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Sarah Hayes

My name is Sarah Hayes and I am the HR Director for Securitas UK and Securitas Technology. I have worked for Securitas for nearly 8 years, I became the HR Director in November 2019, just a couple of months before Covid arrived in the UK. Securitas is the world’s leading intelligent security services provider. Our current strategy relies on almost 90 years of experience of leading the transformation of the security industry by putting our clients at the heart of our business.. We employ circa 9000 people in the UK ranging from On-site officers, to engineers, to dog handlers to corporate risk management experts. People are at the heart of everything we do. Development is important to us and we are proud that every employee in our business has equal access to a range of qualifications and courses using our online learning management system, we provide on the job training, coaching and mentoring too. We actively celebrate and embrace our differences and believe that by working together we can make your world a safer place.

Belonging, Happy & Health and Successful



Introduce yourself and tell us about your organisation  

My name is Sarah Hayes and I am the HR Director for Securitas UK and Securitas Technology. I have worked for Securitas for nearly 8 years, I became the HR Director in November 2019, just a couple of months before Covid arrived in the UK. Securitas is the world’s leading intelligent security services provider. Our current strategy relies on almost 90 years of experience of leading the transformation of the security industry by putting our clients at the heart of our business.. We employ circa 9000 people in the UK ranging from On-site officers, to engineers, to dog handlers to corporate risk management experts. People are at the heart of everything we do. Development is important to us and we are proud that every employee in our business has equal access to a range of qualifications and courses using our online learning management system, we provide on the job training, coaching and mentoring too. We actively celebrate and embrace our differences and believe that by working together we can make your world a safer place.



What do you think defines an organisation as a top employer today?  

Being a Top Employer is something we are very proud of, it has helped shape our people strategy over the years. Being a Top Employer means that we have been recognised and awarded for our exceptional workplace practices, employee engagement, and overall commitment to creating a positive work environment. This accolade means we have been through a rigorous assessment and evaluation and met the standard. It means we have been benchmarked against the best in class and as the standard and criteria change every year we are always at the forefront of leading people practices. As the world of work develops and changes, so does the standard. A Top Employer is an employer that wants to learn and grow and be at the forefront of the world of work with a strong employee value proposition. Being recognised as a Top Employer is a testament to our dedication to our employees and their overall well-being. It helps us attract top talent, enhances our reputation, and contributes to our long-term success.



Tell us about a recent initiative that you have instigated within your organisation that you are most proud of?  

Over the last year we have implemented a number of initiatives aiming to improve work for our people under the umbrella of three themes, Belonging, Happy & Health and Successful. One thing we are particularly proud of is our Belonging strategy, over the past couple of years we have gone from a company that has a policy to a company that has belonging right at it’s heart. We started with a vision and sent out a survey to understand how our people felt, since that beginning we have recruited 100 D&I champions from up and down the country, created 4 employee networks, all of whom have been to head office meetings to listen to inspiration speakers and talk about changes to create a place where we all belong, we have marched in a London Pride collaboration, added mandatory D&I training for all employees annually, with additional training for people managers. For us it is just the right thing to do. Since we began we have seen a huge improvement in many of the metrics we measure, but to name one, 31% more of our employees feel that we have a culture that makes them feel included.



What is the next objective in your organisation's journey to keep improving the employee experience?  

Over the next year we continue with our three strategic themes, Belonging, Happy & Healthy and Successful. In relation to belonging, we want to increase the number of women in our organisation and we also want to increase the number of women and people of colour in leadership roles. To support this we are working in a cross industry collaboration to raise awareness of our industry and the diversity of people and roles with in it. We also plan to launch our development programmes, targeted at our under represented groups so that they are ready to apply when the roles become available. A fundamental part of this programme will be building confidence – every delegate will also work with a mentor; we are already training mentors internally to a level two award. By the end of this year, we will have a directory of 100 mentors, they will be accessible to any employee that would like one.



What is the biggest challenge facing your organisation today and how are you planning to overcome it?  

One of the biggest people issues that we face is the shortage of licenced officers. There is a limited pool of individuals with the necessary qualifications and experience and there is strong competition among security companies for these skilled professionals. Additionally, the perception of security work is that it can be demanding and challenging, requiring irregular working hours and night shifts. To address this issue, we will continue to try and educate the employment market as to the opportunities that we have available and demonstrate it as a viable and rewarding career path. We will continue to build on our development opportunities and continue to offer free licencing training to bring new people into the industry. We will also be continuing to improve our EVP to create a positive work environment. There is a piece of work that we will be doing to encourage young people to come in to the industry and this will include the use of apprenticeships and work experience. Our purpose is we help keep your world a safer place, which is a compelling purpose that we need to build upon.



How will your organisation have to adapt to meet the changing future workplace?  

As the future workplace changes, we will need to adapt in a number of ways. We will need to invest in training and development to enhance the skills and knowledge of our people to demonstrate our commitment to their professional growth. We understand that younger generations, but also many people following covid want better work life balance, it will be important for us to rethink how we cover customer contracts in a new way, and we must consider how we can make security work more flexible. We must continue to strive for better pay for our officers, as a real living wage we always encourage our customers to support in this, but we need to consider if this is enough and what else can we do to reward our people for the work they do. We will always endeavour to be at the forefront of technology developments, we will review the use of AI and how technology can improve our employee experience. And finally we will continue to stay up to date with the latest ideas and thinking to ensure we are the best place to work.



 

This interviewee was kindly introduced to us by ‘Top Employers Institute – the global authority on certifying excellence in employee conditions.’ Their organisation is certified as a Top Employer.

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