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Our people

We are committed to promoting and enabling the diversity, development, wellbeing and safety of our people.

Download PDF: Our people - extract from full report

Our people are very proud of all that they do, and we are very proud of them. In 2019 we published our first People Report, with an ambition to publish it annually, highlighting the work of our frontline colleagues and providing insights into their motivations. The report also sets out our ambition for making Serco a great place to work and the steps we are taking to achieve this.

In the People Report, we explore how our people support and enable patient care in hospitals and we hear from our employees about how they make a difference for asylum seekers and ex-offenders in the UK, military personnel in the US, aspiring air traffic controllers in Iraq, and disadvantaged members of the public in Australia. Men and women around the world of Serco share their experiences of inclusive support, development and career opportunities for all, including our LGBT+ colleagues, those with disabilities and all cultural backgrounds. We also explore what we are doing to promote and support wellbeing for all – working to keep our people healthy, fit and thriving whether on the streets, in our call centres, returning to work after parental leave or living and working for Serco thousands of miles from home.

Circular infographic of Serco's Corporate Responsibility framework diagram highlighting safe operations segment

What safe operations means to us

Our vision is zero harm. We want no one to come to harm because of the work we do. Wherever we work, we are committed to the prevention of injury and promoting a just safety culture.

Circular infographic of Serco's Corporate Responsibility framework diagram highlighting employee health and wellbeing segment

What employee health and wellbeing means to us

We understand that healthier, happier employees go hand-in-hand with strong business performance, enhanced productivity and better outcomes for those we serve. Wherever we work, we are committed to the promotion of wellbeing and the prevention of ill health.

Circular infographic of Serco's Corporate Responsibility framework diagram highlighting employee engagement and development segment

What employee engagement and development means to us

We want everybody who works for Serco to have a positive experience and to have access to opportunitiesto develop in their chosen careers. We track the engagement of our employees and measure the trends to determine where together we can improve further.

Circular infographic of Serco's Corporate Responsibility framework diagram highlighting diversity and inclusion segment

What diverse workforce and inclusive workplace means to us

Our business thrives because of our talented and diverse workforce. We are constantly looking to improve our ways of working in order to make Serco an even better place to work for everybody. Not only do we firmly believe this is the right thing to do, we believe that diverse teams, reflecting the communities they serve, outperform in their service delivery and provide greater value to our customers.

See our progress and next steps summaries below.  For more information, please see pages 18 to 35 in our Corporate Responsibility Report or download the PDF extract for this section above.

Our progress:

Safe operations:

We have:

  • strengthened safety leadership:

    – appointing Anthony Kirby, Group HR Director, our Group Executive Sponsor for Health, Safety & Environment (HSE);

    – renewing procedures for, and our commitment to, leadership safety tours as a means of reinforcing safety culture and driving safety behaviours;

  • continued to increase the depth, breadth and rigour of our governance and reporting at all levels:

    – establishing proportionate cross-Divisional oversight across safety-critical areas;

    – increasing the frequency of Divisional HSE reporting;

    – launching a new ‘Hazard Management and Risk Assessment’ module for our HSE reporting system, Assure;

    – deploying and embedding our new near-miss reporting tool in all Divisions;

    – setting new three-year targets for Safety Key Performance Indicators to focus on long-term trends beyond year-on-year improvements;

  • continued working to improve our capability, culture and performance:

    – publishing procedures for Just Culture Assessment to support effective investigation and intervention;

    – driving Divisional improvements in response to our 2018 safety culture survey;

    – developing new ‘high visibility’ safety awareness resources; and

  • deepened focus on the HSE element in the Group Principal Risk, ‘Catastrophic incident’ and associated mitigations.

Employee health and wellbeing:

We have:

  • strengthened health and wellbeing leadership:

    – appointing our first Group Head of Workplace Health & Wellbeing (H&W);

    – ensuring all Divisions have a dedicated H&W Lead;

  • elevated employee H&W as a Group strategic priority and launched our first Divisional H&W strategy in our Asia Pacific Division;

  • continued to increase the depth, breadth and rigour of our governance and reporting:

    – introducing a new H&W Forum for global oversight;

    – strengthening H&W elements across the SMS;

  • continued working to improve our capability, culture and performance:

    – building our global network of local H&W Champions;

    – reviewing third-party service provision to ensure the best solutions support our employees; and

  • celebrated World Mental Health Day in October.

