The social purpose driving our 2021 business plans

Despite all that we had to contend with due to COVID-19, 2020 was a year of strong performance for Helix. This was not only in the context of what we achieved as a team, but also in how the business is shaping up for 2021.

2021 will mark the final year of our first business plan and, already, we know we will broadly achieve what we set out to do, back in 2017. Now is the time to press on, skip the reflection and look ahead to what type of business Helix wants to be over the next four years.

Looking to the future

We will consider carefully all the usual practical objectives – our markets, customers, growth and operational performance – as we did in 2017. But, as a growing SME, it is important to reflect on how our social purpose can be a key component of these plans. As the rate of change seems set to continue at pace in 2021, having the right values to underpin and guide this is more important now than ever.

That means that we will not only talk about the ‘what’ of what we do as a business, but also about the ‘why’ and the ‘how’. 

Importance of fairness

We believe that fairness has always prevailed in how we conduct our business. This will therefore feature significantly in our 2021-25 plan. The following are some examples of what the future will look like in Helix:

  • Supporting people and communities both local to us and to where we work: You will have seen only in the past month, the marvellous personal campaign, led by Ryan Rawlinson, who has raised £5,000 to purchase over 100 tablets for schools in and around Andover. Ryan has inspired us to do more as a business and increase our investments to ensure we make a more lasting, positive impact in our communities.
  • Fairness to our delivery partners: Helix is proud to have signed up to the Prompt Payment Code. We have always said we will play fair and pay fair. We will do more to ensure that our supply chain partners feel they are a valued extension of our team.
  • Investing in our people: Helix has increased from 7 to 25 people over the last 12 months. We are forming closer links with establishments such as the University of Westminster, including participation in online lectures. We will build on these links to continue to support our people (like Oliver Pearce) through their degree and professional qualification studies. We will create individual development plans that will focus on the specific needs of each and every team member.
  • A more diverse Helix: We will improve our gender and ethnic balance through our recruitment strategy and we will continue to ensure there is no gender or ethnic pay gap for each of our roles. We are a committed equal opportunities employer and we value contributions to our business from right across society. We encourage diversity and will not pay lip service to it, because it is a reflection of the culture of our business and the communities within which we work.
  • We want Helix to be the employer of choice for future generations. That means it is the responsibility of the board to take action now. We have already begun to take steps to assess our current carbon footprint and to embed more sustainable procurement and wider business practices. We will be setting out new sustainability credentials that will describe how we will continue to improve and invest in the energy efficiency of our operations across the board. We may be an SME business, but we are aware of the impact we can have on our environment and in helping people build meaningful careers in construction.

Not only will these commitments keep Helix a great place to work, they will also support our clients in their endeavours to become more sustainable. 

We have shown over the past year just how good a team we are – especially when rising to a challenge. The next four years is all about continuing to deliver for our clients, and, in so doing, building a business that we can all be proud of. That has to be a win-win.

Charlie Scherer MCIOB

Charlie Scherer MCIOB
Non-Executive Director