Social Value & Covid-19 Recovery
The aim is to help local communities manage and recover from the impact of Covid-19. It includes providing support for people to return to work, engaging with local businesses, and supporting people’s physical and mental health needs.
Our community: Blackburn, Lancashire
Granby has been an employer in Blackburn for more than two decades, when we moved from our HQ in Manchester to facilities in Lancashire that would help us grow. We have roots here now. Family. Friends. Community.
This Social Value theme is a great opportunity to ensure we’re doing all we can to help our area – and local people – prosper. We’ve incorporated the ethos of this theme into our general employment strategy.
Below are some examples of how we’re meeting the requirements of the theme, plus insight into how we measure the effectiveness of our policy against its requirements.
Snap insights 2021-22
- Granby created 28 new roles
- 90% of our employees are from Blackburn with Darwen
- We supported Blackburn Youth Zone charity to the tune of over £2,000
- We supported 15 apprentices through the Kickstart scheme
- We created 3 new full time positions for graduate Kickstarters
- 3 more successfully completed their apprenticeships
Granby as an employer in Blackburn
We’re a conscientious employer within a community where some areas are in the top 10% most deprived in England with the 9th highest child poverty rates. Data published in Focus on: Employment and Jobs (2018) by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council showed a challenging employment picture, even pre-pandemic:
- 8.4% of the population claimed Universal Credit
- There are around 66,000 employee jobs
- 22,000 are part time, higher than the national rate
- A decrease in skilled jobs since 2007
While currently we don’t have local figures that take the pandemic into account, we know nationally, to February 2022, that:
“The UK employment rate was largely unchanged on the quarter at 75.5%, but still below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels”
– Office for National Statistics, Labour market overview, UK: April 2022
Employment, re-training and return to work (some examples)
- Create as many new roles as possible from the local community for any projects we are involved in.
- Implement best employment practices, which are aligned with the good work plan and are audited annually by Investors in People.
- Always aim to promote from within and invite internal applications for all vacancies that exist.
- Utilise our relationship with Blackburn College to empower and encourage employees to take vocational courses, and to provide apprenticeships across various departments.
- Provide training and other courses requested via our employee annual reviews.
- We employ people for fixed term contracts, which often lead to long term permanent contracts. We don’t employ zero hours agency staff.
Workplace Conditions (some examples)
- We’ve introduced various changes to workplace conditions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including social distancing in offices and public spaces, and working from home for office staff.
- Regular staff surveys to ascertain their feelings about how safe they feel at work as well as an open invitation to air concerns.
- Poster, newsletter and email campaigns aimed at reducing Covid anxiety, loneliness, stress and health.
- Daily temperature tests, absence notification and regular Covid tests are all conducted and results analysed to assess the need for any changes in shift patterns, team sizes or resource requirements.
- Absences are analysed for trends in an attempt to prevent any possible Covid outbreaks before they take place.
Granby employees as a diverse workforce
- Blackburn is home to around 150,000 people from many ethnic backgrounds
- 66% of the population identified as white British (2011 Census)
- 34% are from Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Caribbean, Polish, Eastern European, African, Arab and Bangladeshi backgrounds (2011 Census)
- BAME communities have been particularly affected by the Covid pandemic
Supporting people and community recovery (some examples)
- Flexible working patterns and direct, open communication channels where staff are able to make us aware of any requirements around Covid-19, including time off to care for members of their community.
- Through our relationship with Blackburn college, we have sponsored around 50 people (to date) to attain basic English language skills.
- Many languages are spoken throughout the business and we also bring in translators if required for any kind of meeting, including interviews.
- We hold social events throughout the year and encourage staff families to attend – these are popular and bring our diverse communities together. Money raised goes to our employees’ chosen charity for the year.
Health and reduced demand on public services (some examples)
- A member of our leadership team has passed a mental health awareness course and is available to any member of staff as a resource to discuss and establish ways to resolve issues.
- Multiple measures to safeguard against staff contracting and spreading COVID-19, including the provision of sanitation at stations across the site, masks, face guards, split break times and shifts, and frequent updates.
- Staff are encouraged to suggest ideas and solutions and regular feedback is taken in the form of staff surveys regarding safety at work.
Granby as a powerful partner in the supply chain
Supporting organisations and businesses to recover (some examples)
- Using local suppliers and expertise, allowing lower transport costs, a better understanding of the local market, and the opportunity to develop further employment options in the local area.
- Incorporating fairness policies into our suite of corporate procedures and through anti corruption, anti bribery and whistleblowing policies take the matter of fair opportunity to suppliers seriously.
How we measure our impact on the community
In short, we look at the data – qualitative and quantitative, including surveys, audits and HR and Finance data.
So, we measure our impact on COVID-19 recovery using KPIs like:
- Number of new roles created
- Details of charity work undertaken
- Number of apprentices working on the contract
- Number of events held and amount of money raised
- Number of suppliers established themselves in the last 18 months
- Percentage of suppliers used in the contract that have adopted the 6 standards in the mental health at work charter
- Number of human hours spent on training in relation to the contract
- Wellbeing metrics, including absences, number of Covid tests taken and passed
And we listen to our staff, our apprentices, and our connections in the wider community too – like asking the charities we support how they’ve spent the money we raised.
As Investors In People members, we are independently audited against a range of indicators, including feedback from our employees.