23 November 2015 | James Richards
Halfords picked up the ‘highly commended’ accolade for the Impact on the Workplace category at this year’s BIFM Awards.
Held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane, the awards celebrate best practice and achievement in the facilities management sector.
Halfords is a major retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products. Through its ‘autocentres’ it is also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators.
Halfords’ highly commended project was to create a more inspiring working environment for colleagues and visitors at its retail support centre. The aim was to improve employee engagement and wellbeing by creating a more relaxing environment in which to work.
In practice, this involved a major fit-out project to refurbish the staircases, landings, and toilets in the main office block, reception, corridors and restaurant.
Russell Paton of Halfords’ marketing team and an external consultant completed the original design. Noble Interiors, KNS and Waterfree completed the work.
One of the main drivers for the project had been feedback from employee engagement surveys, in which some staff had voiced concern about the condition of the toilets and requested more modern changing facilities and showers for cyclists. This follows the cultural trend toward implementing wellbeing strategies in workplaces across the country.
Work was completed in tactical phases and at nights to minimise the effect on normal operations at the site. The in-house facilities team worked closely with all areas of the business to make sure disruption was minimal – email updates were sent by the support centre email system.
The project was a complete success; all works were completed on budget and on time, and no health and safety concerns arose. Overall employee engagement increased from 69 per cent in 2013 to 83 per cent in 2015.
Halfords employs about 11,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in its retail stores, increasing to around 160,000 retail products online.