Every voice is valued. That’s the functional basis of eXPD8’s Colleague Representative Group (CRG) which was formed in 2011, over 10 years ago. Its purpose is to provide an elected body that represents all colleagues, from all areas of the business, and at all levels within eXPD8. The elected body has the authority to consult with the company, on behalf of all colleagues, with their decision being final. It’s a governance process which is vital to how we do business.
How we find our voice
Colleagues can send in questions via the CRG combined email address which is given out to the Field. We have representatives in all Regional Telegram groups and all CRG representatives can be identified by their username, as each has “CRG” in their usernames. So, by typing @CRG they can see who their representative is. If an issue is operational, it is forwarded to the relevant Regional Field Manager. If intervention is required at a CRG level, all members have visibility on the issue, and it is raised at a quarterly meeting.
The group facilitates input from colleagues on decisions that will affect colleagues; sometimes it is a legal obligation for us to do so. Ultimately, it provides a channel to discuss and, if appropriate, to challenge future plans. Members are provided with sensitive information as part of their role and therefore a confidentiality agreement is signed prior to joining. The group does not discuss individuals, but the bigger picture. It’s the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ in action, where truth is found through collaboration. And it’s really powerful stuff.
Responsive to the business’ needs
The meeting agendas depend on what is happening in the business at the time. Typically, the CRG reviews current trading conditions and receives updates on what eXPD8 is aiming to achieve. We discuss the best approach to sometimes challenging situations and provide a viewpoint from each area of the business. The members gather views and feedback from their colleagues, so issues raised via the whole business can be discussed, debated and actions agreed. A real benefit is derived from the equality of the group. Everyone is the same!
During the pandemic the CRG had weekly video conference calls to address the Government’s regional changes (England/Scotland/Wales/NI). This has been hugely beneficial. In reality, the CRG is an action group. If you disagree with a planned action you are expected to challenge it. If you have a suggestion for a better approach, you are encouraged to put it forward for the rest of the group to debate. And given the level of expertise available in the CRG, there’s rarely a problem that can’t be solved; a flat hierarchy of solution finders!
The freedom to speak openly
Representatives are required to actively contribute to any discussions and bring any feedback to the group. They also need to check emails weekly and respond to emails/calls within a reasonable period. Meetings are held a few times of year (again this depends on current trading situation) usually in Bristol. In some cases, we may also hold a meeting via a conference call rather than a face-to-face meeting. Indeed, that’s been the case throughout many of the ongoing restrictions, though the group values its capacity to bring us together.
The time commitment from members varies but is not a substantial time commitment, an average of an hour a month and a member’s ‘term of office’ is 3 years for each colleague representative (although where an colleague leaves they will no longer be eligible to be a representative and a replacement will need to be appointed). The important thing is that any colleague can be a colleague representative as long as they are in a permanent role in the business. There is no discrimination. In fact, it’s all about inclusion.
Welcoming a bright future
The CRG is an extremely important group who provide independent oversight on key decisions and actions planned by the business. It is the voice of all colleagues and actively challenges the business to improve colleague engagement. The CRG is fundamental to the shaping and execution of the strategic People Plan and is a governance procedure that will continue to be place as we make eXPD8 ‘Fit for the Future’.
If you like a sound of working with a business that listens to its colleagues, please reach out on RecruitmentTeam@expd8.co.uk or alternatively, check out the range of roles available here. We look forward to meeting you!