New digital induction process

Following six months of intensive work to define the approach and develop the content, the new Colas digital employee induction programme, is set to be launched on Monday 7 December, with all new employees (those without a Colas email will be included in phase 2) being invited to complete the digital induction via a link included in their welcome email. The new induction programme, which consists of ten modules (see leaflet) will be hosted on the Colas Campus ‘Learning Management System’, which is accessed through the home page of the company intranet, Connex.

According to its architect, Learning and Development Manager, Jo Olsen, the new induction material will provide employees with a number of benefits, but in a way that imparts all the information without overwhelming or distracting them from getting to grips with their job. “We understand the importance of inducting new employees to help them settle in, become productive more quickly and to aid employee retention. We recognise its importance and we’ve set it up so that all of the modules must be completed by the end of the first month and employees won’t be able to pass their probation until all the modules have been completed.”

Head of HR, Shelley Davison believes that the new approach will improve the Company’s retention levels. “Having a comprehensive, structured induction process has been shown to play a big part in improving long-term staff retention, so it’s important that induction is not just treated as a ‘tick box’ exercise, but is seen as a great opportunity to introduce new employees to the culture and the ways of working of the business. Our data shows that first impressions are vital in having lasting impact on how employees view our brand.”

Despite the impending release of this first ‘office’ version, the delivery team are already looking at potential new sections including a Return to Work – covering office rules when returning to the office following COVID-19 - and a Contractors module for agency workers. Watch this space!

Good progress on Durham University Project

As reported in ONE online in October, our Durham team have now completed the first phase of the £8m contract to self-deliver all works of the Durham University Infrastructure Improvement Project.

The first phase, which includes all works to create new, and improve existing, cycle and footpaths, had been planned around key dates in the University calendar and City events, but we managed to complete the works well ahead of schedule, mainly due to there being fewer University students and staff on-site during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase 2 is now underway and we’re currently creating a new 215-space University car park on the University’s upper Mountjoy site. This is behind the University’s new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building, which will be finished soon, and will be accessed via a new road (which we’re also constructing) and will include a number of electrical vehicle charging points.

Speaking this week on the success of the project, David Loudon, Director of Estates and Facilities at Durham University, said: “It is very pleasing to see all the new cycle and footpaths completed. Some of the routes go through some beautiful woodland – perfect for the daily exercise we’re allowed to take outdoors during lockdown.”

For colleagues interested in viewing the progress made on the project since we started the contract in December 2019, you can watch the video the team created for Durham University.

COVID-19 – Coming out of lockdown!

Yesterday, the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, addressed Parliament and outlined the new three-tier system that will be introduced following the completion of the country’s second national lockdown, on Wednesday 2 December.

Despite many of our project sites and offices falling within the higher tier restrictions, the UK Government has made it clear that construction and manufacturing activities can continue as they did during this second national lockdown, with all our frontline colleagues classed as key essential workers.

Our underlining message continues to be to remain vigilant and not become complacent, and to keep following the Government Guidelines and our own Colas Processes.
We must continue to work together to remind all colleagues and contractors of the importance of washing hands, social distancing, wearing a mask when necessary, PPE and other controls defined in the risk assessment and site operating procedures checklist.

For those colleagues based in our fixed locations, please wear a mask in communal areas, and if on a teams call and sharing a screen with a colleague in the same room, please maintain social distancing or wear a mask if this is not possible. We would also like to remind you that you should clean all touchpoints in communal areas each time you use them with the cleaning equipment provided, and you should wipe your desk down at the beginning and end of the day.

Remember, if you feel you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms, then please stay at home and contact your line manager immediately.

IIP Gold accreditation assessment early next year

For over thirty years’, Investors in People (IIP) UK, has been helping companies, leaders and employees work together to create better, more productive workplaces. Indeed, IIP has accredited more than 50,000 organisations worldwide during this time and their ‘Invest in People’ accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management.

The IIP Standard provides a national framework for improving business performance and competitiveness, through a planned approach to setting and communicating business objectives and developing people to meet these objectives. Colas achieved its first IIP accreditation in 2002 and we were then awarded Gold Status in 2012. Following further assessments (conducted every three years), we have retained our Gold award, receiving praise from IIP in 2018 for our ‘commitment to health and safety, living our values and behaviours, managing performance, making decisions and our culture of continuous improvement’.

With our next assessment due early next year, we are looking to inform colleagues that IIP will be conducting random employee interviews, observations and an all employee survey, as part of their in-depth assessment.

