Construction, Asset Management & Investment
Head of Human Resources Michael Smyth
GRAHAM is a multi-skilled organisation operating in the construction, asset management and project investment sectors offering services to a diverse range of clients in the UK and Ireland.
- Why did you want to be part of the Be Fair framework?
We recognise the importance of quality employees in delivering competitive advantage and fairness, inclusion and respect are key drivers of employee engagement. Constantly being at the forefront of equality initiatives inspired us to seek the opportunity to benchmark ourselves against national standards and focus on ‘stretch’ improvements.
- What benefits has the Be Fair framework brought?
Our work on fairness, inclusion and respect has contributed towards GRAHAM winning major contracts with National authorities. For clients it is a given that contractors will provide a professional, cost effective and technically proficient solution. Critical decision factors in awarding contracts are therefore focused on how the contractor will add value as a responsible business. Be Fair just makes sound business sense and it’s now an area of competitive advantage for us.
We are an ambitious company, committed to excellence and innovation, that wants to continuously improve. Equality and diversity is now core to our people strategy, with assigned champions at all organisational levels ensuring our vision is embedded within the business. Be Fair accreditation is the national benchmark for the industry that demonstrates we are achieving a high standard on these crucial issues.
- Was this a big commitment?
Any organisational change is never plain sailing and there will always be people who take longer to understand the benefits so communicating what and why you are doing things is a must. Whilst there are obvious start-up costs in terms of time and resources, once best practice is embedded within your culture it becomes simpler to manage and costs reduce dramatically.
- Would you recommend the Be Fair frameworrk?
This was the only one that really understood the issues we face as contractors. We found that our people just ‘got it’ because it was designed with them in mind. There was big buy-in from the supply chain, too. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for Be Fair, because, at the end of the day, everyone wants to be treated with dignity and respect.