Novus Blog

Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant at Novus holding flowers with employee

WORKING AT NOVUS - DONNA MCMULLON

  09 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Novus is a family business owned by the 4th generation of the Seddon family, although we are now a national contractor with over a £140 million turnover, the family values remain. Here is our second colleague Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant to tell us why she loves working at Novus. What is the greatest thing about working in Novus? People, the internal culture makes the working environment a pleasure to be part of, there is a true sense of family values and coming to work is a pleasure. What has been your greatest achievement? There are a few, achieving my Business Degree many years ago when I first joined the company. Since then, it has been managing the Investors in Excellence certificate and more recently has been the development of my department and evolving with the company. What has been your most challenging moment? Presenting to the senior management team about 9 years ago! Although I have a good working relationship with the team, I found it a little daunting stood in front of a table of over 30 board members while delivering the IIE standard!  Humour often helps me get through! What is your most memorable story? A memorable story was when we ran a customer care campaign to take 3 families to Lapland one Christmas. Terrie Brett and I took these families from 3 different housing associations, having no children of my own back then, it was like taking Ebenezer Scrooge himself!!! While I took care of the practical matters, Terrie entertained the families (and the entire plane) with renditions of Christmas carols over the intercom system! The joy on their faces was a beautiful moment and I remember them all so clearly. Who would have thought that a company in our industry could deliver such a nice gesture to 3 lucky families!! Priceless! What are you looking forward to in the future? More of the same quite frankly! Let’s build this empire together, but let’s be happy in doing so
Dan Holdcroft, Painter and Decorator at Novus

WORKING AT NOVUS - DAN HOLDCROFT

  08 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
As you may know, we are celebrating 5 years of working the Novus Way.   As part of this achievement, we put the spotlight on 5 employees from around the business to share their stories on why Novus is a great place to work. Here Dan Holdcroft, Painter and Decorator from Burton, tells us his reasons: - What is the greatest thing about working in Novus? The greatest thing about working for Novus is the support and recognition that you receive as you progress and develop within the company.   What has been your greatest achievement? My greatest career achievement to date is winning UK Construction News Apprentice of the Year Award 2017. What has been your most challenging moment? The most challenging moment in my career so far has been standing in front of a panel of judges and talking about myself as part of the UK Construction News Apprentice of the Year selection process, because it wasn’t something that I was used to doing. What is your most memorable story? My most memorable story relates to the painting competitions that I have entered including Dulux, Johnstone's, the Painting Decorating Association (PDA), and Skillbuild.  I was able to progress from not even being placed to winning them, and competing in front of 100s of people at the National Painting & Decorating Show at the Ricoh Arena.  I can reflect on the improvements that I made each time I entered and my overall progress. What are you looking forward to in the future? I’m looking forward to completing the ‘Stepping Up’ programme, putting the management skills that I have learned through the training to good use, and ultimately seeing where I can progress to in the future with Novus. Visit here again soon to see what the other guys have to say.
Vikki Cooper, Site Supervisor at Novus stood behind Novus logo

VIKKI COOPER: COMING FULL CIRCLE

  30 APRIL, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Vikki joined Novus in 2005 as an apprentice painter and decorator. Since completing her three-year apprenticeship and taking on the role full-time, she has steadily progressed to the position of site supervisor, now working out of our Birmingham office. In this blog, she explains why she decided to join our national network of Skills Champions as part of our new Skills 4 Life initiative.  My first day as an apprentice was almost 12 years ago but I can still remember how I felt at the very beginning of my career with Novus. So it was like coming full circle being asked to help during this year’s apprentice day. Watching the new intake of 26 fresh-faced apprentices get stuck into the challenge and work together brought memories flooding back for me. Find out more about this year’s challenge at the Macari Centre in Stoke-on-Trent here. I thoroughly enjoyed mentoring the apprentices on the day, helping them with practical skills and answering their questions. I’m proud to be part of a company that actively supports and nurtures its staff throughout their careers. I’ve benefitted from Novus’ continual investment in my own training and career development over the last 12 years, and to be honest, this was one of the reasons why I put myself forward to be a Skills Champion - so that I can give something back and hopefully inspire others. The Skills 4 Life initiative is all about passing on practical skills and giving people the confidence to try something new. Through the initiative we’re working closely with some of our social housing clients to equip residents with new skills and improve their job prospects at the same time. I’m the Skills Champion for the Bristol area which means that I’ll be on hand to help mentor small groups during any regional events in the future. One of the first Skills 4 Life events I’ve been involved with was at the Macari Centre homeless shelter. We worked with a small group of residents to help them repaint one of the centre’s communal areas using their new-found skills. Seeing their reaction once the room had been transformed was really rewarding and I can’t wait to get involved in more events to come. The Skills 4 Life initiative embodies Novus’ values. Working in the ‘Novus Way’, that is, by working together as a team, always looking to the future and nurturing relationships with colleagues and clients, is every bit as important as getting the job done right. I love my job. Every day is different and I really enjoy getting out and meeting new people and seeing a job well done. I can honestly say I’ve given it my all and with Novus’ support I’ve come so far and I’ve got my sights set on further progression in the future. To find out more about working with Novus take a look at our dedicated recruitment site. 
Novus employee holding sign that says 'Target Zero, see it, sort it, report it'

POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION

  30 APRIL, 2017      COMPANY UPDATES
As we reveal that, during the latest quarter, 20 of our offices achieved health and safety audit scores above last year’s average, we ask the health and safety team’s Gareth Mayers and Rob Warwick what we’re doing as a company to continuously improve health and safety. The health and safety audit results for July to September are really encouraging and show that across the board, we’re making excellent progress. Overall, 157 audits took place during these three months - the busiest months of the year. Many of our clients, particularly in the education sector, commission work during the summer so it’s testament to everyone at Novus that our audit scores improved during this time. The Plymouth office did particularly well, with a score of 98.4%, while the Northampton office was the most improved with 93% - a 13% increase on the previous audit. As well as these great results, we are also delighted to have recently achieved the RoSPA Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety, for the second year running!Some of our offices still need to improve their standards though, so we’re arranging meetings with operations teams to see how we can work together to achieve better levels of health and safety across the board. Our record overall is improving, but we can’t yet be fully satisfied, so we are continuing to apply new strategies and ways of working so that we can all make further progress and ensure Novus is an even safer place to work.We spread the health and safety message nationwide, and at a recent Health and Safety Committee meeting, all members signed a terms of reference agreeing to promote excellence within the region they represent.  Meanwhile, new Toolbox Talks are regularly delivered to give employees the latest – and best – advice on subjects ranging from careful housekeeping to working at height. We have plenty of new topics in the pipeline as part of this campaign, to encourage continuous improvement throughout the company. Target Zero is another campaign we’re running, which aims to improve standards by communicating good safety performance and improved standards and knowledge. We also carry out surveys with operatives as part of this campaign, so we can identify areas where we can improve. We also have embraced new technology in the health and safety team! Our processes are being streamlined with the introduction of tablet computers, and these will help to make substantial time savings during and after on-site audits, so we can dedicate more time and focus on other areas. We need every Novus employee to support us in our mission to improve health and safety and thank every one of them for their continued support in driving safety, which is essential to the ongoing success of our business
PRESS OFFICE
Hannah O'Brien
Telephone: 07854 781631
Email: hannah.obrien@novussolutions.co.uk
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