Quick facts

About Howden Joinery Group

THIS TRADE KITCHEN supplier has 9,079 staff at 646 locations across the UK, including its London headquarters. They feel proud to work for the organisation, an 81% positive score, fifth for this question, and consider work to be an important part of their lives (78%, seventh).

The company returns to our list of Best Big Companies to Work For after a two-year absence, with employees saying it gives them a Fair Deal (63%, third) and that they are happy with the pay and benefits they receive (69%, fourth). Everybody is eligible for bonuses, which are based on the success of teams rather than individuals, and there’s also a share option scheme and profit-related pay. Star performers are celebrated at an annual event at Gleneagles, where rewards include luxury goods such as Rolex watches.

People find chief executive and founder Matthew Ingle inspiring (73%, fourth). He says that when he launched the business in 1995 he set out to “make Howdens feel like home” for its workforce, and he spends at least three days a week visiting local depots up and down the country.

www.howdenjoinerygroupplc.com


What is it like to work for Howden Joinery Group

Leadership
Leadership
Howdens is a very decentralised business. Every week Senior Managers meet with their regional and local teams to analyse performance and prospects. The primary responsibility of the Senior Management Team is to ensure that everyone in the company understands and adheres to the fundamental principle of “do what you say”, which underpins Howdens ability to offer good service. Twice a year, a meeting for the top 100 Senior Managers focuses on the ways in which the culture and values of the organisation drive the growth of the business and are key to maintaining its position as the UK’s leading kitchen provider. The CEO and founder Matthew Ingle engages with employees on a day-to-day basis to an outstanding degree. Matthew believes in the value of face-to-face meetings and he creates as many opportunities as possible for these to take place. He spends approximately 70% of his time visiting local Howdens depots up and down the country, talking to Managers and employees, including new recruits and customers and hearing their experience of the business on the front line. To appreciate the effectiveness of this practice, it is important to understand that Howdens is a local business, operating from over 630 depots, each of which has between 6 and 20 employees, plus two factories and a distribution centre. Matthew is also directly involved in setting incentives and challenges at all levels in the business, probably uniquely so for a Leader of a business the size of Howdens. This reflects his commitment to creating a business of lasting worth and value for all concerned.
My Company
My Company
The Howdens mission has been the company’s guide since the business began and their vision of service is shared by all employees. The mission statement itself is visible in every place of work and is regularly and spontaneously quoted by both new and longstanding employees in all areas. Howdens believes in direct face-to-face communication and makes extraordinary efforts to make sure this happens. The CEO spends around 70% of his time personally visiting depots, talking to staff and reminding them that the mission, vision and values of the business are their best guide. Each year Howdens also hold company-wide events where they discuss the mission, the company’s strategy and the plans for continuing growth. There are also the ‘Grosvenor House Golden Rooster Awards’, where every year c. 1000 employees celebrate the success of individuals and of the business with significant rewards announced at a gala dinner and live music from star performers.
Fair Deal
Fair Deal
Howdens offers market leading bonus and commission schemes in addition to generous basic salaries. Everyone within their 630 depots benefits from team bonuses based on the profitability and success of the depot, a very different approach to a typical sales organisation. This encourages all depot-based team members, whether in sales, kitchen design or warehouse management, to actively participate in ensuring excellent customer service. By making sure that commission is shared between employees within the depot the company ensure that they reward all employees fairly for their contribution to the performance of the depot. This generates a lot of team motivation and camaraderie, commitment to excellence and a shared sense of responsibility for effective customer service. As a result, successful teams can earn a significantly higher income each month based on their team performance. Across Howdens employees benefit from programmes that supports wellbeing, for example the cycle to work scheme. People eligible for a company car also have the choice as to whether they take a car or a cash allowance. In addition, Howdens offer discounts on their kitchens to all employees.

Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here

Benefits:

  • Charity Activities
    Charity Activities

    At least 20% of staff are known to undertake charitable activities during business hours without incurring financial loss

  • Holidays
    Holidays

    Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave to all employees

  • Pensions
    Pensions

    Companies offering a final salary, non-contributory pension scheme or one in which the employer puts in at least three times

  • Maternity
    Maternity

    At least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative

  • Profit Related Payment
    Profit Related Payment

    Companies offering profit related pay to all employees

  • Shares
    Shares

    Companies offering profit related pay to all employees

Company Statistics

  • Staff Turnover:

    13%

  • Earning £35,000+:

    15%

  • Average Age:

    37

  • UK sites:

    646

  • Male : Female:

    70% / 30%

  • Staff:

    9079

Accreditation

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Start your engagement journey today and find out what you need to do to earn a Best Companies accreditation or a place on the Best Companies lists.