Case Studies | Mctaggart & Mickel

Remarkable have supported Mactaggart and Mickel to excel in their employee engagement initiatives and to become an employer of choice. They recently achieved Platinum Investors in People recognition and are using Investors in Young People to continue to create a talent pipeline to lead the next generation and ensure ongoing success and sustainability.
Mactaggart and Mickel is one of the UK’s leading housebuilders; they have been building award-winning homes for more than ninety years. Accredited as an Investors in People organisation since 2007, Remarkable has been supporting them in their employee engagement objectives for over a decade. Mactaggart and Mickel proudly state “our people are what make our business successful” and building an organisation where employees want to work is the foundation of their business.

Investors in People recognises employer brands that are committed to looking after their people, engaging them and building trust. Delivering objective and independent insights, stretch and inspiration, Investors in People also provide a framework for continuous improvement, enabling ambitious organisations to innovate and maintain their competitive edge, deliver outstanding client experiences and increase prosperity.

Since Mactaggart and Mickel achieved Investors in People accreditation, they have continued to develop and enhance their people management strategies and activity. Marion Forbes, Director, set an objective for the organisation to become an employer of choice within the construction sector. And here at Remarkable we have supported them to achieve this ambition: through enhancing the ways in which they support and develop, engage and empower their team members, focussing on sustainable success, succession planning and continuous improvement.

It’s tempting to pay less attention to the areas of your business that are performing well. Management focus tends to be drawn towards the challenges and how to overcome them. But you need to be able to show improvement across the high performing areas too. It’s about being fit for purpose next week, next year and in ten years’ time. Marion Forbes, Director

Support and Develop

Recognising the backbone for organisational success would be a talented, committed and fully engaged team, Mactaggart and Mickel introduced ‘The Best of YOU’, a learning and development programme. The multi-strand programme has been highly effective, delivering business and people benefits:

All staff have tailored development programmes and continuous learning is supported with an average of 21.5 hours training per year for every employee. In addition, job shadowing initiatives have been introduced with over 40 employees participating over the last 18 months. This has facilitated a shift towards a more collaborative culture which is beneficial for Mactaggart and Mickel’s people, customers and business.

Staff turnover of 3.8% compared to a UK average of 15% 2016-17 was the fifth consecutive year of profit and increased turnover

Engagement and empowerment

Mactaggart and Mickel’s dedicated focus on employee engagement and clear development pathways has increased productivity and loyalty. Dedicated initiatives include:

At their recent Investors in People review, 95% of employees said they were proud to work for the company and there are high levels of trust and confidence amongst people, leaders and teams to make decisions. Increasing trust has fostered a culture of empowerment; one which embraces critical questioning, innovation, outstanding service and continuous improvement. Excellence and commitment is expected from every team member and in turn, the company has committed to empowering their people and delivering excellence.

Sustainable success and succession planning

A key objective for the company is to ensure a sustained talent pipeline and maintain a culture which nurtures and develops its young workforce. Increasingly the construction sector is faced with challenges traditionally associated with an ageing workforce including, skill gaps, attracting new talent and succession planning.

Built into the company culture is the belief that ‘while our experienced team is the backbone of our business, young talent is its lifeblood. Supporting the next generation is vital for sustainable growth.’ And therefore, considerable effort has been dedicated to the company's apprenticeship programme and supporting progression throughout the business. For example, many of the current management team were originally recruited as apprentices and have been promoted through the ranks into senior positions. Between 2014 and 2017 the company also took onboard and developed 11 new apprentices. Even the CEO, Ed Monaghan, started with the company as an apprentice painter at the age of 16.

Introducing new skills, fresh insights and ideas has helped the organisation to become more dynamic and forward thinking. Mactaggart and Mickel’s emerging leadership initiative programme brings together talented people to develop their skills by addressing specific business challenges. The group’s recommendations on improving customer service before, during and after home purchase were a key factor in Mactaggart and Mickel achieving a five star rating from the Home Builders Federation for the sixth year in a row. Marion comments, “this is voted for by the people who buy our properties, so it means a great deal to us”.

Employers like Mactaggart and Mickel have recognised the business value of investing in a youth employment strategy and are now striving to be an employer of choice for young people. Marion explains “we sought Investors in Young People accreditation because we feel passionate about investing in young people. We have specific programmes to support the next generation and wanted to be able to demonstrate that commitment externally, to be recognised by our industry peers and support us in our journey to become an employer of choice.”

Continuous improvement  

Underpinning these initiatives and commitments has been a drive for continuous improvement. Marion observes, “it’s tempting to pay less attention to the areas of your business that are performing well. Management focus tends to be drawn towards the challenges and how to overcome them. But you need to be able to show improvement across the high performing areas too. It’s about being fit for purpose next week, next year and in ten years’ time”.

Mactaggart and Mickel’s focus and determination earned the organisation Platinum Investors in People accreditation, an accolade that no other Scottish housebuilder has achieved. Platinum, the highest level of accreditation, recognises the success of the family-owned company’s strong commitment to develop, reward and support employees. 

So, what’s next for Mactaggart and Mickel?  

The only way is up! “We can’t afford to stand still, we want to excel. We intend to utilize every opportunity to ensure our continued success. There’s no silver bullet that will ensure that the brightest talent chooses to join your business rather than your competitors. But committing to programmes such as Investors in People is a good place to start on your own journey to be the employer that everyone wants to work for”.

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