Our people are at the heart of what we do – they deliver the high quality, trusted service to our Members and are essential to our brand reputation. Our focus this year has been to support the business-wide transformation programmes and provide the support, development and change management required to enable our teams to work to the best of their abilities, achieve job satisfaction and deliver business plans and objectives.

Attracting talent and developing our employer brand

Making sure we attract the right talent, and really show people what a great organisation the AA is to work for, has been an important activity this year. A shift in focus to direct recruitment sourcing, rather than using intermediaries, has led to an increase in volume to our candidate pool of over 300%. Our resourcing team delivered over 2,000 candidate offers during the year.

Some of the key highlights we have delivered this year:

  • We have rebuilt our recruitment website, in line with the refreshed AA brand and values. Our new website brings our staff to the fore, highlighting the role they play, the brilliant job they do, and the diversity of career opportunities we offer.
  • The AA’s apprenticeship scheme is now live in our Oldbury contact centre. We have partnered with an external learning company, Learn Direct, to support our new two-year scheme. Current numbers on this programme are 30, with more planned in Oldbury and across other sites throughout 2017.
  • The AA has been designated a Disability Confident employer, having signed up to the seven commitments which actively encourage and enable people with disabilities to work for the AA.
  • The AA was one of the first organisations to receive a Gold Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). It recognises businesses that are supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, or their families, are treated fairly.
  • We recommitted our support to the armed forces community at a series of events at AA offices during Armed Forces Week where AA reservists and ex-forces personnel worked with the Ministry of Defence to explain the work of reservists. 

Investing in our people

This year has been a year of change for many of our teams, therefore, it has been important to provide support, development opportunities and some formal learning. Some of the highlights have been:

  • Learning and development The new team have introduced an interactive induction guide, which allows new recruits to view videos and source useful information before they start with us. Providing this information to people early on in their AA journey is a key part of cementing our relationship with them.
  • Developing our people We have worked with the operational management teams to establish what makes a great front-line employee in our contact centres – analysing how we should develop people to maximise their performance through competence and align those competencies to our values. This has been built into our attraction, recruitment, training and assessment programmes.
  • Learning management system In the later part of 2016, we developed a comprehensive learning management system, which will be launched during 2017. This online solution will offer a range of training and learning interventions, and enable us to record and report on training completion and competence.
  • Performance management During 2016 we identified behaviours, aligned to our values, with the view to embed these into our performance management processes and framework. Ahead of launching the new performance management process for the 2018 financial year, we are rolling out the new behaviour descriptions to allow our teams to become familiar with them and consider what they really mean for them.
  • Recognising outstanding contributions The AA employee award ceremony was held in September, attended by 400 employees and their guests. A total of 21 awards were made, ranging from Patrol of the Year to our most outstanding call centre advisers.
  • Ownership in the AA We feel it is really important that our teams directly benefit from the hard work and dedication they give to the organisation and our brand, so we offer an annual Employee Share Incentive Plan (ESIP) , in which they receive a free matching share for every share purchased. We were pleased to see in the 2017 financial year that 36% of our people have participated. 

Our people profile

It is critical to the future success of our business that we have the right people, with the right skills in the right roles to enable us to deliver the service our members expect and deserve.

Synergies and efficiencies in management structures, systems and support functions have enabled stream-lined organisation structures and a reduction in headcount, as the transformation programme continues.

We recognise the benefits of diversity throughout the AA and always look to ensure that we have an appropriate balance of skills and experience at Board level and throughout. More information can be found in our Governance Report on pages 43 to 78 of the 2017 Annual Report.

We strive to engage all our stakeholders with fairness, dignity and respect and endorse the UN Declaration of Human Rights – we do not tolerate child labour or forced labour, and respect freedom of association and the rights of employees to be represented by trade unions or works councils.

The AA is a fair employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, age, disability or ethnicity. This policy applies throughout the AA and is communicated to all employees during their induction training and throughout their employment with us. It is our policy that people with disabilities should have full and fair consideration for all vacancies. Where employees become disabled during our employment, we endeavour to retain and adjust their environment where possible to allow them to maximise their potential.

Engaging with our people

It is important to us that we have a culture of openness with our teams and that we engage with them, particularly during this time of transformation. We have regular dialogue with our people through various channels, including staff and management-level focus groups and listening sessions. Communication internally is through our internal intranet and emails, one to one /team meetings, and conferences.

Whistleblowing Policy

We are committed to conducting our business with honesty and integrity. The AA’s whistleblowing policy encourages employees to raise concerns internally that can be investigated in a timely and effective manner. We regularly brief our employees on our whistleblowing policy and communication channels open to them. During the year, six cases were escalated for review by HR and the ERCC. Common themes include staff behaviour, management discrimination and performance management.

We formally engage and consult with the AA’s recognised union, the IDU, and have an elected Management Forum which provides a platform for management-level employees’ view to be heard, as well as meeting our legal obligation for Information and Consultation.