Novus Blog

2019 in review for Novus

6 HIGHLIGHTS FROM A SUCCESSFUL 2019 FOR NOVUS

  17 MARCH, 2020      COMPANY UPDATES , CORE VALUES
Novus can count the final year of the previous decade as a highly successful one. Here, we’ve picked out 6 of our biggest highlights from 2019.   1.       Alan Nixon is Appointed CEO of Novus 2019 saw Alan Nixon take the reigns as CEO for Novus. Alan is a highly enthusiastic, experienced and distinguished construction professional with over 30 years of construction industry experience. In the years leading up to this appointment, Alan fulfilled several Board level positions within the Group before eventually taking his place as CEO. This appointment is a significant milestone in the history of Novus and was therefore a key highlight of 2019.   2.       Strong Financial Performance Despite difficult market conditions in 2019, the company reported greater-than-projected revenue of £162 Million. The financial result represents another impressive year of growth for Novus, without any borrowing and retaining profit. This can be considered an outstanding result for the company. In part, this achievement is illustrative of Novus’s stability in the market and sustainable growth model. Where other contractors within the construction industry are seemingly struggling, Novus are going from strength-to-strength and anticipate further growth in 2020. An ambitious but achievable revenue target of £180 million has been set. In a sector where contractors are folding at an alarming rate , the financial stability, sensible, and sustainable business practices of Novus are the ensuring that the company thrives and is ultimately able to deliver on its promises to clients.   3.       Reinforcement of our Company Values Novus is built on a bedrock of strong family values, having been established by the Seddon brothers in 1897 (learn more about the history of Novus here) and it is a family-run business still today with the shareholders being made up of the John Seddon family. 2019 saw Sophie Seddon become a shareholder. Incredibly, Sophie represents the 5th generation of the Seddon family to be directly involved in company ownership. It is from this strong sense of family that the strong moral and ethical code of conduct and employee inclusivity is derived. Within the company, this code of ethics is referred to as “The Novus Way” – a way of working that permeates every facet of the organisation, making the company credible, reliable and trustworthy. Never more was the commitment to these values reinforced than in 2019 through the development of the Novus “Shield”. To ensure that these qualities are enacted in all areas of the business, in 2019, all Novus colleagues committed to upholding the attitudes emblemised in “The Shield” framework. Over the course of 2019, a total 250 Novus colleagues and 150 of our subcontractors attended the nationwide training roadshows. Through the company’s commitment to its customers came the “It’s Our Job” initiative. Customer service is enshrined in the Novus pillars of conduct and that’s why as part of this campaign, the company trained every colleague throughout the business in customer service excellence, irrespective of position or role. Every Novus team member was asked to commit to the ‘Valuing Our Customer Pledge” a promise to provide each and every customer with a great experience. Going forward, Novus are committed to being a market leader in customer experience. Feedback is always welcome and if you have any to share, please do get in touch via our online contact form. Additionally, 2019 saw significant developments in the Health, Safety & Wellbeing policies of Novus. Headed up by new Novus recruit Adrian Honeywell, the SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) initiative spawned activities created with the sole aim of caring for colleagues, customers, and communities. Internal strength in Compliance has led to our service to clients being expanded. As this work stream in particular is a present and high-profile issue in wider society, it is an area where Novus can offer additional value to clients now and in the future.   4.       Social Value and Corporate Social Responsibility As a socially responsible and morally driven business, Novus are continually getting involved in social value projects throughout the UK, working with local community groups and charities nationwide. Novus are committed to becoming a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility within the sector. In 2019, Novus fended off competition from some of the biggest names in our industry to win two prestigious awards in the shape of the CSR Initiative of the Year Award from – Construction News Talent Awards and The Community Engagement Award at the National Building Awards. These accolades were awarded for Novus’s flagship CSR initiative: the “Big 5 Campaign”, a venture that saw 5 deserving community projects receive £20,000 each to help towards the cost of the renovation works. (see all the videos from the BIG 5 Campaign here). In addition, December 2019 saw Novus get into the festive spirit as each site encouraged to “Give a Gift” of time and/or money to the homeless and less fortunate. Charities that tackle homelessness and poverty benefitted from the campaign, alongside care homes and various children’s charities all were the recipients of gifts from Novus colleagues.   As charitable and social value initiatives are at the heart of operations at Novus, we will continue to work closely with our partners and local communities to help make lives better for the people who live there. Keep up-to-date with our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities by visiting the CSR section of the Novus website.   5.       Boosting Career Progression and Development Opportunities In 2019, Novus worked hard to build a legacy where people can live, work, and thrive; recognising that its workforce are the lifeblood of the business. Through robust succession planning and a culture of developing talent from within, came new opportunities for colleagues to grow and progress within the business. Novus is focussed on becoming organisation that continually nurtures talent and facilitates career progression. This tradition of talent development is showcased by the high volume of long serving colleagues who have moved into more senior roles within the business in recent times. Seven new Operations Managers were appointed alongside Steve Fitt as Senior Operations Manager, Sam Frame, Chris Murphy, and Gary Clay became Heads of Operations, and Sophie Seddon moved into a senior leadership role as Head of Client Engagement and Communications. Additionally, Novus also proved to be competitive in the recruitment market in 2019, attracting experienced and talented individuals to fill newly created positions in the business, such as Adrian Honeywell (Head of SHEQ) and Hannah O’Brien (Marketing Communications Manager). The performance and sustainable growth of the company has enabled Novus to invest in strengthening all areas of the business. The employment and training of apprentices is in the DNA of the company and is seen as vitally important to the future of the business and the industry as a whole. Novus has been employing apprentices since 1938 and are renown for the quality of their training. Last year, Novus employed 18 apprentices across a range of disciplines including Joinery and Multi-Trades. You can hear from 3 apprentices from the class of 2019 in our blog article here. Novus is committed to becoming a great place to work and creating great teams is a key area of focus for the business. To that end, Novus launched an employee engagement survey, which was designed to garner valuable input from colleagues across all areas of the organisation.  There was a massive response that saw 74% of the total workforce give their feedback and incite improvements in areas of operation such as internal communication.   6.       Contract Wins Novus remains a commercially attractive organisation as was demonstrated by some big contract wins, extensions and success stories. New contracts with Johnnie Johnson, South Derbyshire, New Forrest, NHS Boston and Lincoln, Midland Heart, Fortior Homes, Swindon Borough Council, and Unitas, along with the contract extension with Manchester University all represented significant business for the company. These examples are just a flavour of the major wins that Novus achieved in 2019, all leading contributing towards the ultimate strategic intent of the company. The level of repeat business and customer retention was particularly pleasing, as it demonstrates our focus on nurturing client relationships and commitment to being a leader in customer experience.     2019 proved to be a great year for Novus and these were some of many highlights for the business. We are hopeful that 2020 proves to be even more successful.
National-Apprenticeship-Week-Mike

NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK: MEET OUR APPRENTICES DAN, MIKE AND FINLEY

  05 FEBRUARY, 2020      CAREERS , CORE VALUES
Between 3rd – 9th February 2020 Novus celebrates National Apprenticeship Week. We are proud to have an 82-year long tradition of training apprentices and since 1938, the recruitment of apprentices has been a key focus for the company.   We believe that Novus is great place for young people to undertake an apprenticeship but don’t just take our word for it, here are 3 of our latest cohort explaining why they chose Novus.   Dan: Apprentice Joiner at Novus Dan chose Novus because he has family already in the business and was inspired by how well they are treated in the company. Novus are a family business; his motivations align perfectly with our own company values. Pursuing a career in joinery represented a more fulfilling role than his previous position as a plasterer. Dan felt like his career was flatlining and felt that a change of trade was needed. Dan decided that joinery offered him the opportunity to “get his career off the ground,” and as he likes to get stuck into his work, chose a profession that allows him to work on-site, in the real world rather than learning in the controlled environment of a classroom. In his first year with Novus, Dan is looking forward to meeting new people and is excited about facing the kinds of real-world challenges that arise outside of the classroom.  Looking ahead, Dan has ambitions of moving into management one day; following in the footsteps of his family and forging a long-term career for himself within Novus. Mike: Apprentice Electrician at Novus Mike is currently working out of the Novus Burton office having joined the company as an apprentice electrician. He was convinced to undertake his apprenticeship with Novus because of their track record of high-quality training and career development & progression opportunities that achievable within the organisation. Mike’s decision to train as an electrician is born out of his prior experience within the profession and his affinity towards the type of work involved. He feels that Novus is a great place to develop his skills and harness his potential. As with all our apprentices, Mike is looking forward to learning new skills, meeting new people, and is excited about the challenges that lie ahead as he develops. Being “the best electrician he can be” is Mike’s aim; this is reflective of the determination, drive and enthusiasm that all Novus apprentices possess. Once qualified, Mike intends to work his way up into a supervisory role and believes that the sky is the limit for him and his career at Novus. Finley: Multi -Trade Apprentice at Novus Finley is one our Multi-Trade apprentices who applied for the Novus apprenticeship scheme after researching the company online. Having been impressed by the positive reviews he found about Novus, Finley applied and was selected to join the programme. Finley chose a multi-trade apprenticeship in order to gain a more rounded and diverse skill set in construction to fulfil his long-term ambition of owning his own business. In his first year with Novus, Finley is looking forward to getting a greater understanding how the construction industry works and meeting experienced professionals from whom he can learn. Although he dreams of owning his own business one day, Finley is hoping to stay with Novus for a long time; building his knowledge and skills to become the best well-rounded multi-trades professional he can be. Want to learn more about the Novus apprenticeship scheme? To register your interest in becoming a Novus apprentice, please contact us via our online form or send your CV to recruitment@novussolutions.co.uk
Novus worker Dani Robert Wrights stood near windows

