06 April, 2023

We’re incredibly proud to have been shortlisted at the 2023 Northern Housing Awards in the categories of Best Approach to Diversity and Inclusion, Best Approach to Employee Wellbeing and Contractor of the Year.

Since its launch in 2018, the Northern Housing Awards shine a light on the individuals and organisations who make it their mission to improve homes and communities in the north. They also recognise those companies that provide homes and help communities deliver services that change lives, promote innovation and successful overcome obstacles. In short, they want to give businesses and individuals the recognition they deserve in making a difference for the people in our operational regions.

Best Approach to Diversity and Inclusion

We’ve always put our people at the heart of everything we do – from our 800+ employees to our clients and end users, all of whom benefit from our core set of values known as the ‘Novus Way’. This people-centric ethos reflects our goal to create a workplace where everyone can thrive – regardless of their background. We have also introduced a six-point plan to improve inclusivity featuring initiatives such as a Menopause Policy.

Colleagues from across the business – of all levels and backgrounds – have been involved in the formation and development of these strategies, through internal initiatives such as our highly successful Women in Novus (WiN) network and similar network groups which focus on race, disability, carers and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

These groups form part of our ‘Without U there is No US’ strategy, which aims to further champion diversity and inclusion across the business. Spearheaded by our CEO and board, it focuses on the role every employee can play in creating an inclusive environment as well as enhanced education and development opportunities for all.

Since its launch in June 2022, our ‘Without U there is no US’ strategy has already played a significant role in further increasing diversity and inclusion at Novus. This includes the mean gender pay gap within the business being reduced to 15.2 per cent and signing the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.

Best Approach to Employee Wellbeing

The wellbeing of our employees is something we take very seriously and through our ‘A Helping Hand from Novus’ internal communications campaign, ongoing reward and recognition programmes, and investment into further improving diversity and inclusion, we’re helping make a positive impact on our colleagues. We also now have 15 active Mental Health First Aiders, and are proud to announce that 38 more colleagues have signed up to receive training this year.

With a high proportion of our employees regularly driving between sites or working on site all day, we launched a wellbeing podcast as an inclusive way for these colleagues who don’t regularly access emails to still receive mental health support. We also held a series of internal and social media campaigns including ‘Healthy Bodies Week’, ‘Giving Back Week’ and ‘Financial Health Week’ to not only help with issues at work but also issues outside of work.

Recognising that 80 per cent of our workforce is male and that men – particularly those working in the construction industry – are most likely to die by suicide, we have recently changed our EAP provider to the Lighthouse Club, which offers more specific support, and we have also partnered with Andy’s Man Club.

In addition to this, we have recently taken part in Mind’s ‘Time to Talk Day’ where all our offices stood down and came together to discuss mental health and have meaningful conversations. Early this year, we also launched our ‘Say It Out Loud’ campaign which is rooted in asking if colleagues are really okay, and will be the focal point of all wellbeing initiatives throughout the year.

Contractor of the Year

The Contractor of the Year Award focuses on contractors that embrace innovation, and who are constantly evolving to not only survive but thrive in a challenging financial environment. The category also recognises those companies that go above and beyond, engage in true collaborative working and deliver value for money without compromising on quality – something we are proud of doing at Novus.

Our people-centric legacy extends to create an inclusive workplace, as well as providing value for money and excellent service for our clients and giving back to local communities. This ethos, combined with innovative thinking and investments, has been the driving force behind our phenomenally successful growth.

Since launching our ambitious five-year growth strategy in 2021 we’ve introduced two new services – Sustain and Interiors and undertaken several policy changes to attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. We have also delivered value for money through our strong supply chain partnerships and have clearly segmented our service areas – Interiors, Maintain, Assure, Projects and Sustain – to allow us to take a more targeted approach to growth and present a clearer vision to our client base.

We have also invested heavily in creating campaigns designed to increase engagement among both our workforce and external stakeholders e.g. including subcontractors in our biannual ‘Safety First’ roadshows. In addition to this, Our ‘It’s Our Job’ (IOJ) initiative, which ties into our company values, runs throughout the business and is a promise made by all Novus employees to put the customer at the heart of everything they do, every day.

As a leading ‘21st century’ contractor we understand that collaboration and innovation is key which is why we introduced our Oneserve system which is designed to be both easy and efficient to use, offering benefits not only to our team, but also to our clients and end users.

We also regularly benefit our communities through our flagship Build Back Better Challenge, by donating a variety of resources to deserving community projects. The most recent winner of the Build Back Better Challenge is the Edinburgh Tool Library, which benefitted from a refurbishment of its centre.

Since its launch in January 2021, our Build Back Better initiative has supported 258 projects. It has benefitted upwards of 7,300 lives across the country through donations of money, materials, labour and time, at an estimated cost to us of £155,000. Through this, we have delivered an additional £2.1 million in social and local economic value.

It is because of these commitments, that we achieved a record year for winning work in 2021 and attained our highest turnover figure in our 10-year history of £186m in 2022, despite the challenges of rising materials costs and labour shortages in the same year.

Our Business Development & Marketing Director Claire Bailey-Jones commented:

 “We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for three categories at the Northern Housing Awards. Our continued hard work in creating a fully inclusive working environment and our efforts in looking after the wellbeing of colleagues, clients and customers shines a positive light throughout the business. “Since the launch of our five-year growth strategy in 2021 we have made massive leaps and improvements in the services we offer and technology we use to make sure we stay one step ahead of our competitors and go above and beyond for our customers. Fingers crossed we bring home a trophy…or three, at the Awards ceremony in May!”

Awards Ceremony

The Northern Housing Awards will be held on Tuesday 2nd May at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. We’re very excited for the ceremony and can’t wait to see if we we’re successful on the night.



We’re proud to have successfully delivered £6.5 million of maintenance for housing association Bromford during the 2023/24 financial year, in a partnership spanning more than a decade.


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