How to Engineer Cultural Change in Your Business


How to Engineer Cultural Change in Your Business

How to Engineer Cultural Change in Your Business
Why should you consider your company culture in the search for top talent?

In this competitive age companies are having to work harder to attract the highest calibre of candidates.  Culture in a business is a big deciding factor when candidates are deciding whether your company is right for them.

It is clear that top talent want to work innovatively and organisations must foster innovative thinking. This will not only help retain the best talent but it will drive high performance and efficiencies to gain a competitive advantage.

A new era of business culture has introduced new ways of working with more flexibility, better benefits and a focus on employee satisfaction more than ever before. But when a company has an ingrained culture, how does it then diversify and change the way they have worked for 10, 20, even 30 years to attract new talent?

This guide will explore what cultural change is, why it is so important for your business and how to engineer a cultural change as part of a successful growth strategy.

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How to Engineer Cultural Change in Your Business

Morson Thought Leadership

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    Massive Boost for Rail and Construction as Hundreds of New HS2 Jobs Announced

    Britain’s largest infrastructure project in a generation has offered the employment market a boost with the announcement of hundreds of new jobs as part of a recruitment drive. The roles, announced by HS2 Ltd, are across a wide range of disciplines in both rail and construction, including project management, engineering, procurement, commercial and land & property. The new roles, which number in excess of 300, will be based in Birmingham, and once recruited they will take the number of jobs created by the project to over 10,000. At peak construction, HS2 will support more than 30,000 jobs with at least 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities created. HS2 has already planned to more than double the number of graduates it recruits this year following the impact of the coronavirus crisis on youth employment prospects. The UK government made clear earlier this year that HS2 will play a key part in their strategy to grow economic activity in regions outside of London and deliver a greener, more modern transport link for the nation. Morson’s construction director Rhys Harris said: “HS2 is definitely a big plus in the rail, civil infrastructure and construction sectors. The influx of new roles across design and construction is certainly a great tonic for our industry and helps to offer some stability to the market in the present climate. At Morson, we are proud to be supporting this project and its partners" HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson, said: “These jobs are a welcome boost for workers across the country at this challenging time. We continue to work with the transport and construction industry to accelerate projects, where safely possible, to kickstart our economy, provide more employment opportunities and drive our recovery as we build out of Covid-19.” CEO of HS2 Ltd, Mark Thurston, said: “With many people facing uncertain job security and worried about future prospects in the current crisis, I hope this will be welcome news for anyone seeking a long-term and rewarding career with a company that places health, safety, equality and diversity at the very top of its priority list. As part of the HS2 team you’ll be shaping British history; transforming our Victorian railways and supporting the regeneration and economic prosperity of towns and cities right along the route.” As the largest provider to the UK rail network, Morson are uniquely placed to find your next opportunity. Search our latest jobs in rail and construction here

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    Responding to the ‘new normal’: HR lessons from COVID-19

