Developing our people

At GHD, people are at the heart of our success, culture and enduring client relationships. Our connected global network comprises a talented group of professionals who are known for their technical prowess, business acumen and long-term commitment to clients and GHD.

Our 100 percent employee-owned business means our people have a vested interest in delivering and caring for clients. Additionally, GHD's operational model that supports a connected global environment focussed on supporting our clients and markets provides for our ongoing growth and success.

To achieve this, we focus on the key elements of a great place to work. That is, we aim to create a high performing workplace by embedding organisational behaviours, developing our leaders and investing in our people for today and tomorrow.

GHD maintains a suite of policies which outline minimum requirements for conducting business and the standards to be upheld by all of our people.

Our values of Safety, Teamwork, Respect and Integrity reflect the collective behaviours, values, expectations and attitudes of the company. They reflect ‘the way things are done around here’ and determine how we relate to our clients, both internal and external, and our role as a responsible corporate citizen.

Ryna Loveday and Jason CLarke on site in Waterloo GHD in Dragon Boat race

Diversity and inclusion

At GHD, we want our people to feel comfortable to share all aspects of themselves at work. Our commitment toward diversity in the workplace is driven by a strong conviction that genuine inclusion will deliver greater productivity, creativity, and diversity from deeper pools of talent and through fairer processes for all.

Our people are as diverse as the communities we serve across five continents. Embracing diversity of thought, background and experience helps us develop imaginative and responsive solutions for our clients that create lasting community benefit.

GHD’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is embodied within our global strategy and includes: championing gender equality, cultural diversity, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, adapting to the needs of generational workers as well as flexible working arrangements for our people. Our regionally specific actions continue to position us as an industry leader.

In 2019 we will be setting up our Global Diversity & Inclusion Council to continue to improve the diversity of our business. We continue to see advances in this area with the diversity of new starters in our business (women made up 34 percent of our graduate intake) and initiatives (such as involvement in Career Trackers) being activated across multiple regions.

Growing an engaged workforce

Our employee numbers have grown by more than 11 percent in FY2018, with more than 2500 people joining our business globally. In line with our workforce renewal targets, we also achieved a record for graduate recruitment, with 475 people accepting graduate roles globally. The percentage of female graduates, as a proportion of total graduates, has also increased steadily over the past seven years.

Importantly, this growth has been matched by strong employee engagement levels at 76 percent, up 6 percent from the previous engagement survey and also above the global IBM benchmark of 73 percent. These figures show that GHD is a place for aspiring people to thrive, achieve their career goals, and make a lasting impact.

We are placing increasing emphasis on best practice talent management at GHD. This year we introduced a global talent management team, who are tasked with implementing an improved succession planning process across our global business, enabling our leaders to better understand and improve the health of our talent pipeline.

Our recruitment of talent is aided by exciting new tools such as augmented writing applications that are helping us attract diverse candidates, and we are continuing to invest in the global and local leadership programs that help us develop our future leaders, as well as globally consistent assessment tools that provide our employees and managers with the insights they need to help focus their career development.

This year, we implemented strategies to reinforce our position in the talent market and optimise our recruitment processes. For example, our People Team in the UK worked hard in hand with our Young Professionals committee to develop a program that highlights the opportunities offered by a career at GHD. In North America, we streamlined our recruitment strategies and identified focus areas that will ensure a strong talent pipeline into the future

GHD in Chile

Employee ownership

The sustained growth year on year in total shareholder return in 2018 has continued to underpin a strong demand for employee ownership. Driven by our global Principal and Associate model, GHD continues to attract and retain outstanding professionals who are highly motivated to invest and lead and as a result, inspire others to become owners. The global recognition of our owner leaders as Principals and Associates, reinforces the distinctive ‘owners mindset’ culture in which more than 25 percent of people are material owners of the business.

GHD employees

Connected Network

Mobility opportunities across countries, disciplines, and markets provide career advancement and job enrichment, as well as a multicultural, diverse experience across our globally connected network. In 2018, we launched TalentX, a new talent exchange program targeting high-performing Early Career Professionals (Young Professionals) with 2-4 years' experience.

A significant step forward in making international career opportunities more widely available for our people, the aim of TalentX is to develop broad skills in a new cultural and business context.

Successful TalentX candidates are placed in teams with a strong forward workload and matched with experienced managers who are committed to mentoring and making the placement successful. Participants bring new capabilities or ways of doing things to their host locations and take back new learnings and experience back home.

Our Global Executive Development Program equips our leaders with high-level strategic skills. We are also developing our Future Managers Program to help grow our future leaders.

Work site