Employee engagement and development:

We have:

  • continued to run our Company-wide annual engagement survey (achieving an overall employee engagement score of 71, up four points from 2018), supplemented with more frequent pulse surveying in selected parts of the business;

  • taken on board the honest views of employees and, in response to these, developed action plans and followed through on their progress;

  • worked to amplify employee voice and strengthen dialogue between the Board and all employees:

    – appointing Kirsty Bashforth, Non-Executive Director, and Anthony Kirby, Group HR Director, our lead representative on the Board and Group Executive Sponsor for Employee Voice, respectively;

    – introducing into our employee engagement survey an opportunity for respondents to share feedback with the plc Board;

    – appointing our first Group Colleague Communications Manager to deliver our ambitions in this area through our ‘Colleague ConneXions’ programme, which will include: hosting bi-annual discussion events with Kirsty Bashforth on our internal social media platform; provision of online resources and communication channels for employees; supporting Non-Executive Director visits to our operational sites and participation in each regional leadership conference; and providing quarterly progress reports to the CR Committee of the Board;

  • continued investing in personal and professional development for our people to help them fulfil their potential whilst developing capability to meet current and future business needs, including:

    – launching our new graduate programme, to identify and develop our leaders of the future, initially in the UK and Australia;

    – developing a new approach to performance management, focused on enabling more meaningful performance and career conversations;

    – delivering our Management and Contract Manager programmes with University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, for a further 116 members of our global management population, bringing the cumulative total to 441;

    – maintaining Divisional development programmes for talented employees at earlier stages of their careers, providing the skills and opportunities to grow within Serco; and

  • continued managing relations and building partnerships with our recognised trade unions in all regions.

Diverse workforce and inclusive workplace:

We have:

  • continued to expand our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) activity whilst embedding inclusion in our culture:

    - appointing our first Group Head of D&I;

    - working to deliver regional objectives aligned to our global focus areas (Gender, Disability, Multicultural and LGBT+) including: visible executive sponsorship of each area; developing our employee networks and strategic partnerships; promoting a culture of D&I; hosting or participating in a schedule of events in each area to celebrate and highlight diversity; and working to improve diversity in senior appointments;

    - launching a shared online environment, the Serco ‘Inclusion Hub’, where our employee networks are each their own unique community whilst benefiting from collective coordination and collaboration;

  • co-hosted a D&I conference with The Whitehall & Industry Group to share experience and learn from other organisations;

  • published our People Report, featuring a dedicated section on D&I and sharing our commitments to:

    - increase female representation amongst senior leaders to 35% by 2023;

    - reduce our UK Gender Pay Gap (GPG) to below 10% by 2022; and

    - reported our UK GPG for 2018 (11.9%) and 2019 (10.2%).

Next steps:

Safe operations:

In addition to delivering our ongoing processes, programmes and schedules of continuous improvement, we plan to:

  • deploy our new high visibility safety awareness resources across all regions;

  • continue embedding our Just Culture processes;

  • continue acting on our safety culture survey results whilst undertaking pulse surveys in several areas;

  • conduct deep dive reviews in the CR Committee on selected key safety incidents to ensure learnings are captured and gain assurance of progress on actions;

  • explore application of our UK Citizen Services ‘Respect & Protect’ campaign in other sectors and regions; and

  • refresh policy and guidance for home working risk assessments.

Employee health and wellbeing:

In addition to delivering our ongoing processes, programmes and schedules of continuous improvement, we plan to:

  • develop a dedicated H&W strategy for every Division;

  • focus on mental health, including access to mental health education, manager training and support for all employees;

  • develop standard policy and guidance for automated external defibrillators in all Serco-controlled environments; and

  • improve our process for assessing operational health risks.

Employee engagement and development:

In addition to delivering our ongoing processes, programmes and schedules of continuous improvement, we plan to:

  • embed our new Employee Voice governance and Colleague ConneXions programme;

  • continue the evolution of our approach to monitoring engagement by:

    – making it easier for employees to share their views;

    – improving employee experience at key points in the employee lifecycle;

    – capturing feedback and sentiment on a real-time basis;

    – updating our ‘Engagement Awards’ programme in line with our evolving approach;

  • launch our new approach to performance management;

  • launch our graduate programme in North America and the Middle East; and

  • increase interaction with our recognised UK trade unions regarding health and wellbeing, Employee Voice and diversity and inclusion.

Diverse workforce and inclusive workplace:

We plan to:

  • assess our D&I culture and performance in every region against a standard best practice framework;

  • continue to embed and empower our employee networks in all regions and connect them in our Inclusion Hub to drive greater value Group-wide;

  • increase the coverage and accuracy of our people data to enable more meaningful value generation for our employee communities whilst improving our performance monitoring and reporting capability; and

  • put in place practical plans to improve our attraction, development and retention for all diversity groups.

CR in action stories View more stories

Each component in our framework represents a continuously improving system of people, projects and processes – managed by global teams and fulfilled by our employees. Here we share some examples of how our people have brought our commitments to life.