Our people are at the heart of our success and must remain so if we are to continue to position the Group to deliver the best for our shareholders and, indeed, all our stakeholders.
At Marshall we have a strong commitment to the development of skills. In 2015 we invested in around 12,500 days of training and skills development across the businesses, which included 2,600 days of apprentice training. Our apprentice training programme has continued unbroken since 1920. More recently we have introduced Foundation Degrees and we are now able to offer our qualified apprentices the opportunity to go on to gain a degree. Our AeroAcademy is building an external reputation for the delivery of high quality training and we manage apprenticeships for third party businesses on a commercial basis. In addition to these programmes, we deliver or arrange many thousands of days of training to employees in all parts of the Company. We also recognise the significant development value which comes from employees’ active involvement at board and committee level in external activities related to the business, including the UK Government backed Aerospace and Defence Growth Partnerships, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The largest training and development programme we run is on Leadership Development, which recognises that the most effective people are leaders who inspire and motivate their teams and colleagues, rather than simple task-driven managers. The first phase (LDP1) of this programme was launched in 2012 and we are now nearing the end of the second round (LDP2). Combined, these two phases have impacted on more than 300 members of our leadership teams across all Marshall businesses, with positive results for both the individuals and the business.
One of the key strengths of this programme has come from the interaction between leaders in different businesses on the same course. The third phase of the Leadership Development Programme (LDP3) is launching in 2016. This is being developed in conjunction with the world-leading Møller Centre in Cambridge and will be a more targeted programme, for specially selected individuals, aiming to create a winning culture across Marshall. Where the first two phases were 2-day programmes, backed up by coaching and mentoring, LDP3 will be a much more intense programme. We anticipate that this elite programme will be career-defining for those who are invited to participate and we expect there to be some strong competition for places on the programme.
Since 2011, all Marshall businesses have participated in the international employee survey run by the Great Place to Work Institute (although Marshall Motor Holdings first participated in 2008). We believe that the integrity of the survey helps us, business unit by business unit to identify and focus on specific areas which need improvement. Once again, around 3,900 employees took the time to give their opinions, answering 60 scientifically crafted questions as well as giving some verbatim comments. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group and Marshall Fleet Solutions saw big improvements in their overall Trust Index Score and are now closing in on achieving official Great Place to Work status. Marshall Motor Holdings also saw improvements in the key measures and, pleasingly, have once again been included in the Top 30 list of large companies in the survey.
We recognise the strength which comes from a diverse business portfolio and, within the business, the strength which comes from a diverse employee base. Diversity in all its forms adds depth to our collective experience and our understanding of situations. Harnessing diversity adds flavour to the Marshall recipe and we are working hard, both at Group and within each of our businesses, to improve the balance of diversity in our workforce at every level. We are pleased with the direction of travel, especially within our team of graduate engineers but we strive to increase the rate of diversification across the whole business.
Celebrating the significant contributions made to the Group by employees in all our locations across the world is the main driver behind our annual Marshall Achievement Values & Teamwork Awards (MAVTAs). Employees are nominated for a MAVTA, either as an individual or as part of a team, by their peers throughout the year before being shortlisted by their own business in one of the seven categories:
- Business Excellence
- Customer Service
- Service to the Community
- Best Environmental Initiative
The shortlist of finalists each year is published in December and the awards themselves announced and presented at a gala dinner the following January in the splendid surroundings of King’s College in Cambridge.
Across the Group we recognise the long service of very many of our employees, with the individual companies celebrating all employees who have completed 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years of service. At a Group level, we continue to mark the extraordinary contributions of the many employees who have completed 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years of service. In 2015, thirteen employees received 30-year awards, a further twelve received 40-year awards. Sir Michael Marshall was presented with a 60-year award, the fifth 60-year award presented at Marshall.
Community and Charitable Work
Involvement with extra-curricular activities directly benefits our employees and the Company, helping them to develop and nurture skills in a variety of environments and helping the Company to be an integral and active part of the various communities in which we operate. All employees are actively encouraged to be involved in the community, whether that be as a Reserve in the Armed Forces, a Governor in a school, a youth group leader, a charity fundraiser or trustee, a parish councillor, a reading assistant, or any other similar role. Experiences enjoyed in such diverse environments enrich the lives of our employees and the Company.
At a Company level, we are proud to be members of the Percent Club and to be involved, at a senior level, often as trustees or directors with a number of local and national charities, including: BEN, the benevolent charity of the motor industry; the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust; The East Anglian Air Ambulance; Ely Cathedral; and the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. Marshall is also actively engaged with local organisations and membership groups which seek to sustain the success and growth of the greater Cambridge area, such as: Cambridge Network; Cambridge Ahead; Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce; Cambridge City Deal; and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.
Active engagement with key industry related organisations and professional bodies brings benefits both to employees and the Company. We continue, therefore, to encourage and support employees to be involved with bodies such as: the Defence Growth Partnership; the Engineering Employers’ Federation; the Institute of the Motor Industry; the Retail Motor Industry Federation; the Royal Aeronautical Society; the Royal Academy of Engineering; the National Franchise Dealer Association; the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association; Semta; ADS; and the Air League.
Currently around one quarter of our employees across Marshall are under the age of 30. These younger employees bring new ideas and energy to the organisation and many of them will go on to be the leaders of Marshall and our industries in years to come. We actively encourage all young employees across Marshall to engage with each other and the Company through the Marshall Network, a self-led group of enthusiastic young people with a range of skills, who get involved with Company projects and community engagement, as well as organising a range of social activities which will help them develop a network of like minded contacts both inside and outside the Company.