Making a difference to our employees
People are the one of the Group’s most important assets, so we focus on ensuring we create a highly collaborative culture where people feel motivated, valued and supported. We strive to be a business that’s as diverse in its make up and inclusive as possible, as we believe that drives better outcomes.
To help us achieve our mission of being one of the most admired UK digital businesses, we have built a simple, lean and non-hierarchical business that is centred around its people. Our colleagues are organised into high-performing, data-oriented squads to ensure we are agile and quick to respond to change.
We value our people and their opinions. Therefore, we organise an annual employee conference where all colleagues get the chance to get together to celebrate our achievements and share the strategy for the year ahead. We also hold regular business and financial updates throughout the year to keep employees informed on the Group’s performance and priorities, and we hold monthly breakfast sessions where our people can ask questions and gain useful insights in a relaxed environment.
Employee engagement and recognition
Our employees are key to helping us fulfil our purpose and at Auto Trader we are proud to have a culture of open feedback. We use formal and informal mechanisms to assess and improve employee engagement and satisfaction.
We have set up working groups to improve recognition, career development and physical and mental health. We also hold regular ‘health checks’ that allow squads to sit down together in an open and secure environment to discuss how they feel in the workplace. To gauge how our employees are feeling, we conduct an annual employee survey as well as a pulse check-in survey. During this particularly challenging year, we felt it was even more important to regularly check in with employees and we therefore carried out regular ‘Check-Ins’. We listen to the feedback and, with the support of our senior leaders and their teams, we review and develop action plans.
93% of our employees are proud to work at Auto Trader. We also look to Glassdoor for feedback; our rating based on more than 300 reviews is 4.4/5.
To ensure our Board understands the experience and listens to the views of our employees we established our Board Engagement Guild. The Guild is aligned with the Corporate Governance Code standard to ensure our Chairman and Non-Executive Directors have regular and effective engagement with our employees without the executives present or involved in preparation. The Guild has representatives from different areas of our business, with the main focus of gathering feedback from our employees to feed up to the Board to enable it to gain insight and understanding of our culture from an employee perspective, as well as discuss a variety of subjects.
Diversity and inclusion
We want to build a diverse and inclusive workplace where every one of us can be our best and true selves; only with a mix of different ideas and perspectives can we come up with the most exciting new ideas and create the best experience for our customers and consumers.
Striving to significantly improve the diversity across our whole organisation remains a key strategic focus of our ESG strategy. Although we are pleased to be one of only nine FTSE100 companies to have a 50:50 gender parity on our Board, we recognise that there is more work to be done not only across other levels of leadership but also across other diversity strands.
Diversity for everyone at Auto Trader means respect for and appreciation of differences in: gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, race and ethnic origin, religion and faith, marital status, social, education background and way of thinking. We believe that inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported for who you are and have the same career opportunities as others.
In the last 12 months we have launched two talent programmes; one focusing on Inclusive Leadership for all leaders across our organisation and the second a Diverse Talent Accelerator programme designed to support the progression of mid-career colleagues. Both programmes have been designed to support our overall strategic ambitions by supporting our leaders to be more inclusive and helping their development through the organisation.
All Auto Trader and Webzone new starters participate in our “One Auto Trader: Creating a Culture of Includes”, a one-day workshop that aims to create a common understanding of diversity and inclusion as well as creating a safe environment where participants explore their own unconscious biases and how they impact their thoughts, behaviours and relationships.
We have a range of groups, guilds and networks at Auto Trader to bring colleagues together in line with our philosophy that inclusion can be achieved by finding common ground and respecting each others’ differences:
- Age Network: focussed on creating an inclusive environment for the multigenerational workforce of Auto Trader. The network has established its commitments and formed a partnership with Carers UK
- BAME Employee Network: a group of black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and allies that celebrate multiculturalism and inclusivity through events and social media take-overs to drive awareness of the issues that our BAME colleagues may face
- Board Engagement Guild: a platform for our Board Directors to gain insight and understanding of our culture from an employee perspective to ensure the Board receives information and opinions directly from employees to enhance decisions
- Disability and Neurodiversity Network: led by a group of disabled, neurodiverse colleagues, as well as allies, dedicated to creating a more accessible and inclusive environment so we can welcome and retail more disabled and neurodiverse colleagues
- Family Guild: supports colleagues with balancing work and family life
- LGBT+ Network: committed to developing policies which support our LGBT+ community, including ‘Transitioning at Work’ guidelines to support our current and future trans colleagues.
- Make a Difference Guild: committed to empowering everyone across the Group to support our local communities, our industry and wider society. The Guild has developed a comprehensive strategy to expand our charitable partnership programme as well as our community outreach plan
- Sustainability Network: a group of colleagues who are committed to finding innovative ways to be a more sustainable business
- Wellbeing Guild: promotes physical and mental wellbeing among our workforce, helping everyone have more good days at work
- Womens Network: focussed on improving and evolving representation of all individuals that identify as women at all levels of Auto Trader, the automotive industry and the digital communities we operate in, by recruiting, retaining and developing women talent
Learning and development
Our ambition is to make sure that everyone’s career is supported by learning opportunities, which includes self-learning, attending conferences, peer-to-peer mentoring, coaching and structured programmes.
All new employees join our induction event in their first three months; this is designed to ensure everyone has a great start in their career at Auto Trader and is facilitated with members of our Learning and Development team, Operational Leadership Team and colleagues from across the business. It is an opportunity for all new starters to gain an understanding of our culture, strategy and values. It also helps them develop relationships and start building their personal network.
We believe that individuals who engage in their own personal development are more motivated, more self-aware, fulfil their potential and add more value to the organisation. All our employees are supported by their people leaders in regularly reviewing their personal development plans. The way we all learn is different, so we have a number of ways to support our people including self-directed learning solutions, workshops, bite-sized sessions and on-the-job activities.
We welcome a number of new graduates, apprentices and internships through our various programmes aiming to develop future talent with the skills and personal qualities required to have a successful career with Auto Trader.
Employee wellbeing: More Good Days AT Work
We recognise that our people have their unique set of needs, challenges and preferences. Consequently, we have built our strategy around three core pillars: mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
Our dedicated team of Mental Health First Aiders is available to support colleagues that are experiencing mental health issues and works on different initiatives to promote mental wellbeing and emotional resilience.
To support financial wellbeing, we continue to partner with a mortgage broker offering free, no obligation one-to-one mortgage advice sessions to anyone looking to get on the property ladder. We also have sessions with a pension advisor who provides useful information about our Company pension scheme to encourage employees to invest in their long-term financial future.
We have also introduced a new benefit: annual gym membership aimed at supporting our people and their physical wellbeing.
Our objective is to retain and maintain a healthy and happy workforce.