    As more industries begin to reopen after several months of lockdown, and teams make their way back to the workplace from furlough, HR departments are busier than ever. Whether they’re getting to grips with new guidance, implementing learnings from the last three months or handling queries from worried team members, there has never been more pressure on this vital workplace function to deliver. Two of our HR recruitment leads, Louise Ellis, HR business manager, and Craig Saxby, recruitment manager for our HR division, recently caught up about the considerations of HR teams across the UK as the economy begins to recover, looking at the steps they can take to ensure people are put first. Here’s what they had to say: What are the most popular questions and challenges your clients are getting in touch with you about at the moment? Louise: “Our conversations with the HR community are around staff returning to work, and the changes that need to be implemented in workplaces as businesses begin to ramp up their operations back to full, or ‘new normal’ capacity. “There’s the health and safety angle to consider. So, wherever possible, companies need to ensure they have social distancing measures in place, are providing sufficient PPE and are facilitating alternative shift patterns to manage headcount, especially in small spaces. If they think it’s necessary, they should also introduce COVID-19 testing. “Many are worried about the ongoing – and quite natural – rise in absences due to self-isolating, and of course, this might increase further again if test and trace becomes mainstream. During lockdown, for essential and key businesses, there was a real challenge around sourcing temporary resource to meet demand, quickly enough to prevent them from losing money. Many businesses simply haven’t planned for the impact of a pandemic and they’ve had very kneejerk reactions, which really does cause more damage than good.” Have you got any recommendations for businesses in that position? Craig: “Higher than usual absence levels put extra demand on those who are still in work so for industries that are in demand – manufacturing, eCommerce, food & drink – and which require sufficient manpower; we’ve been supplying short-notice labour and contractors. They’re not phased that they don’t know the business; they trust that we would only place them in a safe role, and it means our clients can continue to operate. “There was an initial resistance from traditional operational teams to change and adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, so HR has been a key driver in delivering a new norm. People don’t realise the role HR plays in ensuring sales and revenue targets can be met – it requires the right collection of skills. HR teams are going to have more of a front row seat in a business’ wider performance after the pandemic.” What are the long-term effects that you see becoming commonplace? Louise: “HR teams have never had to engage with their businesses in this way – it’s entirely new territory and almost overnight they have had to flip traditional operations on their head to ensure their teams are safe from an invisible threat. “Flexible working, while beneficial for many, puts an increased pressure on HR teams to manage productivity and performance. It’s been a juggling act in keeping the CEO, Board and senior management teams happy as well as simultaneously managing the wants and needs of those on the ground. To strike a better balance, many are re-examining their employee benefit schemes. “Traditional benefits such as increased annual leave and sick leave are being swapped for more health and wellbeing initiatives – we’ve even seen some businesses offering support with will writing! HR teams know now that their workforces want more than financial perks. For example, we recently placed a Benefits Manager to completely overhaul a large civil engineering group’s reward and benefits programme with a view of driving retention post COVID. “The new working environment must have programmes in place to support a healthy, happy and productive workforce and that means looking at things like mental health and stress management. A lot of businesses though are worried about how much this will cost them.” Do you think businesses will have to make different sacrifices to cover these additional investments into benefits? Craig: “When it comes to the wellbeing of your teams, no price is too high. We know of one business that is looking to reduce its headcount by 15 per cent but has committed to using the savings to improve the benefits package for staff who keep their jobs. They know it’s important because they can’t afford a 15 per cent drop in efficiency and productivity, so they must focus on what the team wants and needs long term.” What do you think are the other external factors businesses need to consider in terms of staffing levels? Louise: “A major challenge is that businesses want to unfurlough their team members, but parents are struggling to find childcare while schools remain closed – it’s a major headache and until schools return to full capacity, many businesses simply won’t see a return to pre-COVID levels. “The thing is, home working is now the new normal for many. A head of HR recently told me that by increasing flexibility on working hours to cater for a work/life balance during lockdown, they have seen outputs and productivity of those working from home massively increase. Where working from home was once viewed with suspicion, it’s now becoming a formal change and it’ll definitely shape working practices going forward. Craig: “I think that’s because businesses know they need to pull out all the stops to retain particular skillsets – those that are crucial to them. I think we are heading into a long period of consultation - HR teams need to use this time to speak with their workforce, understand their personal and family pressures and accommodate them – within reason – on an individual basis. I am recommending they use data capture to identify patterns, and forward plan as much as possible based on the trends which emerge. Above all else, HR teams need to be on the front foot and armed with as much information as possible.” To find out more or to discuss your HR recruitment needs, contact Craig on or Louise on

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    ZeroAvia: The Next Big Step Towards Zero-Emission Commercial Aviation?

