Our employees are central to our business, driving innovation and contributing to our growth. Our aim is to create a safe, modern place of work that recognises the value of diversity and encourages people to give their best. We continue to invest in our people, developing environments and opportunities that will attract, develop, motivate and retain talented employees.
Training and development
We have identified through our “Talent Framework” the skill sets that employees require to be successful in an organisation such as ours. We use this insight to develop our Learning Academy Portfolio to offer a range of relevant training courses, providing our employees with programmes that can help build their capability and careers. Our flagship Management Development Programme (“MDP”) covers many of the skills needed to be a successful manager in Oxford Instruments. We see the positive impact the MDP has on our employees, with those completing the course reporting an average increase of 20% in their self‑assessed skill levels. In 2016, we plan to introduce a Technical Development Programme aimed at developing the skills needed for a successful technical career. We are now running our High Potential Programme for the second cohort of candidates. Those that completed the inaugural course have a robust career development plan in place to help them map their future. We are making preparations for the third cohort of our Early Career programme and have adjusted this to run more in line with the academic cycle to ensure we attract the best candidates.
This year we have developed a Group‑wide Technical Career structure to offer technical employees a clear career path within Oxford Instruments without taking on people management roles. This helps us attract and retain the best technical expertise. New this year is an OI Fellows Programme aimed at recognising our pre‑eminent technical contributors. This will help us raise the profile of technical skills across the business.
Our businesses are active in recruiting interns and two of our businesses have been working with local Centres for Doctoral Training (“CDT”). For both interns and CDTs we offer support centrally, demonstrating the opportunities that are available within the wider Group organisation for career development. As a result of this work to develop our talented workforce, we have seen an increase in the number of employees that are rated high potential and we are promoting more individuals internally to Director roles. We will continue to encourage able people to join us, stay with Oxford Instruments and progress.
We continue to build on the feedback we receive from employees regarding better communications about our performance and strategy. We have made the recordings of our results presentations easily available on our intranet and have recently released a short video introducing the latest developments in the delivery of our strategy.
Many of our businesses hold “Espresso” meetings, short informal presentations over coffee or lunch, where topics of interest can be discussed. Examples of these presentations include a focus on new products, understanding what it means to be a plc and Business Excellence case studies.
This year to support our Employee Survey, we also ran a short Pulse questionnaire for the first time to hear how we have been addressing the concerns our employees raised previously. We had a good response rate and results have shown an improvement in how our employees feel we communicate our business performance, reflecting the focus we have placed on this.