Buro Happold

Case study

Buro HappoldBuro Happold is an engineering company with 30 years of experience, and works in all areas of the built environment. It commissioned one survey from The Survey Initiative two years ago, and is on the cusp of its second.

As HR Director Andrew Daubney explains, the first survey came at a significant time. “We had been through five years of very rapid change, growing from 500 people to over 2,000 over that period. We wanted to ensure that the expansion had not been at the expense of our corporate culture and values. We were also keen to discover how engaged and fulfilled our people felt.”

With the aid of The Survey Initiative, Buro Happold structured a survey that investigated a diverse range of topics. The area of pay and benefits was of particular interest to the company, given that it was operating in a hot market with finite numbers of top people to draw on.

“We were keen to cut the data both by geographical location and discipline, as we work in many fields,” Daubney says. “We got great results from the survey, which achieved a response rate in excess of 72 per cent. Indeed, this was potentially a double-edged sword, as the very positive results might have encouraged complacency. Fortunately, though, there are always areas that can be improved on!

“The Survey Initiative produced reports that really drilled down through the results across locations and skill sets. One of the less positive areas was the consistency of our communications: a gap seemed to have emerged between the strategic messages from the top and the way these were perceived lower down, where the emphasis tended to be more project-focused. On the back of this, we produced an action plan, setting up a firm-wide employee forum to bolster two-way communication. We made our team-briefing cascades more formal, and opened up a host of online channels including blogs and tweeting.

“We believe that all these things represented considerable improvements. But we want to make sure that this is the case – hence our desire to run a second survey!”

 
Everyone is always well briefed on our needs, responsive to any changes and ready to provide ideas and suggestions...

Andrew Daubney, Human Resources Director,  Buro Happold
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