Becoming a Living Wage Employer
— 31 August 2021 by Sam Jones
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— 31 August 2021 by Sam Jones
Like most businesses, Pioneer FM’s success is down to its people.
Our mission - to deliver safe, sustainable, and innovative services - can only be achieved with the hard work and dedication of our greatest asset - our people, or as we call them, our Pioneers.
During the pandemic, many of our team members put their own health fears to one side to continue working at Brexit lorry parks and other essential locations to keep site users safe.
We have always put our people’s wellbeing first, and this has been reflected in the above industry standard wages that we pay. This, together with our rigorous approach towards health and safety, and training, ensures we recruit and retain the most motivated people.
And we have recently concreted this longstanding commitment by becoming a Living Wage Employer. At Pioneer, every member of our staff now earns at least the Real Living Wage - £10.85 per hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the country.
Our people-first approach makes good business sense. We have a healthy staff retention rate of 75% against an industry standard of 50%, and at least 80% of our staff have been with us for over one year. This means we can promise our clients a seamless service, because when we inevitably need to cover sickness or leave taken at short notice, we can do so thanks to our large pool of committed staff.
It also means our customers enjoy seeing the same Pioneers every day because our teams largely remain unchanged each month. Our customers even tell us they see Pioneer FM’s staff as vital members of their own team, working to create safe, comfortable environments.
During the pandemic, we furloughed some of our staff at sites which temporarily closed, whilst other Pioneer teams continued to work at essential locations such as the Brexit lorry parks.
As offices and schools started to reopen, our Pioneers were relied on to keep office workers, teachers, and pupils safe. We’ve always known we have a top team, but our workforce’s commitment to maintaining incredibly high standards in the most difficult of situations has blown us away.
As a result of our commitment to paying higher wages, we have increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, and we benefit from having a workforce that provides the best possible service to our clients.
Our CEO, MJ Pettit, knows first-hand how hard people work in the industry for relatively low pay. Her mother was a cleaning contracts manager, and her father was a plumber and school caretaker. MJ was also a cleaning operative once too.
“No one becomes a cleaning operative out of choice. It’s a tough job – you must be physically fit, and the hours are sometimes long and anti-social. Therefore, it’s important to me that our frontline staff feel valued and appreciated,” she said.
“Without our team on the ground, this business wouldn’t exist, and we would not be able to grow and be in a position to influence the industry to do the right thing by rewarding staff well.
“Our people have kept our business operational throughout the pandemic. We feel it is absolutely the right thing to do to sign up to be a Living Wage Employer.”