Howdens

Howdens is the UK’s number one trade kitchen supplier with over 750 depots and three manufacturing sites in the UK.
Hidden mission statement
https://www.howdenjoinerygroupplc.com

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5
Best Company to work for in the UK
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Howdens, a trade-only kitchen and joinery business, operates on the same core principles as when it was founded in the 1990s. It believes that everyone should benefit and it aims to ensure that it never lets people down, whether they are staff, customers, charities or residents in local communities.

The company began in Yorkshire and today it services the needs of more than 400,000 small builders in more than 700 places nationwide. The focus of the business is on meeting the needs of the company's depots and, in turn, its customers.

People depend on Howdens in all manner of ways. As it makes and sells products for what today is the heart of a home — the kitchen — it believes it has a particular responsibility.

The business has grown to become one that employs around 11,000 people. Sales reached £2bn last year and the company became a member of the FTSE 100. Howdens promotes a sense of ownership and heritage, which it maintains is a winning formula, one that everyone can connect to and take pride in.

Staff wellbeing is paramount, and the company recognises that the industry exposes some employees to physical risks. Howdens' responsibility is to help staff to protect themselves against these. The company's initiatives, "safe to trade" and "safe to supply", emphasise that its culture is committed to safety and encourage all employees to feel empowered to take responsibility for themselves.

A spotlight on

Howdens

View the latest achievements

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

75% of staff agreed

I love working for this organisation

Howdens is unusual in that it rewards team effort. Everyone within each depot benefits from team bonuses, based on the profitability and collective success of the depot. This approach encourages team motivation, camaraderie, commitment to excellence and a shared sense of responsibility for customer service.
Leadership

68% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

At focus groups, chief executive Andrew Livingston meets six depot managers over dinner to listen to their feedback on any topic. Engagement surveys are run in depots to understand how employees are feeling and to get feedback on local issues. Regional directors lead the follow-up for swift, targeted action.
Giving Something Back

64% of staff agreed

This organisation has a strong social conscience

The company has just celebrated a 10-year partnership with Humberside Fire and Rescue. It supports 14 on-call fire fighters and two medical first-responders. They’ve attended more than 1,800 emergencies and 1,140 medical first-response calls since 2011, saving more than 60 lives.
My Company
%

75% of staff agreed

I love working for this organisation

Howdens is unusual in that it rewards team effort. Everyone within each depot benefits from team bonuses, based on the profitability and collective success of the depot. This approach encourages team motivation, camaraderie, commitment to excellence and a shared sense of responsibility for customer service.
Leadership
82%

68% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

At focus groups, chief executive Andrew Livingston meets six depot managers over dinner to listen to their feedback on any topic. Engagement surveys are run in depots to understand how employees are feeling and to get feedback on local issues. Regional directors lead the follow-up for swift, targeted action.
Giving Something Back
96%

64% of staff agreed

This organisation has a strong social conscience

The company has just celebrated a 10-year partnership with Humberside Fire and Rescue. It supports 14 on-call fire fighters and two medical first-responders. They’ve attended more than 1,800 emergencies and 1,140 medical first-response calls since 2011, saving more than 60 lives.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
1995
Total number of UK employees
Number of UK locations
38
Employee average age
70% : 30%
Male : Female employee ratio
37%
Employees earning £35k+
12%
Employee turnover (voluntary)
Quote from the top...
Howdens was founded on the principle of being worthwhile for all concerned – our customers, our suppliers, our communities and, of course, our employees. Engagement is fundamental to that principle. Through listening and open communication, we better understand each other’s values and aspirations and, more importantly, how we can support each other to succeed. It’s the clarity of shared goals that drives employee engagement and business success for Howdens.

Kirsty Homer, Group HR Director

Benefits

Family-friendly

Companies offering school hours contracts to all staff.

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Latest Achievements

National Ranking
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5
Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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5
Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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5
Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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5
Best Large Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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5
Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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5
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
London
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8
Best Small Companies to work for in London
London
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8
Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in London
London
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8
Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in London
London
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8
Best Large Companies to work for in London
London
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8
Best Big Companies to work for in London
East of England
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17
Best Companies to work for in the East of England
The Midlands
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Best Companies to work for in the Midlands
The East Midlands
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28
Best Companies to work for in the East Midlands
The West Midlands
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18
Best Companies to work for in the West Midlands
The North East
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15
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The North West
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71
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Northern Ireland
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3
Best Companies to work for in Northern Ireland
Scotland
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19
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The South East
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16
Best Companies to work for in the South East
The South West
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33
Best Companies to work for in the South West
Wales
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7
Best Companies to work for in the Wales
Yorkshire & The Humber
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16
Best Companies to work for in Yorkshire & The Humber
Sector Ranking
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3
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Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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3
Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Howdens
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