    Another leap towards zero-emission flying was taken recently with the first UK test of battery-electric airplane taking place at Cranfield Airport. The Piper M-class six-seater, which used a powertrain from California-based ZeroAvia, took to the skies of eastern England and flew a round trip of 60 nautical miles. The flight formed part of the HyFlyer program to advance zero-emissions aviation by replacing conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft with electric motors and hydrogen fuel cells. The project is funded through Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)-led Aerospace R&T programme. Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia’s founder and CEO, said: “This flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero emission flight closer to reality. We all want the aviation industry to come back after the pandemic on a firm footing to be able to move to a net zero future, with a green recovery. That will not be possible without realistic, commercial options for zero emission flight, something we will bring to market as early as 2023.” ZeroAvia have also been working on a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. One of the current challenges in battery technology is getting a working balance between the power of the battery and its weight, critical in a industry like aviation. We recently showed how researchers have identified that a chemical found in the human brain could provide the key to helping create lightweight batteries, and how artificial intelligence is helping another team of researchers develop more powerful, faster charging batteries. The hydrogen fuel cell powertrain would offer similar zero-emission capabilities to batteries but already shows a better energy-to-weight ratios and cheaper operating costs, making it viable for larger scale commercial applications in the near future. ZeroAvia intends to have a 10 to 20-seat aircraft certified with hydrogen propulsion within three years, with 50 to 100-seat models by 2030. In terms of further goals, the business aims to have commercial aircraft carrying over 200 passengers more than 3,000 nautical miles by 2040. Longer test flights in the UK are planned for later in summer 2020, with a 300 nautical mile flight from the Orkney Islands the largest of these. We're committed to being a carbon neutral business by 2023. Find out what steps we're taking and find out how the coronavirus pandemic could leave a legacy of quantifiable environmental benefits. Search our latest jobs in aerospace here

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    Revolutionary Engineering: Using AI to Create Super Fuel Cells

    The mission to improve fuel cells and batteries is focused around improving speed of charge while decreasing weight. Last year, we showed you how the brain chemical dopamine was being used to help develop lighter batteries for electric vehicles. Dopamine was chemically bonded to graphene oxide and combined with the material known as Kevlar. The result was a composite that is strong, tough, incredibly light and has the conductive properties that make it ideal to be used as an electrode. With recent research, the goal of making lithium-ion batteries more powerful and faster charging could just be around the corner. A team at Imperial College London has developed a machine learning algorithm that has allowed their research teams to model and 3D-simulate possible designs for the microstructure of fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries. Their paper describing the work has been published in npj Computational Materials. The microstructure of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells closely impacts the performance of the cells, with both the arrangement and shape of the structures within the electrodes impacting power and charge time. The machine learning technology allows the team of researchers to virtually explore the inner structure of the electrodes (‘pores’) - which are ordinarily too small for accurate analysis – and generate 3D image data of the microstructure. Lead author Andrea Gayon-Lombardo, of Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, said: “Our technique is helping us zoom right in on batteries and cells to see which properties affect overall performance. Developing image-based machine learning techniques like this could unlock new ways of analysing images at this scale.” Project supervisor Dr Sam Cooper of Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering said: “Our team’s findings will help researchers from the energy community to design and manufacture optimised electrodes for improved cell performance. It’s an exciting time for both the energy storage and machine learning communities, so we’re delighted to be exploring the interface of these two disciplines.” With the improvements in battery weight and algorithm-driven research into performance, a revolutionary lighter, more-powerful and faster charging fuel cell could just be around the corner. Find out how you could be part of the next revolutionary engineering step by searching our latest jobs

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    How the Relaxation of the 2m Rule Will Impact Key Sectors - Ged Mason CEO

