Content on this page is extracted from the Accsys Technologies PLC Annual Report 2020
One of Accsys’ core values is a commitment to value “all stakeholders, all the time” – and this is especially important for our internal stakeholders – our ‘Accsys family’.
Growing quickly, we have increased our total headcount by 45% in the past three years. Importantly, we are not just increasing in numbers – we are constantly learning, evolving and improving together too.
We want to help develop the capabilities, knowledge and experience of our people, and support on-the-job learning with expanded opportunities and challenges to take on as the business grows and becomes more complex.
We have a geographically and demographically diverse workforce for a growing business, with major operations across three sites in the UK and Netherlands, and an office in the USA as well. From mechanical operation to sales and marketing, and plant construction to wood supply sourcing, our activities and roles encompass a wide range of skills and personalities.
One of our challenges is to develop our shared culture, strategy and values across all areas of the organisation, and we have made good progress in that area over the last year.
We developed and introduced a new corporate identity with a shared purpose, vision and values, and will be developing and embedding that further over the months and years ahead. This of course needs to be balanced with devolved authority, responsibility and autonomy appropriate to each function and site, so that we can learn from the breadth of our diversity and become stronger together through the sharing of varied
perspectives and ideas.
We held our first ‘Accsys People’ full employee engagement survey in February 2020, with an exceptionally encouraging 81% response rate from across the business. This has provided valuable insight into areas and issues on which to focus more attention, with senior leaders bringing together teams of colleagues from all levels, geographies and areas of the company to work on focused improvements.
One way in which we’re already bringing our purpose and strategy into everyone’s daily work is the introduction of a new performance management system based on objectives and key results. Starting with a pilot group including Senior Management, we are adopting a more frequent feedback model. This encourages flexible ongoing management of priorities that align with cascading strategic objectives, while also surfacing potential ‘pain points’ and ‘blockers’ to progress, allowing for timely solutions to be implemented alongside opportunities for training, support and development. This will be supported by our ongoing work on our performance management culture, and reviewing our compensation philosophy.
Looking to the future, we have already learned and improved some areas a great deal through our response to COVID-19 and the impacts it has had on life, work and our business operations. We will be aiming to take forward and build on the positives we can – such as broader, more transparent and frequent internal communications, and remote working capabilities – as well as progressing new initiatives and renewing focus on our values and culture.
We held our detailed ‘Accsys People’ survey in February 2020, asking employees across the organisation for their input on a wide range of subjects. For a first of its kind project for the Company, we were very pleased to receive the input of 81% of our employees – showing a willingness to engage and desire to improve the business, together.
Particularly positive responses were seen around customer focus, job fit and clarity, and respect and fairness, showing already some strong alignment with our values. For example, with 78% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they “feel proud to work at Accsys and are treated with respect”, we see not only a positive initial result but also an opportunity to improve even further.
Areas where our team feel we can improve include performance management and organisational effectiveness, cross-functional and more global collaboration. We are already progressing projects around some of these areas, and have initiated new workstreams in response to the results, which were shared in transparent clarity across the whole business.
These teams, incorporating employees from mixed levels, functions and locations, are looking at both company-wide and more local opportunities for improvement. We are encouraging a ‘think globally, act locally’ approach to combine the most effective targeted changes with shared overall development for Accsys.
We are planning for a second Accsys People survey in the coming year to gain further insight and monitor the effectiveness of our response and ongoing development.