Attention to detail is critical in civil engineering and at Birse Civils that includes extending its safety-first culture to the wellbeing of staff. Birse doesn’t just encourage its employees to have a healthy balance of work and home life, it insists on it — through policies such as no weekend working unless absolutely critical, ensuring that people work on projects as close to home as possible and in running time management courses.
With this attitude and boasting more than 5m hours worked without a single accident — an impressive achievement in a high-risk industry — the company wins a 93% positive score in our employee engagement survey for making health and safety a priority.
Birse, a subsidiary of the Balfour Beatty Group, carries out projects valued from £1m to £75m for a wide range of public and private sector customers, from feasibility work through construction to maintenance. The company’s healthy annual turnover is sustained by plenty of repeat business. Birse knows a company only gets the best out of people if they are happy and fulfilled, both professionally and personally, and its staff believe they can make a valuable contribution to the business (79%), have fun with their colleagues (78%) and feel fully involved at work (77%). Such contentment explains why more than one in five employees have been on the payroll for at least 10 years.
The business commits to reducing its impact on the environment by holding sustainability days with key stakeholders and recycling as much as possible. Staff give Birse a 76% positive score on this point, a top 20 result.
Employees receive an average of eight days’ training a year and have annual performance development reviews. They are encouraged to take personal responsibility and are given the freedom and flexibility to do their work. People say the job is good for their own personal growth (79%) and that the experience they gain is valuable for their future (78%).
An open-door policy means people aren’t scared to voice their concerns to management (73%). They also feel managers talk honestly and openly (78%) and are supportive (76%).
Workers have access to a support and counselling programme as part of Birse’s commitment to their wellbeing, as well as health screening and lifestyle analysis. However, despite this, flexible working patterns and an early finish on Fridays, staff think they spend too much time at work (51%, among the 15 lowest scores for this question in the top 100).
Nonetheless, they would not leave tomorrow even if offered another job (77%) and would strongly recommend working here (78%).
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
Companies where employees are offered share options
Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave
On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships
Full family cover
Companies offering a final salary or non-contributory pension scheme
40% of employees with more than 5 years' service
At least 10 weeks' leave on full pay
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