    Boris Johnson has today announced a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Mr Johnson has outlined how the 2m (6ft 6in) social distancing rule will be reduced to 1m (3ft 3in) from 4 July, with some mitigating measures. This will not only enable many pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs to reopen for the first time in more than three months, but allow certain sectors to bring more workers back to site and restart major projects. Commenting on the expected announcement from the government that the 2m social distancing rule will be relaxed, Ged Mason, CEO of Morson Group and part of the Keep Britain Working initiative, discusses how this will have a wide industry impact. Ged Mason OBE, CEO of the Morson Group, said: “While millions of people that are employed in the hospitality sector will breathe a sigh of relief as the 2m social distancing rule is relaxed, it will have a wider impact than in this industry alone. Construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors will also begin to see normality creep back into their working lives, with any loosening of the current legislation providing the opportunity to bring more people back to site and work environments. As social distancing is eased, then projects that are currently relying on just 50 per cent of their usual capacity and resource, for example, will be able to scale up their operations, meaning they are more likely to deliver to original timeframes and budgets. That said, it is imperative that health and safety remains paramount; this process cannot be rushed. The virus is still at large, and any complacency will be a huge risk. It is important to protect jobs, but it is more important to protect lives. This may mean that some contractors are still unable to return to work. Through Keep Britain Working, a campaign co-founded by Reed with the likes of Sir Alan Sugar in support, we need to bring businesses together to share insight into where we can help people move from low to high-demand sectors. As more industries reopen, we must protect those vulnerable to job losses such as young and ethnic minority groups. But we also need to help individuals upskill to identify new roles they can excel in. For instance, the apprenticeship levy can be better used at this time to train up individuals in short-term courses that are desperately needed to get the job market and the wider economy moving again. There is a huge demand for jobs in logistics, manufacturing and professional services but we need to help people get to them. Relaxed social distancing will not just add a sense of normality that could bring back confidence in the UK, but it will reignite industries that contribute billions of pounds and millions of jobs to the economy each year. The Government knows how important it is to reduce the unemployment rate and get people off furlough and back into work. This announcement is a landmark moment. While it will be important to grasp it with both hands, it must always be with one eye on the pandemic.” We have just launched our creating Covid-secure workspaces e-guide, which outlines the key considerations your organisation must take to safeguard your workforce. From the physical work place to mental health, training and tech this guide is written by our Morson subject matter experts and will provide you with a health, safety and wellbeing roadmap. Download your copy >

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    Vital Worker Performs Life-Saving CPR

    A Vital worker performed life-saving CPR on a member of the public who collapsed on a train station platform. Dan Stephens, Trespass and Welfare Officer, was called to respond to an emergency on Platform 4 at Southampton Central Station on 5th March. Martin East, 67-year-old father of two, collapsed onto the platform after getting off a train bound for New Milton, Hampshire. “I was patrolling platform 3 when a call came through on the radio that help was needed on platform 4. I rushed over there to find a gentleman had collapsed into the guard’s arms. He’d been put into the recovery position and they told me that they thought he’d had an epileptic fit. But I realised he wasn’t breathing and needed CPR straight away.” As the station supervisor phoned the ambulance, Dan removed the gentleman’s backpack, laid him on his back and checked his airway, pulse and commenced CPR. “I was doing that for a while as we were waiting for the paramedics to turn up. When the fast response unit came down, they asked me to keep performing the CPR until the ambulance crew arrived. They arrived about five minutes later and took over.” Mr East, who had suffered a heart attack, was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he spent three days in intensive care following an emergency stent procedure. He recalls: “I remember nothing from that whatsoever. I have no idea where I collapsed, what time it occurred, or how long I was getting CPR. I had seen a neurologist in London about an unrelated condition prior to my departure for New Milton and he remarked that I was looking fine when he saw me.” After his stay in intensive care, Mr East was transferred to a different ward and eventually discharged two weeks later. During his stay in hospital, he contracted a minor case of Covid-19. “I was told when I returned home that I had contracted the coronavirus which delayed my recovery a little bit. I’m almost back to normal now, both from the heart attack and the virus. I still have a few aches and pains in the rib cage but almost all of the bruising is gone. Thank you seems insufficient to convey my gratitude that Dan had the presence of mind and the confidence to carry out the CPR.” Dan has been CPR trained for almost eight years, though he admitted he hadn’t used his skills in a while. Working in the rail industry for four years, the incident at Southampton Central Station took place during his first week working for Vital. Find out how you can help keep Britain moving in the rail industry by searching our latest jobs with Vital here

