People are key to our success. We aim to develop careers by promoting talented individuals to positions of leadership.
The well-being of our people has continued to be of the upmost importance. We continued to support our employees during periods when government guidance advised working from home during 2021. We enhanced our lifestyle programme, with a focus on resilience and healthy home working. We provided additional support to employees, where needed, and we supported a number of initiatives which encouraged our employees to stay active whilst they were working from home. As part of our employee engagement survey, we sought views on how our employees felt supported by the Company during COVID-19.
Safe and welcoming offices
We re-consulted with our people prior to the offices reopening in line with government guidance, and individual and office risk assessments were refreshed. The measures to ensure our offices remained COVID-secure and in line with government guidance continued. We installed plasma air ionisers to air conditioning filters and added additional greenery to enhance the working environment for our people. Our people have enjoyed a safe return to the office, reporting in the employee survey that they felt it was a safe and friendly environment and they enjoyed being based at the heart of our Covent Garden estate.
Capco ran its inaugural employee survey in 2021. The survey had a high response rate and received very positive feedback in all areas. The results were delivered to the Company and employee-led working groups were set up to look at areas of improvement in the following areas: New Ways of Work, Integration, Business Processes and Space. Recommendations and proposed next steps were then presented to the Executive Directors, leadership team and employees. Recommendations will be bought forward for implementation as appropriate during 2022. We intend to continue running periodic employee surveys.
Our aim is to manage talent effectively and ensure that we have sufficient capability to realise our strategy. We regularly undertake succession planning exercises to review the talent pipeline and progress individuals according to capability. We have a graduate recruitment programme for top graduates who pursue an internal programme of training and mentoring, which will ensure they are well prepared for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Assessment of Professional Competence (“APC”). Each graduate is assigned an experienced Capco counsellor and supervisor who guides them through the APC process. New opportunities that arise in the business are advertised internally and we aim to promote internal candidates in order to enhance career development and encourage mobility across the Company.
Training and development
Capco training and development programmes are designed to strengthen our teams and challenge aspiring leaders. We make training available to all employees, and individual training and development needs are identified and discussed at performance review meetings with line managers. During 2021, our employees recorded 852 hours of training activity. We sponsor individuals undertaking further professional qualifications, and encourage continuous learning, reflecting our commitment to a knowledge-based environment. Mental health eLearning continued to be provided to all employees. We recognise that coaching and mentoring can have a significant impact on behaviours, and certain employees continue to benefit from bespoke coaching programmes. We provided specific training on working practices to junior team members during the year.
A new online performance management system was introduced at the end of 2020, building on our continuous performance and development culture in order to increase productivity and performance. Annual performance objectives for each employee are agreed at performance check-in meetings, which take place at the beginning of the calendar year. Ongoing performance check-in meetings take place regularly throughout the year. Performance is measured against objectives set for the previous year and individual performance ratings underpin discretionary annual bonus awards.
Capco promotes a high-performance and entrepreneurial culture, reflective of our business strategy. Capco people operate with integrity and are supportive of colleagues across the business. Employees are particularly engaged with the business and understand the difference they can make in progressing our strategic objectives. We have an inclusive approach and aim to help people develop and realise their potential. Capco people are results-driven and brave in their approach to new ideas. Many of our people are in new roles and have assumed increased levels of responsibility since joining Capco. We support new parents returning to the workplace, and encourage our people to adopt a healthy attitude to work-life balance and to participate in the community. We provide maternity coaching to senior female employees to provide additional support in transitioning back into the workplace.
Our values underpin Capco’s culture and the way we operate as a business. They guide our decisions as we implement our strategy, creating economic and social values for our stakeholders. Our values can be found here.
In addition to core elements, an attractive package of additional benefits is available to all our people, which includes private medical insurance and dental cover. The Company currently contributes up to 15 per cent of salary to the MyCapco pension scheme, which will be increased to 17.5 per cent of salary during the year. Our policy is to enable employees to take their full annual leave entitlement of 28 days per annum, rising to 30 days after four years’ service, and we offer a flexible leave policy under which employees have the ability to buy and sell up to five days’ holiday per calendar year. All employees have access to a biennial medical through our external company GP based in Harley Street.
