KCP carries out specialist maintenance work for large industrial structures. The company operates throughout the UK, on sites that range from manholes and landfill to renewable energy plants. Of course, some of the work that KCP does is low-level, less hazardous stuff – clearing out manholes, for instance – but up to 60 percent of the work is in areas that are hard to access and require bespoke, niche solutions. Managing Director Wendy Pring heard about the Business Pledge at around the same time she was applying for Investors in People accreditation – and saw how the two initiatives complemented each other.
The company have an equalities and diversity policy which covers the workforce, management and the board. They are also an IiP employer and believe this helps get the best out of people across all protected characteristics. They have also signed up to Partnership for Change and display messages from this campaign throughout the premises. This lets employees know that they are committed to achieving gender balance and broader diversity. There are 15 employees. The majority of the workforce are male (60%) but there is a 50:50 gender split in the senior management team and the Board.
The company invests in training to develop managers’ skills and particularly soft skills and to increase their confidence. At the moment, all of the mangers undertaking training are female, but all staff would be supported in this way regardless of their gender. They also believe that offering staff opportunities to develop their skills through training helps them to retain talent.
Equality and diversity are very important to the company, and has helped improve the board’s performance through a balanced perspective on key business issues, including corporate governance and understanding customer needs. It also has a positive impact on turnover and productivity across the company. KCP also believes gender balance also improves the perception of the company held by potential recruits, staff, clients and other potential board members. “It took us a long time to get the right people – and doing things like the Business Pledge has really helped us to define what we’re looking for, and what roles we need to fill.”
Being a part of the Scottish Business Pledge has broader implications for KCP – especially when working alongside much bigger companies. “When we work with big companies that have signed up to the pledge, we want to show them that we align with the same principles. Supply chain quality is such a hot topic just now, so showing that we’ve signed up to the pledge will be excellent for tendering for work.”