The Company considers the ongoing engagement and effective communication with all its stakeholders to be of significant importance, and it is undertaken in various forms throughout the year to provide the necessary support to each audience.
Employee communication and engagement is undertaken via formal and informal meetings, presentations, regular emails and bulletins, use of notice boards, and the Company’s website and intranet. Conducted at both Company and individual business level, subjects include H&S and HR matters, updates to policies and procedures, notable achievements, and commentary on financial and operational performance and strategic aims. During 2017, to expand its engagement channels, the Company conducted its first Employee Survey and initiated a monthly HR Bulletin.
Executive Directors and members of the Senior Management Team have ongoing dialogue and regular meetings with teams at each of the Company’s businesses. In addition, twice a year, the Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Commercial Director conduct a tour of the Company’s locations to meet with management to discuss operational and other matters and obtain any feedback. The Company looks to foster an open and transparent environment and actively encourages all employees to provide feedback should they wish. Feedback is reflected upon and any actions duly taken and communicated.
Customer engagement and interaction is mainly undertaken via the frequent visits by sales representatives and managers, telephonically with members of the customer service teams, and the delivery drivers. Customers’ successful operations and wellbeing are essential to the performance of the Company and any feedback is discussed as appropriate and used to improve and enhance the customer service proposition.
Having conducted customer satisfaction surveys in the past involving a small cross-section of the customer base, the Company will engage with a larger proportion of the customer base through surveys during 2018. In addition, sales managers and directors regularly visit customers to ensure they are content with the service received.
Many of the Company’s businesses offer open house or trade days several times a year, allowing customers to visit facilities and learn about any special offers and new initiatives, which may include product and POS innovations.
Engagement with suppliers is undertaken through regular contact by individuals at both the Company and individual business or location level, and by individuals holding various positions within the organisation.
Each of the Company’s distribution centres has autonomy to develop products in conjunction with approved suppliers that may better suit the country or region they operate in. The Company’s buyers work closely with suppliers, meeting with them on a regular basis at their showrooms and production facilities in addition to the Company’s premises.
Ongoing interaction with shareholders and the wider investment community, including analysts and investors not currently holding shares in Headlam, is essential to their understanding of the Company; their ability to appraise the performance and management of the Company; and consideration of the Company as an investment proposition.
The Company strives to provide a clear, balanced and comprehensive level of information and written material. The Company maintains a corporate website which contains regularly updated regulatory and other information, including presentations used to update the investment community, and issues both statutory and non-statutory regulatory news announcements throughout the year to update on financial, operational and other matters. The Company offers its larger shareholders, either directly or via its broker, face-to-face meetings on a bi-annual basis at a minimum to present and discuss performance and other matters, and obtain any feedback. These meetings are hosted by several of the Executive Directors and the Company’s Director of Communications. The Company also hosts a briefing for analysts, arranged by the Company’s Financial PR and IR adviser, twice a year to coincide with the announcement of its half year and full year financial results to present and discuss the same matters.
Meetings are periodically held at various of the Company’s locations to better illustrate the Company’s operations and aid understanding, and in early 2018 the Company hosted a Capital Markets Event for analysts and institutional investors at a Domus specification centre in London. Domus was acquired by the Company in December 2017 and the event was to provide a detailed overview of its operations and the strategic rationale for its acquisition, and it is anticipated that similar events will be held going forward.
The Non-Executive Directors, including the Chairman, attend certain events and briefings during the year where shareholders are present in addition to the AGM, and the Board’s Non-Executive Directors are committed to facilitating a direct channel of communication with the Company’s larger shareholders to hear any views and concerns.
The Company actively seeks shareholder feedback, and feedback is collated by both the Company and its advisers, discussed at Board and senior management team level and considered in relation to all aspects of the Company and help inform its written and verbal communications.
The Company is committed to advertising and employing locally when it is able, soliciting feedback, and reacting positively to this feedback and any requests for its involvement including support of local events.