Lifestyle and well-being
During 2021, we hosted virtual seminars for our employees on a wide range of topics, including mental wellness, supporting dads, lower limb health issues, the importance of exercise and a session on oncology. We also had a specific emphasis on financial well-being, and ran a session for first-time home buyers. Other topics included will writing, protecting your wealth and saving and investing.
Recognising the impact of a third lockdown on our employees, Capco offered all employees three additional well-being days during the second quarter of 2021. We encouraged our employees to stay active during periods when they were working from home, and we provided access to a Company-sponsored well-being app which provided yoga, Pilates, cardio, stretch and strength based exercises, as well as healthy recipes, mindfulness and meditation. Additional support was provided to employees, where needed, in the form of counselling, check-up calls from the Company’s private GP and welfare calls from HR and line managers.
A month-long employee well-being challenge “Steptober” took place during October with over half the Company participating and a charitable donation was made to LandAid’s Steptober challenge.
The aim of our reward strategy is to compensate people for high performance and to incentivise them to strive to improve. Core compensation packages at Capco comprise three elements: base salary, discretionary performance bonus and discretionary share awards. The discretionary elements are available to all employees. We regularly benchmark our approach to reward to ensure that we are appropriately competitive in the market. Bonus awards are made annually and take into account performance during the year.
All Capco employees are eligible to receive share awards so that everyone can participate in the success of the Company. These awards have a three-year performance period and are subject to corporate performance conditions.
Diversity and inclusion
We believe that every person in the Company has a part to play in generating value and we understand fully the benefits of a diverse workforce. Diversity is considered when making appointments at all levels. We are keen to develop female talent across the business and provide executive coaching to our senior leadership team. There is strong female representation across the business.
A summary of gender diversity across the Company as at 31 December 2021 can be found on page 83 of the 2021 Annual Report, available here.
Capco’s maternity pay and shared parental leave benefits each pay six months’ full pay. In addition, we regularly review our policies to be a more inclusive and supportive employer and introduced a domestic abuse policy during the year. Interactive Company-wide training was provided on the following areas: Ethnicity in Property; Inclusive Behaviours and Unconscious Bias; and Respect at Work.
We continue to support a number of initiatives which aim to increase diversity within the property industry, including being a signatory to the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark, a member of the Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion (“ENEI”), a member of Real Estate Balance, a sponsor of the Reading Real Estate Foundation and a supporter of the Pathways to Property work experience programme. Capco is a corporate member of the British Property Federation (“BPF”) and supports the BPF Futures programme. In addition, Capco is a member of the BPF Diversity and Inclusion Champions network. A number of employees are involved with the Urban Land Institute (“ULI”) and the ULI Next and Young Leaders Programmes. We have a policy to promote equality in relation to race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability and nationality amongst our employees and also an anti-harassment and bullying policy. During the year Capco hosted a Real Estate Balance event with our Chief Executive, Ian Hawksworth, participating in the event as mentor. In addition, one of our employees co-chairs the Real Estate Balance NextGen Committee and delivered a presentation about Real Estate Balance and the committee to our Board.
This year we partnered with the social mobility charity UpReach and provided work experience to two students. We continue to support the Reading Real Estate Foundation’s Access programme and provided an internship placement to one student. During 2022, we will provide a summer internship to a student under the 10,000 Black Interns programme. We are keen to promote inclusivity and diversity amongst the wider community and worked with the Westminster Property Association during the year to promote their disability forum.
Human rights and UN Sustainable Development Goals
Capco does not have a stand-alone human rights policy, as the standards we expect to be adhered to are integrated within a number of our policies and procedures which relate to both our own employees and those of our supply chain. Capco’s ESC strategy is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). More information on the relevant SDGs can be found within our ESC strategy, or on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website. Capco’s Supply Chain Policy can be found here.