Employer of Choice Award 2023
Employee Wellbeing & Inclusion

Employer of Choice Award 2023

Heron Bros Ltd (HBL) is an award-winning, Investors in People Platinum (IIP) construction and property development company operating throughout the UK, Ireland, and Europe.


Heron Bros Ltd (HBL) is an award-winning, Investors in People Platinum (IIP) construction and property development company operating throughout the UK, Ireland, and Europe. With more than 65 years of experience, HBL employs more than 250 staff and has a turnover of £100+m. The HBL vision is to be the contractor and developer of choice by delivering high-quality sustainable buildings while maintaining the personal touch of a family business. HBL is committed to its core values of Relationships, Forward Thinking, and Passion, which are embedded in their Vision 2030 strategy.

What Heron Bros did

HBL implemented a comprehensive Learning and Development (L&D) strategy aimed at creating a culture of continuous improvement, empowering individuals to develop themselves, encouraging innovation, and promoting a learning culture. This strategy is underpinned by the use of digital solutions and agile team approaches.

HBL developed the Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) strategy, offering the MyHeron Communication App, which provides communication parity, saving 39,000 hours per year and unlocking vast employee potential.

The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy aligns with project delivery and responsible business activities, partnering with BITC (Business in the Community).

The Wellness at Work (WW) strategy provides Health & Wellbeing (H&W) options, supporting employees at work and home.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • Investors in People Platinum (IIP) Recognition: HBL has retained IIP Platinum status since 2016, achieved by only 1% of IIP accredited organisations worldwide. It is also top-placed among construction companies and second-placed across all sectors for 100+ employees.
  • Employee Engagement and Retention: HBL’s commitment to employee-centric initiatives resulted in a high participation rate (92%) in the Oct ’21 employee engagement survey. The company achieved an impressive staff retention rate of 94.09%. The Nov ’22 IIP survey returned a remarkable 98.8% engagement rate.
  • Equality and Diversity: HBL promotes equality of opportunity and diversity among its staff, with female representation at 21%, surpassing the industry average of 13%.
  • Training and Development: HBL invests significantly in training and upskilling its workforce. In 2022, it completed 52 apprenticeships, equating to 5,194 weeks delivered, and provided training such as Insights Discovery to develop understanding of colleague behaviours, encourage diversity, and assist with conflict resolution.
  • Financial Benefits: The L&D investments have demonstrated significant financial benefits, including increased turnover and steady profitability despite hyperinflation. HBL’s digital transformation led to a saving of 31,868 hours per week in their Operational Department (2022).
  • Community Impact: HBL actively supports various community and charitable initiatives, providing mentorship, education engagements, volunteering, and substantial donations to causes addressing mental health, suicide prevention, and educational barriers.
  • Heron Bros Ltd’s dedication to empowering its employees, fostering a positive workplace culture, and promoting responsible business practices has led to numerous recognitions and substantial positive impacts. Through its visionary Vision 2030 strategy and continuous investment in Learning and Development, HBL has become an employer of choice, driving success across the organisation, benefiting both their employees and the wider community.

What the Judges said

“Heron Brothers is a company with a passion for its people that clearly drives excellent performance. Employee experience and engagement are evidently critical to this company and drives a level of innovation that results in both business and societal benefits.”