Culture

After 70 years, Simons Group still believes that business is more than just a financial or technical operation; it’s about building relationships with people as well - whether they are customers or staff. 

Although the company needs to be performance driven, a key part of its culture is to have the right people doing the right things. After all, it's people who drive the business forward.

"Building Better” is a phrase often used within Simons when people talk about culture. It's the overall umbrella under which Simons'  initiatives “Building Safer”, “Building Greener” and “Building Healthier” sit and something the business strives for everyday. Building Better summarises Simons' ethos towards improvement and learning and its drive to make every project outstanding.

This relentless pursuit of improvement, to be the best through Building Safer, Greener and Healthier - and therefore Building Better - is what makes Simons a first choice for its customers, supply chain and workforce. 

Building Greener is Simons’ way of ensuring it considers sustainability in everything it does. 

Established in 2010, this principle strategy is strengthened by five key sustainable initiative targets for water, carbon, biodiversity, responsible sourcing and waste management.

Water Target – to deliver projects with a minimum water demand and drought resilience by 2020. Simons’ head office has been rainwater fed since 2006. With both wash basin taps and urinals having flow restrictors and water management systems fitted, a 60% reduction in water usage has been achieved. Wherever possible, development projects have rainwater harvesting and sustainable urban drainage. Carbon Target – to be a zero carbon business delivering zero carbon buildings by 2020. Simons has been measuring its carbon emissions since 2008 with the aim of making reductions equivalent to the carbon footprint of its head office each year.

Biodiversity Target– to deliver all development projects with a significant contribution to wildlife habitat by 2020. Eco-protection works can be costly and cause delays but Simons is committed to utilising the BREEAM species diversity calculator tool to review each site at inception and using an ecologist ahead of design work to gain a positive score upon completion. All development projects have a biodiversity plan which builds space into each scheme for wildlife habitat.

Responsible Sourcing Target– to deliver projects that are 100% responsibly sourced by 2020. Simons only permits FSC and PEFC timber to be used on site and regularly holds events to raise awareness amongst consultants and the supply chain around ethical and sustainability issues. The company has also developed a procurement strategy which it expects all suppliers on major projects to adhere to.

Waste Target – to deliver zero waste projects by 2020. Simons has consistently outperformed its target to reduce waste to landfill by 50% year on year and is now on track to complete all projects with 100% diversion. This has been achieved by using best practice advice from organisations such as WRAP, utilising SMARTWaste and with help from waste broker, Go Green.

At Simons, the ethos of ‘Building Safer’ is integral to all of its work. 

Ensuring projects are properly planned from concept to completion, with the right people and processes in place to review risks and build methods, means Simons builds in a safe and respectful way.  The business firmly believes in empowering its workforce and supply chain to encourage and support accountability for safety. Trained to be knowledgeable and aware, Simons' people are mindful not only of their personal safety but that of their colleagues. The result is a continued reputation as a safe builder and a workforce who return home at the end of the day, unharmed.   

"Our people are integral to our business success and while we place great importance on their skills, their health and wellbeing is paramount. No one’s work should impact on their health or safety - everyone should return home to their loved ones fit and healthy after their days’ work. It's our duty to ensure that happens." Caroline Haslam, Simons' Health and Safety Manager 

A key part of the Simons’ Group culture is having the right people doing the right job. It is people who drive the business forward and so it is vital that they receive any support they need to be able do their job well.

Simons was one of the first companies to sign up to the ‘Mates in Mind’ charity to support mental wellbeing in the construction industry. The company is pleased to utilise and promote the charity’s Mental Health Toolbox Talks on site as well as sharing videos and literature about mental health and mental illness to help reduce the perceived stigma attached to this topic.

Simons now has 12 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA UK trained) and will be training a further 12 site based first aiders in the near future. 

Working in partnership with WellPoint, staff can now benefit from Health Kiosks on some sites to measure BMI, blood pressure and weight.  Plans to roll these out across all sites has gone down well with both employees and also CCS assessors. 

As part of the company’s ethos of building healthier, promotion of wellbeing awareness campaigns, such as the distribution of men and women's Health Haynes Manuals, continues.  So far, these have covered overall health management and beating stress and have resulted in several people going to their GPs for tests. In turn this has led to one employee receiving an early diagnosis of prostate cancer which could subsequently be treated. 

Relationships are at the heart of everything Simons Group builds. 

The company strives to forge long lasting relationships with a core group of customers in order to work with them on repeat contracts. Marks and Spencer is a perfect example of this with over 200 projects having been completed by Simons for this customer alone. 

Simons also strives to build strong relationships with its staff and suppliers as having the right people doing the right job is a huge part of company ethos. 

By operating in a way which is sensitive to the impact of its actions on all stakeholders, Simons believes that as a reliable, relationship based company, it will be one that customers, suppliers and staff will want to be part of.