Civil Engineering

GRAHAM takes the lead with inaugural FIR Conference

GRAHAM takes the lead with inaugural FIR Conference image

GRAHAM underlined its position as a leader in Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) within the construction industry on Tuesday 26th June when it hosted a specialist management conference dedicated to the important subject.

FIR is the pillar of GRAHAM’s people strategy, with a culture of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect cultivated throughout the business.

The event was organised to share the success stories emanating from GRAHAM’s innovative approach to FIR while acting as a catalyst to take FIR to “the next level” in parallel with the business’s ambitious plans.

In addition to contributions from GRAHAM’s senior management, including HR Director, Michael Smyth, the conference featured presentations from a broad range of ‘Thought Leaders’ who delivered compelling evidence on the importance of FIR and how it can be harnessed to promote positive business change.

Leading change

Nick Marr shared his experience of leading change at the London Metropolitan Police Service, within a sector that shares similar issues as construction, before Network Rail’s Director of Diversity, Loraine Martins, highlighted the importance of FIR to clients in adding value for customers and society.

Kyle Clough, from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), then challenged delegates on the importance of inclusive leadership and why they were key to ensuring lasting change for the industry.

Commenting on the successful conference, HR Director, Michael Smyth, said:

“This was a very engaging day that explored the principles of FIR and why it is so important to everyone at GRAHAM. I would like to thank our ‘Thought Leaders’ who delivered such thought-provoking messages, which we will certainly take on board in evolving our approach to FIR.

“We are an industry leader when it comes to FIR and we have achieved some incredible results, which demonstrate that. Tools such as our award-winning CONNECT programme showcase our commitment to developing the whole person to maximise individual and business performance.

“But we’re also determined to take it to the next level and to inspire our leadership teams further to drive FIR forward so that we can make every colleague the best that they can be.”

Industry leader

The significant statistics behind GRAHAM’s innovative approach to FIR include:

- Employee engagement has risen by 25% in five years

- Turnover is 33% less than the industry average

- A 50% increase in females in STEM roles

- A considerable increase in applications from diverse backgrounds has been recorded

GRAHAM’s role as a leader in driving change within the industry has been validated through a number of prestigious awards including the CECA Inspiring Change in the Workplace Award and the Highways England Excellence in Wellbeing Award.

Practical initiatives implemented by GRAHAM, include a FIR business plan that is developed and delivered by a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team with key annual deliverables and a FIR Framework, which ensures standardisation and excellence of delivery across its project/office network.

GRAHAM is also influencing the industry agenda through active participation in a number of FIR forums with key partners such as Highways England, Network Rail, CITB and CECA.

Alan Bill, Managing Director – John Graham Construction, is passionate about cascading a FIR culture throughout GRAHAM and reiterated the senior management team’s commitment to this fundamental pillar of the company’s people strategy.

“We are committed to being an employer of choice where everyone is recognised as an individual and where the richness of a diverse workforce is embraced to maximise our business performance.

“We are also committed to building strong, participative partnerships with our peers, the supply chain and our clients to ensure that best practice FIR is a trademark of our delivery at all levels and to build a platform for continuous improvement throughout the industry.

“Our managers are key to driving forward FIR and this business will provide them with the resource, support and time to realise that potential.”