It’s often said in the construction and scaffolding sectors that people don’t do business with companies; they do business with people. At Millcroft, people are at the heart of our company, and the way we treat them – whether they are a trainee in the yard or an important client - is reflected in our culture and our reputation.
Increasingly, our clients expect us to demonstrate that we are an ethical business that cares about people, communities, the environment and doing the right thing. For us, this isn’t a box- ticking exercise. As a family business with a history stretching back almost five decades, it’s fundamental to our business culture and how we operate.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few of the key areas where we’re setting the standard for our sector by making sure we do the right thing and nurturing a positive, ethical business culture.
Creating a Great Place to Work
We believe that a great place to work needs a great team and the provision of an exceptional service to our clients. Our aim is to be the first choice of scaffolding company for those who want to progress in their career or take the first steps on the ladder. To do that, we have to offer a work environment that is fair, safe and full of opportunity.
Our commitment to training is central to those objectives. Every member of the team has an individual training plan, developed to reflect their career goals. Our on-site CITB Site Safety Plus accredited training centre means that we can deliver regular formal training courses, leading to certification, alongside training refreshers and toolbox talks.
Our aim is for every member of the team to be developed to be the best that they can be and to feel valued as part of a skilled and supportive workforce. As part of delivering that goal, we have also rolled out mental health training to the entire Millcroft team, helping them to recognise the symptoms and triggers of poor mental health in themselves and others, removing stigma and embedding a culture of inclusiveness and community. We’ve even delivered mental health training to clients too, making a positive difference on this important topic for the wider construction sector.
Our latest training initiative is to engage with the Government’s Kickstart programme to create job opportunities for young people and bring new skills into the scaffolding sector. We have committed to inducting 12 Kickstart trainees over two years, and have developed a bespoke training and development programme for them, including a six-week induction, formal training to help them gain health and safety competence and CSCS cards, as well as on-the-job training and mentoring. We’re also helping with our Kickstarters’ travel costs to work, giving them additional paid hours to top-up the mandated 25-hour week to a full-time role, and we’ve provided them with their own Kickstarter uniforms.
Creating a great place to work is not just about training, it’s also about looking after our people and showing them that we value them in other ways too. We are a Real Living Wage employer and are committed to offering a safe and comfortable work environment. That includes investing in FORS accreditation to ensure our vehicles are safe and well maintained and, during the pandemic, has also included regular testing and additional safety measures.
We aim to promote from within and provide an environment where any member of the team can rise through the ranks. There are several examples of this within Millcroft, including our operations director, Mark Stimpson, who originally joined us as a labourer, and Elry Gasa, our recently promoted Head of Accounts.
Looking after the Environment & Our Community
The way we treat our environment and community are also important to us. We are a licensed waste carrier, ensuring that all waste from site is disposed of responsibly, with as much as possible diverted from landfill.
Our environmental commitment also involves sourcing sustainable materials and reducing carbon emissions. All the timber we use is certified from renewable, managed forests and we have upgraded our vehicles to low emissions models. We also consider how we load vehicles to optimise space and reduce vehicle movements, and encourage our team to travel to work and site by public transport.
Working with our community brings together a number of the values that are important to us. We support the work of the Construction Youth Trust to help create opportunities for young people in the sector and are also active in fundraising for charities, most recently by rounding up the money collected by Ginny in our office following her Walk All Over Cancer Challenge, resulting in a £1,000 donation.
Building on Our Culture
After almost 50 years in business, our skills, expertise and focus on service bring our clients back to Millcroft time and again, but it’s not only our operational excellence that underpins that loyalty. Our ethical approach to acting responsibly and valuing people makes us a company that people want to do business with and an organisation where people want to work. We’re very proud of that.