Our people are our most valuable asset. Looking after their health, well-being and professional development is a key priority for the Group.
We recognise that diversity of gender, age, culture, experience and expertise serve to enhance our ability to operate effectively and ethically. We are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and ensure that all applicants and employees receive equal treatment during their recruitment, transfer, promotion, training and assessment of salary and benefits, irrespective of an individual’s sex, race, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or beliefs, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership status.
We give full and fair consideration to applications for employment made by disabled persons, having regard to their particular aptitudes and abilities, and disabled persons are entitled to the same opportunities for career development as all other employees.
As an international business with a direct sales presence in over 55 countries worldwide, diversity is an integral part of our operations. For example, the General Managers of our operating companies represent over 35 nationalities. Diversity is also a feature of our Board of Directors, with Board members variously having British, American and Dutch citizenship.
Achieving an even balance between the genders is a common challenge within the engineering sector where internationally there remain entrenched gender stereotypes associated with technical careers. We are working to address the gender imbalance within our businesses through equitable employment practices and through our work in the community through which we encourage young people and students to consider engineering as a career. Graduate recruitment is a key area of focus in addressing the gender imbalance. We also work with universities to offer “Year in Industry” placements to engineering students and attend graduate engineering shows. Through contact with young engineers we aim to spread the message that Spirax Sarco is a great place to work and that careers in engineering are not restricted by gender.
Training and on-going professional development
Our people are our most valuable asset and providing for their professional development is central to our sustainability strategy. Recruiting high calibre employees and developing their skills is essential for the long-term sustainability of the business. Whatever their position within the Company, all employees are encouraged to develop their skills.
The knowledge and skills of our customer facing sales and service engineers is one of our key differentiators and is central to our ability to offer value to customers. Our engineers receive intensive training to build their knowledge of products and applications, and accumulate significant experience over typically many years. Our engineers are expected to participate in on-going training and professional development and we provide opportunities for them to do so. We have 51 training centres worldwide, which are used by both our employees and our customers. We also have an extensive e-learning library which contains courses on a wide variety of topics.
During 2016 we established the Spirax Sarco Academy to oversee the learning and development programmes of the Spirax Sarco Steam Specialties business. The aim of the Academy is to underpin growth, which it will achieve by setting new, demanding and globally consistent knowledge and skill standards, facilitated by the provision of high-quality learning materials made easily available to all employees, regardless of location or language.
In addition to establishing a global standards system, syllabus and training materials, the Academy, which has its own governance structure and an independent budget, has created a real-world assessment system to evaluate the knowledge and skill level of employees and also their sales effectiveness.
As we invest in developing the knowledge and capabilities of our customer facing employees the value that they provide to customers grows, which further increases customer confidence in us, underpinning growth and reinforcing Spirax Sarco’s position as the world leader for steam solutions.
Talent management is essential for preparing promising employees for leadership and senior management positions within the Group. The Spirax Sarco Leadership Academy trains our future leaders and prepares them for increasing responsibility within the organisation. Attendees of the Leadership Academy participate in a two week course, run by the Ashridge Business School. Key topics covered in the course include: working with people; driving growth and innovation; and delivering results.
In addition to supporting the professional development of all our people, we provide training on our Core Values; the environment; health and safety; and anti-bribery and corruption, ensuring that our employees understand their personal responsibility in these areas.