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Tackling Diversity

TACKLING DIVERSITY

  27 APRIL, 2018
Novus is committed to being an employer of choice. To us this means being a company that is recognised for attracting and employing the best, developing and realising the potential of its people. We have already been recognised as a leading employer by Construction News, winning both Employer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year awards, in the five years since the Novus brand was established. We are fully committed to remaining at the leading edge. This means focusing on building a more diverse workforce with opportunities for personal development and professional fulfilment for all. Understanding our pay gap Women’s hourly rate is 25.9% lower (mean) and 25.4% lower (median). Top salary quartile has 93.3% men and 6.7% women Upper middle salary quartile has 94.8% men and 5.2% women Lower middle salary quartile has 90.3% men and 9.7% women Lower salary quartile has 57.1% men and 42.9% women Women’s bonus pay is 87.2% lower (mean) and 26.4% lower (median) 56.8% of men and 53.5% of women received bonus pay Construction, as an industry, has long suffered from a lack of women joining its professions. We are actively engaged in several initiatives through Business in the Community and Women in Construction where we work alongside our peers to help develop attraction strategies to encourage more women to pursue a career in the sector.  We see a need for Government to help improve funding and resources to help encourage young women to pursue qualifications for construction while at school, tackling the issue at its source. We are committed to finding the best person for every role, irrespective of their gender, but are working hard to ensure our business represents an attractive career option for everyone, to increase the number of female applicants we receive. Our pay gap is a result of a significant majority of our workforce being men, both at an operational level and in management. Women currently represent approximately 15% of our total workforce. Although outside the scope of reporting regulations because of its size, JSSH Limited, the Novus holding company, is proud to have an equal representation of men and women on its board. Whilst this is not yet reflected within Novus, our Board of Directors are passionate about achieving greater diversity at the senior management level. Putting the business on the path towards achieving and sustaining a diverse workforce at all levels is an important part of Novus’ long-term goals.   Closing the gap We are determined to close our gender pay gap but recognise that this will require a long-term strategic approach. Our Board is developing an action plan in response to the Gender Pay Gap report, which we will announce to our teams later this year.
Rolling out fire safety seminars with Hilti

ROLLING OUT FIRE SAFETY SEMINARS WITH HILTI

  08 DECEMBER, 2017
Working together with global construction technology specialists Hilti, we've completed a series of seminars on fire safety and passive fire protection. Together we've co-hosted eight events nationwide to date, educating over 85 people in total, with plans to roll the seminars out further in 2018. The events offered those working within the industry the chance to undertake their continuous professional development, and learn more about why maintenance companies should take a ‘total’ fire safety approach to their work. The seminars were free of charge to attend and were aimed at dispelling some of the myths around fire safety.  This includes not just the materials used such as fire retardant coatings, but also ensuring that the correct inspections, repairs and replacements are completed when required. Novus director Lee Hartley explained: “As a FIRAS certified contractor, we have undergone an extensive assessment on this matter, and following the tragic events we’ve witnessed this year, we wanted to help educate people within our own industry on the good and bad practices encountered with fire protection works. These seminars explain how contractors must take an all-encompassing approach to fire safety ensuring high levels of workmanship at all times. “These seminars give us a chance to introduce some of our key partners and clients to the experts at Hilti and challenge some of the myths that still exist around passive fire protection and in particular the correct specification and installation of fire protection products. “The events we have hosted to date have been very well received and we believe we have helped a lot of our delegates to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the work contractors must undertake to ensure best practice in fire safety.” We work closely with market-leading fire protection product manufacturers including Hilti, and have been awarded its“Approved Contractor” status for passive fire protection.
Increasing efficiency with two new apps

INCREASING EFFICIENCY WITH TWO NEW APPS

  19 OCTOBER, 2017
We're reaping the benefits of rolling out two new bespoke mobile applications, designed and developed to deliver an even more efficient service for our clients.  We developed the two innovative, user-friendly apps, ‘Approbo’ and ‘CapturePoint’ in-house in order to streamline the process of dealing with snags on project completion and pre-work site surveying. Both apps have now been rolled out to half of our 30 UK offices following a national training roadshow undertaken this summer. As a result, staff who regularly use both apps have noticed a reduction of paperwork duplication as well as increased client satisfaction scores. Lee Hollins, our systems manager said: “There were existing applications available which met some of our requirements, but these lacked the exact functionality needed to integrate fully into the business. The apps have been deliberately designed to be user-friendly as we were mindful we didn’t want to add to the workload of our staff but make things easier and more efficient for them.  “We’re really pleased with the number of staff who have wholly embraced both apps and how much of a difference they are already making to day-to-day business operations. We’re now getting staff approaching us with ideas for new apps for other areas of the business as a result.” Tablet-based site defects management application Approbo, enables contract managers to log snags quickly and easily, with the option to take and annotate photos for clarity. It also features a back office portal, allowing managers to monitor a project more closely. If there is an urgent issue the system will automatically notify project managers to ensure an immediate response is guaranteed. As well as aiding the current snag process and making it more streamlined, we plans to use data captured by Approbo to develop our service for clients in the futre. Data provided would allow us to identify issues or snags which occur frequently, in order to deliver targeted training for site operatives and ultimately reduce the number of snags. Our CapturePoint app, which also benefits from both a back office and tablet interface, has been developed to speed up the site surveying aspect of any large planned refurbishment project. Surveyors can automatically enter details of all works to be carried out on each area of a building and attribute costs using a preloaded schedule of rates. There’s also the option to take and attach photos. Having developed both apps in-house means we have the flexibility to adapt and update them to meet new requirements as needed. Since Approbo was initially launched, we've created an add-on specifically for Fire Prevention works. This is designed to ensure all works completed, materials used and other contractors involved are recorded, providing clients with complete accountability and traceability. Following the successful implementation of both apps, we're now examining other areas of the business which could benefit from adopting a bespoke online or mobile app based system.  
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Sophie Seddon-Hall
Telephone: 07973 345873
Email: sophie.seddon@novussolutions.co.uk
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