As part of our drive to ensure awareness amongst our employees of what the PRI expects of them, the PRI used a cross section of staff across the organisation to devise a set of company values that describe the qualities it expects all its staff to show. These values are displayed publicly on the recruitment page of our website.
Principles driven: The Principles underpin our work and provide an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable society.
Authenticity: We are true to our organisation, its mission and ourselves.
Cooperation: We work together constructively with mutual respect and enthusiasm.
Openness: We welcome diversity and expect transparency in our activities.
Empowerment: We support and encourage each other to perform to the best of our abilities.
Responsibility: We take ownership for our actions and outcomes.
The PRI’s investor guide to engaging companies on employee relations (focused on the retail sector but applicable more broadly) identifies tried-and-tested questions to ask companies under three topics: employee engagement, employee training and employee turnover. The PRI is thus reporting on its own personnel strategy and performance against these three groups.
The PRI runs extensive employee engagement and satisfaction surveys every two years.
PRI staff reporting overall approval with the PRI:
...against a target of 60%.
We took action on two key themes emerging from the June 2015 survey:
Action: Redesigned performance measurement - more quantitative and more transparent
These 360 results and performance scores are used to determine overall performance, which is then used in considering salary reviews and promotions, and in assessing skills gaps and development needs.
Action: Salary benchmarking
We benchmarked all salaries across the organisation to ensure that, in the interests of employees and signatories alike, we are paying fair market rates. For full transparency, these benchmarks were shared with individuals as part of their performance review and career planning.
Action: Increasing resources
As a result of strong feedback from employees on a need for further support and development, and this being a central tenet of employees’ level of engagement, more funds have been allocated to the learning and development budget. (More details below).
In 2015/16 we increased spending per head to £921, from about £550 the previous year and compared to a UK median of £201-£250*. To further drive not just engagement but capability within the organisation, we will increase this further next year to a projected £1,204**.
By far the largest proportion of spending, 61%, was on knowledge acquisition (content-related learning), followed by 21% on aptitude (e.g. IT or project management training), 10% on education (formal qualifications e.g. CIMA, IMC), 7% on communication (e.g. business writing, presentation skills) and 1% on professional membership fees.
**excluding management development programme
Learning and development spend by activity:
*M = Membership:1%
Commensurate with a dramatic improvement in employee approval ratings, 2015/16 has seen extremely low voluntary employee turnover: at March 2016, voluntary turnover was just 3.1% (one voluntary leaver), down from 19.4% a year earlier and a high of 25% in July 2014.*
*2014/15 UK median was 13.6% (http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/resourcing-talent-planning_2015.pdf)
While the PRI strives to retain its staff, employee turnover gives opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills, and drives innovation. The current very low level of turnover is exceptional, especially given our age demographics, and we can and should expect this to increase. Our target for this year was 15%.
Three quarters of PRI staff are 40 or under. We are actively working to broaden our age profile and continue to recruit senior staff in key roles at all levels of the organisation.
For some roles, the PRI is in direct competition with the financial services industry for talent. To attract these candidates, we are mindful of our offering, including the total reward and benefits package, and undertake organisation-wide benchmarking to ensure our offering is competitive.
While the PRI is a small organisation, we actively look for opportunities to develop and promote staff from within the organisation, including via secondments.
As well as ensuring new hires in relevant roles are strong managers, we offer comprehensive management coaching and training programmes for existing staff to strengthen management capabilities at all levels.
Being mission-driven allows us to attract good talent: people are motivated to join the PRI because our mission resonates with their personal values. We celebrate this and maximise opportunities for individuals to witness the impact of their work.
Decentralisation outside London affords all of our staff opportunities to add an international dimension to their career, an increasingly important element of retention for younger generations in particular.