The Directors of the group have a duty to promote the success of the group. A director of the group must act in the way they consider, in good faith, to promote the success of the group for the benefit of its members, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to:
The directors of the group consider the key-stakeholders of the business to be its employees, customers, suppliers, bank and shareholders.
The Group takes the role of trusted advisor for all IT and telecommunications matters for its client base, which encompasses access, applications and services. Thereafter, client relationships are maintained by providing excellent levels of support and customer service. Consequently, customer churn remains low.
The business is continuing its transformation programme to ensure the company maintains its competitive edge and is always fit for purpose in an ever-changing industry. This involves a continued drive to cross-sell existing product offerings to existing customers, in particular technology products to take a larger share of customer’s spend on Communications and Technology.
The Elite Group culture is designed to nurture talent, support staff, care for each other’s well-being and inspire people to achieve their ambitions. We do this by encouraging every employee to be the best version of themselves, to continually learn and develop and to ensure employees are engaged and determined, as well as equipping people with the skills necessary to succeed.
We know that happy, engaged employees are much more productive, more likely to contribute to a positive working atmosphere and critically, more likely to stay with Elite Group. In turn, a happy and engaged workforce will provide the best possible service and support for our customers. This year Elite reflected on its core values in light of what we have learned over the Pandemic. We felt it was a good time to relaunch new values to better reflect how we work, what we believe in and what behaviours underpin the success of the business.
These new Elite values are:
BUILT ON TRUST
Our people, customers, suppliers and partners trust us to continually deliver on our promises.
We deliver on the promises we make to ourselves and each other
We are confident that what we are saying is correct, and others can trust what we say is true
We communicate openly and honestly, and consider the impact of our actions and words
EMPOWERED BY OUR TEAM
We show up for each other, act with empathy and bring our authentic selves to work every day.
We value the collective power of working together
We are proud to celebrate one another's successes and differences and love working for Elite Group
We value everyone and treat people with dignity and professionalism
FUELLED BY HARDWORK
We constantly work hard so we can achieve the right results and service.
We strive to continuously develop our understanding of our role, the business and industry we operate in
We are self-motivated and encourage others to achieve their goals and ambitions
We will follow through energetically with a strategy or task with the intention of exceeding our specific responsibilities
GROUNDED BY HUMILITY
We acknowledge our limitation and maintain an open mind and a desire to continuously learn from others.
We do not overestimate our contribution or importance and treat everyone as equals
We learn from our mistakes and seek feedback
We acknowledge our own strengths and limitations and appreciate other’s strengths and contributions
In a normal year Elite conduct a series of on-site roadshows, visiting all offices and engaging all 200+ employees in small groups. These roadshows comprise a general business communication delivered by the CEO, the achievements of the prior year and the objectives for the year ahead. HR Team roadshows ensure everyone is able to discuss all people and well-being matters, developing relationships and trust along the way. We also hold product roadshows, service now workshops and we have a series of committees engaged on key topics such as health & safety, charity fundraising and CSR. Anyone can volunteer to attend the committees – the more the merrier.
Employees are updated on important topics, news and strategy through a company-wide briefing held monthly. Twice a year a company-wide conference event is held which is a key part of communication but also a key way of engaging employees all together in one room, or more recently virtually to enabling networking and across teams and locations. In addition, every manager has monthly team meetings, 121s and as a direct result of hybrid working, a daily team check in (focussed on well-being and support, rather than work activity). The Directors advocate an ‘open door’ policy whereby any employee can ask for a meeting, chat or a call with any of the Directors at any time and the employee will always be prioritised.
Finally, the company conducts an annual employee survey which we use to benchmark how we are doing and what improvements we can make in the following year. Our engagement of employees is independently assessed by Investors in People of which we hold the gold standard.
In addition to the annual employee awards which celebrate the Company Values, team of the year, best new recruit, outstanding achievement and employee of the year, the business also rewards employees for loyalty through a loyalty reward plan. Aside from the usual commission schemes you would expect for sales roles, the business also has a number of bonus schemes in place which reward employees for exceeding their targets and objectives. All commission payments and objectives are reviewed to ensure they drive the right behaviour for the business and its stakeholders.
Customer Experience (CX) is a key strategy for Elite Group to win customer loyalty and is both critical and central to the business strategy. We recognise the importance of investing in Customer Experience as a key brand differentiator for Elite operating in what is a highly competitive and crowded ICT market where products and services are becoming increasingly commoditised.
Given this, we have launched a “top down” single focus for the business linked directly with customer satisfaction and customer retention, meaning that service excellence and Customer Experience is very much at the heart of our culture.
A key theme underpinning the Customer Experience Strategy is being easy to do business with for our customers. Customer feedback is the top driver of any successful CX strategy and our Voice of Customer Programme is the core foundation for driving continuous improvement in Customer Experience which is currently being expanded to gain a significant coverage of the customer base.
