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People First: Christie Idemudia on Mercury as an employer of choice
Author: Cormac Byrne  /  13th Apr, 2022  /  News, Announcements & Press

In our industry, change is inevitable, and we are determined to be ready for it. As an employer of choice, we want the right people in the right roles, people who share our values, live our culture, and deliver beyond expectations.

To continue to attract and retain the best talent into the future, it is our duty to be a safe, diverse, and inclusive employer.

At Mercury, we offer equal opportunities and invest in the wellbeing and development of our employees, so that our next generation of leaders and specialists are empowered to continue with our legacy of delivering leading edge construction projects.

We provide a dynamic and innovative working environment that is entirely inclusive. With operations spanning across 14+ countries and 46 different nationalities amongst our employees, we build diverse teams wherever we go, respecting local expertise and knowledge.

Since 2021, a total of 600 new hires have joined our team. Our impressive retention rate, coupled with our HR policies and industry leading EHS record highlight how Mercury is leading the way as an employer of choice within the construction industry.

Christie Idemudia, HR Manager, recently spoke about the steps and the ‘people first’ approach Mercury is taking to ensure we exceed our goals as an employer of choice.

What must Mercury do to ensure that we recruit and retain the best people?

“Hiring, developing  and retaining people in a competitive market is key. Most candidates are progressive and passionate about sustainability and demand positive actions in this regard. To become their employer of choice, we are taking conscious actions to be sustainable in our practices and continuously address any challenges required to achieve our goals.”

What role does our health and safety record play in this?

“When it comes to the safety of our employees, we consider both their physical and mental wellbeing. In 2021, our people completed 79,510 hours of EHS training. As a group we completed 10.5 million hours worked without reportable injuries. These figures are a testament to our dedication to our people, a pledge, that you will return home safely from work every day.”

How does Mercury support the wellbeing of it’s employees?

“Every Mercury staff member, including their immediate families, has access to our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This service offers counselling service to support them through depression and anxiety, stress, work-related issues, bereavement, or any other life concerns – anywhere, any time. We consider this programme as our first line of defence when it comes to our employees’ and potential mental health issues, and we consider every call made to the helpline as an opportunity to prevent potential harmful consequences. Last year, Mercury extended this service to include immediate family members of employees and in Q1 2022, 30% of calls made to our EAP service were from family members. Niamh Gilmore was recently appointed as our dedicated Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator which further highlights the efforts, we are making to support the wellbeing of our people.”

What roles does Diversity & Inclusion play in being an employer of choice?

“We were delighted to receive an “Investors in Diversity – Silver” rating in 2021, showing early progress over our previous rating. Our commitment to diversity & inclusion is one of the key drivers of  our winning culture and having recently achieved the silver status shows we continue to build momentum in this regard. We provide an inclusive work place to ensure all feel seen and heard and have a sense of belonging via our various processes and frameworks, including performance management, feedback process and annual salary review.”

How does Mercury’s Learning & Development strategy support staff retention and attraction?

“The most common question we get asked during interviews, focuses on the tools and processes we offer to help with career development. From developing highly skilled prospects from our graduate programme, to managers and supervisors who are ready to lead, we need to continuously develop a pipeline of people who are promotion-ready and able to function at the next level. Our online Personal Development Plan helps employees to complete a gap analysis and set developmental priorities to fit their needs. In Ireland, we also focus on the development of apprentices and we continue to have a major recruitment drive to hire the next generation here. We typically develop our apprentices over a period of 4 years to help them reach the next levels of their career ambitions. Many of our senior and executive leaders started their careers on the tools! In 2021 we achieved an average of 24.6 learning and development hours per employee for the year.”

Final word

Speaking about the ongoing commitment Mercury has made to being an employer of choice, Christie added: “While we implement new processes and tools all the time, the success of where we are as an employer is also largely based on the enthusiasm and creativity of our employees. They are constantly challenging us to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ways to communicate and collaborate internally. It is a very positive experience for all of us to constantly adopt new and improved ways of working which not only improves our sustainability results, but also the enjoyment of being part of our dynamic projects!”

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