Heron Bros. Wellbeing at Work Award 2022
Employee Wellbeing & Inclusion

Wellbeing at Work Award 2022

Heron Bros is an award-winning construction and property development company operating throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.


Heron Brothers combines traditional values with an advanced innovative approach to construction to deliver excellence in project value, quality and client satisfaction. Now in their sixty-fifth year, they employ over 250 people and have a turnover in excess of £100M.

Heron Bros Ltd is committed to providing a sustainable working environment focused on the Health and Wellbeing (of its workforce. It understands the challenges faced in the construction industry, including hybrid-working models, mental health issues, and work/life balance.

In response to how the pandemic impacted health and wellbeing, Heron Bros launched Vision 2030, an initiative built on three pillars: corporate digital responsibility (CDR); Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG); and Wellbeing at Work.

What Heron Bros did…

Heron Bros committed to investing £2.3 over five years to deliver Vision 2030 and help increase employee connectivity and equality. Heron Bros’ first Wellbeing at Work initiative was developed and implemented under the Healthier Better Lives programme and offered support to employees including:

  • Online fitness and mindfulness classes
  • Gym facilities, wellness workshops
  • Topical articles dealing with work/life challenges
  • Partnership with Inspire NI to deliver a dedicated Mental Health Hub for employees and their families

The MyHeron App was launched as part of Vision 2030 and helped increase automation to maximise time efficiency and improve communication.

Thanks to the MyHeron App:

  • A company-wide survey registered 92% participation, empowering employees with a voice for change and providing management with knowledge to develop an employee centric health & wellbeing programme
  • The Lean Innovation Tracker enabled employees to share feedback on best practice
  • Employees became decision makers, helping Heron Bros become an employer of choice

Heron Bros sanctioned policies and procedures annually at board level which align with Vision 2030 strategies, including Health and Wellbeing and Mental Health.

Support is offered in these areas through options such as hybrid and flexible working models and affordable health plans. A partnership with Inspire NI provides access to advice and support, and a ‘return to work plan’ was devised for phased return to duties for employees with mental or physical injuries.

Heron Bros’ health and wellbeing strategy is company wide and driven by a dedicated steering group led by directors and senior managers with HERON BROS employees and stakeholders continuously consulted.

Through employee engagement surveys, the senior management team and health and wellbeing steering group, set objectives and targets which align employee aspirations and Vision 2030 targets.

Benefits and Outcomes

  • Sickness and absenteeism for 2021 was just 0.7% compared to an industry average of 2.8%
  • Employee turnover rate was just 3%, compared to an industry average of 21.4%
  • There was a decrease in accident rate of 47% from 2017 to 21%
  • An October 2021 survey had 92% engagement from all employees, and 92% of employees said they were proud to work for Heron Bros
  • Improved employee physical/mental outcome, thanks for enhanced efficiency in how employees work, connect and interact with each other
  • The MyHeron app helped provide direct training, communication and innovation, all of which has led to an improved health and wellbeing awareness culture
  • Heron Bros employees feel valued and empowered
  • Market perception of Heron Bros improved with existing clients, allowing Heron Bros to become a preferred bidder and negotiate tenders for multinational private clients and high-profile projects
  • The launch of Heron Bros’ own Inspire Well Being Hub 2022, providing employees and their families with a bespoke wellbeing care-plan
  • Digital investment created time efficiencies, allowing employees to focus on finer details of their job roles, maximise their skills and boost job satisfaction
  • Heron Bros engaged with local and national charities and committed to giving back to communities in which it operates through scholarships, sponsorship and more

What the Judges said…

“A highly sophisticated approach to health and wellbeing through use of digital solutions integrated into business strategy, with clear metrics for evaluation and assessment, and far-reaching benefits for employees, their families, and the community within which Heron Bros operates. It’s not easy to build a cohesive and healthy workplace culture in a dynamic male-dominated environment, in which the majority of the workforce are “hard to reach”. Heron Bros is to be applauded for doing its utmost to support the wellbeing of staff and navigating such a complex challenge successfully.”

Find out more about the Awards and enter at www.bitcni.org.uk/awards.