Consistent with our single focus, the role of our Sales and Account Management Team is to deliver value to our customers and help their businesses. This is achieved through a consultative approach and delivering tangible solutions to business challenges that make a difference and enable them to operate in a more secure, productive and profitable way.
Every customer has either a named Account Manager or Relationship Manager as customer satisfaction and customer retention is prioritised across the business. A structured approach to customer engagement, account management and account development has been established in order to exceed customer expectations and deliver a great customer experience.
The Group has both a term loan and revolving credit facility with the bank requiring performance against specific covenants (the term loan, which is sat in Elite Finco Limited, an intermediate parent company above this Company, has been repaid post year end). The business maintains regular discussions with the Relationship Director to discuss performance, potential material business decisions (e.g. acquisition potential), economic impacts as well as legislative changes (LIBOR changes).
As part of Elite’s desire to maintain a quality of business conduct, the following have been obtained:
Elite Group -
ISO 9001 Quality Management
ISO 27001 Information Management
ISO 22301 Business Continuity
Elite IOM -
ISO 9001 Quality Management
ISO 27001 Information Security
These values define the Elite ethos and outline the way people are expected to behave. The values are being launched at the end of 2021 via a robust internal campaign which will see the values embedded in all aspects of employee work life.
This includes a value-based employee recognition program. By creating an employee recognition program aligned with our company core values our employees can celebrate each other for the behaviours we want to see, this includes monthly employee awards and the annual awards presented at our Summer Ball.
The values will be ingrained in HR policy, induction and onboarding, the appraisal process, the way managers lead and our recruitment campaigns and interview process. The values play a strong role in the recruiting process which incorporates a competency and scenario-based approach to understand how people would react in different situations to ensure they are customer focused and a team player. We are looking for people to be positive and friendly and the more senior the role we are recruiting for, the more time would be spent testing core beliefs and value to ensure best fit for Elite.
Induction is key at Elite, we want to ensure our new recruits are on-boarded effectively and have the best possible first impression of their new employer. The induction has both a HR team led element providing a full overview of the company, its key people, history and values, as well as the initial building blocks a new starter needs in order to start their new role, together with a meet and greet with the CEO who talks our new employees through the companies ‘why’ and ‘how’ – why we do what we do and how we do it, as well as our goals and objectives. The main induction is manager led and very much focussed on the training required to perform the role well.
There is a strong representation across gender in both the Board and Senior Management Team. Elite Group actively participate in awards such as Women in Tech, Women in Channel and other programmes which are positively endorsed by the owners of the business. The gender pay gap is also reviewed and benchmarked across the industry.
Our Suppliers are fundamental to our strategy and success at Elite Group. In order to ensure we only have the best suppliers delivering the best service to Elite and in turn our customers we ensure that our suppliers are proactively managed within the business and we retain the highest levels of service at the best commercial rates to pass to our customers. We meet regularly with suppliers and ensure standards are delivered by monitoring performance against key metrics. At Elite Group, we also ensure that all agreements are fair and reasonable to both parties including areas of responsibility, information security, service expectations and payment terms so we can continue to support each other throughout our relationship. As relationships need to change and evolve over time, which has never been more evident that during the Pandemic, with our strong supplier relationships, we can be flexible and we will always try to accommodate any changes wherever we can.
In addition to managing the services they provide and the commercials we receive we have robust processes in place when bringing any new supplier on-board and ensure that a full on-boarding function is completed so there will be a smooth transition into the business and therefore to our customers who will see the added benefits. Due diligence and identification of risk is also fundamental to what we do, so we proactively review our current suppliers as well as new suppliers we may bring on board to ensure that they meet our stringent requirements on areas such as local and national legislation, Anti-Slavery and environmental impacts.
To allow Elite Group to focus on growth and customer retention the decision has been made to invest in multiple cloud technologies. This year investments have been made in the following key areas: -
New combined ServiceDesk & CRM system
Improve Customer Experience
Improve Internal MI for stakeholder engagement
Improve Agent experience
Virtual Hosted Desktop
Allow true anywhere working
Office 365 Migration
Reduce internal overhead
The strategy behind these investments have allowed the business to continue to trade no matter the location of the staff during the COVID-19 crisis.
Our attitude towards CSR is reflected in our business. It is integral to our systems, based on sound leadership of the business, respecting human rights and looking after the people who work for us, our customers, our local community and the environment.
The business follows WEEE requirements for IT and equipment disposal and actively choses suppliers who are either carbon neutral or has a commitment to achieve this status. This year the company has started its journey to becoming carbon neutral itself and is in the early days of identifying its carbon footprint and creating the plan by which to reduce it.
The Group’s founder is a mentor for the Prince’s Trust and through this we sponsor Schools for Africa. In addition, Elite hold regular in office charity days (office Olympics, cake sales, dress down days), sponsor a local children’s football team and support local initiatives particularly at Christmas. There were plans for local volunteering projects during 2020 & 2021 that have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On an annual basis, we produce a Corporate Social Responsibility report that is signed off by the directors who have overall responsibility for CSR and covers all the measurements detailed in the policy document.