Group-wide deliverables and outcomes. Bonus awards are also made in the local operating businesses aligned to local performance results. These are key in driving and rewarding performance at this level.

We also encourage our employees to become Shareholders in the Company. At the senior level, we operate a Long Term Incentive Plan. Across our UK business we operate a Share Incentive Plan ("SIP") that gives one matching share for each share purchased by the employee up to a maximum of £20 per month. As at 31 December 2016, there were 1,010 employees participating in the SIP.

SIG implemented the UK Government's National Living Wage from 1 April 2016, going beyond the legal requirement and adopting the rate for all employees aged 21 and above. This reflects our commitment to becoming an employer of choice and proactively rewarding our people.

The requirement to report on gender pay will apply from 6 April 2017. The Group will take its first snapshot of pay data on 5 April 2017 and publish it by 4 April 2018.

Board Members

71%

Male

29%

Female

Senior Managers

87%

Male

13%

Female

All Employees

79%

Male

21%

Female

Equal opportunities

Our policy is to provide equal opportunities to all existing and prospective employees. Across the Group, we recognise that our reputation is dependent upon fair and equitable treatment of all our employees and we prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, nationality or ethnic origin. Employment opportunities are equally available to all.

We value diversity of thinking and see this as critical in generating new ideas and innovative solutions for our customers. Employment opportunities are available to disabled persons in accordance with their abilities and aptitudes on equal terms with other employees. If an employee becomes disabled during employment, we make every effort to enable them to continue in employment by making reasonable adjustments in the workplace and providing retraining for alternative work where necessary.

Gender diversity

At 31 December 2016, across the total workforce, 2,188 (21%) of all employees were female and 8,195 (79%) were male. Two Board members (29%) were female and five Board members (71%) were male. Ten senior managers (13%) were female and 66 senior managers (87%) were male. SIG continues to work towards improving its workforce diversity and this will be an ongoing area of focus in 2017.