Commenting on the IIP accreditation, Executive Director, Donna Hitchcock, said: “Gold status is a fantastic achievement that everybody at Colas is very proud of. It not only elevates our company into the top 3% of organisations who have achieved the IIP accreditation, but it is also of great benefit in bidding for work and attracting new employees. Since our last assessment in 2018, we have continued to put our people at the heart of everything we do and we are looking forward to the IIP team speaking to colleagues and further understanding how our people are living our values and behaviours. Our people continue to be excellent brand ambassadors for the company.”

Earth is the Winner!

Last week the Colas Group announced the ten preselected solutions in the 2020 Low-Carbon Awards, with Rob Clegg flying the flag for the UK, with his ‘Earth is the Winner’ innovation. This second edition of the Innovation Awards, sponsored by Group Chief Executive Officer, Frédéric Gardès, was according to Innovation Director, David Lerouge, ‘a great success, exceeding our expectations’, with 176 entries all aimed at helping reduce the Group’s carbon footprint.

With the winners to be announced on Tuesday 8 December, ONE online took the opportunity to catch up with Rob Clegg and ask him where his inspiration for the idea had come from and if he was to win, what engagement he thought could be achieved in the first twelve months.

“Firstly I’m no Greta Thunberg! I just try and choose the best environmental option when I can and see where it goes. Like my parents before me, I try and optimise the heating and get my children switch off their lights! We have a kettle with a thermostatic switch set to go off before it boils so whenever I have a cuppa we save a bit of power. I use fresh coffee, not pods, which go on the garden. When I drive, I try and practice what I’ve learnt during my SAID training by keeping a good economy and I keep flying to a minimum. These are all just small steps but they’re all things that are in my power to do.

“About five years ago, I started thinking about other ‘bigger’ environmental savings I could make and I thought I’d try commuting by bike from Horsham to Rowfant. I didn’t think it was possible to do it regularly at the time, but I started small and I’ve now made the journey over 200 times, which is a saving of 8000km or 1 tonne of Co2. This then got me thinking as to whether it would work for other people. I believe that most people understand the environmental perspective, but it’s a lot to ask of people to give up their comfortable cars, so that made me think what would change people’s minds and that’s when I thought that an incentive scheme with a reward system might work. I think that if it was implemented and we were to engage around 5-10% of the total Colas workforce within the first 12 months, then that would be a great success.”

Click here to read Rob’s proposal.

What you need to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

With the new three tier restrictions set to following the current second national lockdown, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind colleagues of the Colas procedure for a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 and to encourage everyone to use the new NHS COVID-19 App, as it is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. We would also remind colleagues to familiarise themselves with the Company’s COVID-19 Information and Guidelines document.

Firstly, and most important, if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must stay at home and immediately contact your Line Manager and the HR team. We would also encourage you to follow the UK Government guidance and all this information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

For colleagues looking to book a COVID-19 test, please do so through the normal channels either online, via the NHS COVID-19 App or by calling 111. If you are unable to book a test in this way within 48 hours, we will be able to refer you (as an essential worker) for a test via our employer portal. Please get in touch with your HR contact who will arrange this for you. If, after a further 48 hours, you are still unable to obtain a COVID-19 test, we can arrange for a non-NHS test. Again, please contact your Line Manager, who will need to arrange this through HR.

If a COVID-19 case is confirmed within the Company, we will as per our procedure, conduct contact tracing to determine if any other people who have come into contact with the confirmed case. All of the people identified will be required to self-isolate pending testing for COVID-19. For any colleague who tests positive, we will support them in any way we can, providing them with a return to work assessment.


60 Second Interview

Ian Bond joined the Colas ITS business in August this year as Product and Manufacturing Manager bringing over 25 years’ experience in product, production & procurement roles.


Praise for ITS team

This week our ITS team - Danielle Johns, Dennis Rickard, Scott Hughes, Ryan Jupp, Gary Burchell and Chris Banks – working in Shoreham and Southwick have been praised by our client, Adur and Worthing Councils, for their ‘professional and very efficient’ work with regard Christmas tree installations across the district.

Footway teams hard at work

We are currently carrying out Footway Slurry Seal in Bradford, Nottingham and North Wales working in collaboration with our Colas Products colleagues, who have provide a ‘winter grade’ bitumen emulsion, which has been developed to deal with the colder mornings.

Our People Benefits

This week we’ve some great Christmas shopping cashback deals with the likes of Argos, Clarks and New Look. In addition, there’s a whopping 27% off this Black Friday on a range of home and kitchen appliances. Simply click here to find out more. If you have any questions please contact the Customer Services team:

New Starters

Joanne Szulc – Pre Construction
Thibaut Fabreguettes – UK Projects
Jack Tait – Portsmouth PFI

Taking Care of your Health

In the second of our Health & Wellbeing Toolbox Talks, we are looking at one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease or a stroke. Regular Exercise is the key to feeling better, helping to prevent or control many diseases, and most likely live longer. See our handy guide for more information.

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