We strongly believe that our employees are key to the business and as such we aim to create a supportive environment where our people can thrive.
We want to make sure our employees feel engaged, empowered and satisfied in their work and we are committed to creating a healthy workplace with opportunities for future development.
We set out below a summary of progress and initiatives for our material issues:
With the pandemic in 2020 communication with our employees increased and this was through a range of channels including intranet, podcasts and video. We wanted to make sure staff were informed and did not feel isolated. In our employee engagement survey, 97% of staff said they are kept up to date with regular news and updates from around XPS.
“I feel that staff have been very well looked after this year through the difficult times, and the regular communication from senior staff has been great. It’s the little things that make all the difference.”
Quote from a member of staff in XPS Pensions
Our Employee Engagement Group, which was created in 2019, has helped grow the business through more employee collaboration and input on key decisions such as policy changes. They have also been a valuable group to provide feedback to the management team on issues such as employee support through the pandemic, the new working model and worked with the business on the employee engagement survey.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive culture is important to the success of XPS. Having people from a wide variety of backgrounds, and with a range of experiences and skills, will help us better understand and meet the needs of clients, making our business stronger and driving continued growth and innovation.
We are partnering with an external diversity consultancy to progress the development of our diversity and inclusion strategy. The Group has a good gender balance overall as shown below. We continue to work to increase the number of women in senior positions.
In 2020 we gave colleagues the opportunity to submit their diversity data on a voluntary and anonymous basis and this data was entered into our new HR system. This will enable us to analyse, report and understand our workforce composition, forming the basis of targeted initiatives to drive diversity and inclusion and measure change.
Whilst we continued to have a gender pay gap in 2020, we are delighted to report a reduction in that gap from 2019. Reducing the gender pay gap continues to provide the opportunity to encourage the diversity of our teams and remains an important corporate objective both for now and the future. See the Gender Pay Gap document below.
In 2020 we launched 2 new employee resource groups in addition to the Women’s Network which was launched in 2019. As such we now have:
And we continue our partnership with Stonewall, Business Disability Forum, Valuable 500 and Business in the Community.
Building awareness and educating colleagues during Black History Month
Our 2020 celebrations of Black History Month were split into four themes – Remembrance, Celebration, Allyship and Education. Throughout the month, we shared resources to encourage colleagues to celebrate Black culture in the UK, learn about the day-to-day experiences of Black Britons, and encourage white colleagues to educate themselves on how to be an ally for their Black associates. We also had a talk and Q&A from former British footballer and consultant, Paul Mortimer. He told us about his experiences as a Black man and athlete, discussing the importance of having awareness of our behaviours and practices. The session was very moving and thought-provoking.
One viewer fed back, “As a white mother of 3 grown-ups, mixed-race children and having experienced with them some of the prejudices discussed, it is great to see the company being so open to inviting such speakers in and raising awareness in this way.”
We continue to work with employees offering professional training, mentoring and workshops designed to accelerate the progress of colleagues.
During the year we delivered nearly 17,000 hours of training across a wide range of professional and technical courses.
We offered a broad range of development opportunities for all employees covering personal and team development through a range of delivery methods including a mentoring scheme, Actuarial Mentoring Programme (known as ‘AMP’), designed to improve diversity within the actuarial profession and the 30% Club mentoring scheme for staff from across the business.
We continued to provide support for employees studying for professional qualifications, and a range of bespoke technical programmes exist across all areas of our business.
In 2020 we were agile and adapted our training to suit our needs. We created a new online management programme for new managers to learn the key skill for not just being managers, but being managers in a remote working environment. We also introduced a new performance management system, which improves engagement, governance and focus, alignment and productivity.
We provide a comprehensive formal and informal support structure for employees which includes private medical, permanent health insurance, critical illness and life cover for all employees. We also provide an employee assistance programme, access to a second opinion referral service and counselling.
We continue to partner with the Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health at Work in sharing information and promoting good mental health. All our line managers have received mental health training in the last year and we have also launched a Mental Health Allies programme with over 60 trained allies.
In 2020 we have signed up to the BITC Mental Health Work Commitment as we believe in a healthy, supportive working culture, where everyone is comfortable raising issues and problems.
“I love the way the company is moving forward, the values and everything that is being done around mental health and inclusivity - it feels like employees are valued so much more. I also think the company has dealt with Covid really well. I have to say I am happier working now than I have been in years.”
Quote from a member of staff of XPS Administration
As part of the programme of wellbeing measures, we produced several webinars for staff to help them during the lockdowns. These included ‘Thriving through lockdown’, ‘Managing stress’ and ‘Health and resilience’. We also shared the recordings with Clients and had excellent feedback.
"I really enjoyed the previous videos so I am sure this one will be just as good and we will share with members as well."
Shelley Ismail, Business manager,
Association of Member Nominated Trustees
"Thank you for sharing the videos – they are very good indeed. We’ll share them with our team as I think they would be extremely useful for them too"