DANI CHOSE NOVUS

  15 OCTOBER, 2018      CAREERS , CORE VALUES
Dani Robert Wrights tells us why she joined Novus when she was looking for progression… I had previously worked for a larger corporate business, where I felt like a number. My line manager manged so many people you wouldn’t have been surprised if they didn’t recognise you when they saw you. At the end of my time at my previous employment I did some training towards becoming a site supervisor however when I left I didn’t have the experience to go for this role straight away. I came to Novus looking for progression in February 2017. I wanted a business to invest time and effort into me. I’m not a job hopper so wanted to make sure this move was the right one. As soon as I met the team I knew things would be different at Novus. Since joining Novus I’ve developed much faster than I expected to. Joining Novus as a Contract Liaison Officer (CLO) I joined Novus as a Contract Liaison Officer (CLO) where my role was to keep communications flowing between site teams, clients and office colleagues. A big part of the role was customer communication – lettering procedures, satisfaction surveys, pre-entry information, and engagement sessions to ensure that all of our customers were kept informed throughout the work. Refurbishment and Decoration Work The majority of my work was with residents of housing associations, councils and care homes where we were carrying out cyclical decoration or kitchen and bathroom refurbs.  My role meant I came into contact with lots of different people and no two days were ever the same – I could spend days in the office or equally I could have been visiting three different sites in a day.  I liked the variety the job gave me, and it definitely kept me busy! Social Value Projects Part of Contract Liaison Officer role was to head up social value projects.  I’ve organised a wide variety of events from refurbishing community spaces, to teaching people with learning difficulties painting skills whilst decorating an internal space for them to making donations.   In my new role as Site Supervisor I have had the exciting challenge of supervising the Big 5 Project in Birmingham but from a different perspective. Now I am responsible for co-ordinating the works, making sure we stick to programme and stay within the budget, as well as ensuring my colleagues health and safety remains at the forefront of everything we do. The Novus Difference What makes Novus different is the close working relationships.  The directors visit and they know you by name, which makes you feel like a valued part of the team. I also have a strong support network of colleagues around me.  There’s always someone you can direct questions to. It’s no surprise to me that when people come, they stay. If you are looking for a company where you can progress, like Dani was, why not look through our current vacancies.  
Sophie Seddon sat on sofa

BITC EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM

  03 OCTOBER, 2018      CORE VALUES , CSR , INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Our Head of Client Engagement & Communication, Sophie Seddon discloses her top tips for businesses and schools to work together successfully. “I was invited to speak at the Education Symposium hosted by Goldman Sachs on Wednesday 26th September.  This was organised by Business in The Community to encourage and advise other schools and businesses to partner as the benefits are outstanding.” The History of Novus’ Partnership with BITC 5 years ago, we were approached by BITC and The Business Class to partner with a school in Stoke–on-Trent who were going into special measures.  With no hesitation we agreed to work with them to help them through a very difficult time.  We saw an opportunity to get closer to the community we work in, but more importantly we identified an opportunity to work with potential future employees. After 5 years of working with Thistley Hough we have carried out over 100 projects including CV workshops, mentoring, a scholarship programme, donated bespoke school books, built allotments, created a school bank and set up a bank account for every child, and the list goes on.  You can read more about our partnership here. Top Tips for Sustainable Relationships between Schools and Businesses After a very successful partnership these are my top tips for schools and businesses to create a sustainable relationship that really works: Set clear, simple objectives that are easy for everyone to understand including the pupils, parents, teachers and employees. Empower employees to design and own projects and give them the authority to see them through. Be open and honest.  If something isn’t working speak up and move on. Innovate.  Create innovative projects that are interesting for everyone to be involved in. Don’t make excuses!  We are all very busy people and have our day jobs but take accountability and get the job done! Have fun!  It has been a fantastic 5 years for us all and we have had so much fun along the way, so enjoy it!
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PRESS OFFICE
Hannah O'Brien
Telephone: 07854 781631
Email: hannah.obrien@novussolutions.co.uk
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