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    Morson Spearhead Fundraising Bike Ride for Naval Charity White Ensign Association

    Morson is proud to be spearheading a charity bike ride to raise money for the White Ensign Association. In September 2020, a dedicated team of cyclists with a small support crew will be riding from RNAS Yeovilton to RNAS Culdrose and back – a round trip of over 360 miles over demanding and hilly terrain. Matthew Sellick, former Royal Navy Sailor and Morson recruiter originally conceived of the idea, and the team scheduled to set off on 4 September comprises him, Morson’s Tony Beaumont and five other representatives from the Royal Navy and Leonardo Helicopters. Matt spoke to Morson about his career journey, the inspiration behind the ride, his training plans and his relationship with the White Ensign Association. Matt joined the Royal Navy when he was just 16 years old. “I was really into computers and they were having a big push recruiting for working on weapons and radars. As a young lad in 1997 when computer technology was still in its relative infancy, it was exciting enough to make me go to the Exeter careers office and sign up.” Matt would spend his next five years serving on HMS Liverpool and HMS Cardiff, with deployments to the Mediterranean, the west coast of Africa and the Middle East. After spending five Christmases in a row on deployment though, I started to realise change was needed. Before he could formally leave the Navy, Matt found himself drawn towards Air Traffic Control. He withdrew his notice during his 12-month period and became an Aircraft Controller, heading out on deployment again on HMS Argyll and eventually being based back at the tower at Yeovilton where he would spend his remaining years. “I then decided a change was once again needed. Two of my biggest regrets happened during this period though. First was leaving the Navy full stop, but secondly was not making the most of my resettlement. There were no social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn to get advice or connect with people who can help. I ended up in low-level civilian roles back home putting all my transferable skills to waste. I also could have done with some good advice on my pension and gratuity, which would have made a big difference to what I received.” Eventually, via several other roles, Matt would be offered a move to Yeovil to take up an opportunity within Morson Group’s Morson Forces division, the specialist recruitment arm with over 20 years’ experience with ex-forces veterans and their redeployment into civilian life. At any one time, Morson has in excess of 2,500 ex-military contract and permanent staff from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force working in the UK and overseas. “Having done my homework on the company I knew this was the role for me. Everything was perfect, the timing and the set up. I use my passion, knowledge and network to find the right candidate for the right role. I love to give as much advice as I can to any candidate who asks, to ensure they are as educated as possible about the positions available to them. That way, they won’t make the same mistakes I have in the past.” Supporting White Ensign Association Matt chose to support the White Ensign Association for the charity bike ride after realising the importance of such an organisation firsthand. “I wish I’d have known about it when I needed help. It’s a massively underrated charity which regularly gets forgotten.” The White Ensign Association is a registered charity founded in 1958. It was set up to provide a financial advisory service of the highest calibre for all serving and retired personnel of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and more. Over the years, the role has developed and expanded to include the provision of assistance in resettlement and employment in civilian life. The motivation for getting on a bike to raise this money came from an MOT health check on Matt that he received through Morson. “I found out I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and after blood tests found that my kidneys and liver were in bad shape. At 38 this put me at a high risk of a stroke or a heart attack, so I realised I had to change my diet and start some form of physical exercise.” Matt hadn’t ridden more than five miles on a bike and not done regular riding in some time. “I sit at a desk all day, don’t do sport and it takes me five minutes to walk to work. Something had to change. My director Tony [Beaumont] goes on various charity cycle rides and he mentioned he was thinking of organising a ride from RNAS Yeovilton to RNAS Culdrose. I joked and said it would be good motivation for me to take part, and before I knew it I was involved and the ride had extended to include a return trip too!” Matt is currently training on his first ever road bike averaging around 22 miles per day. “A few months ago I struggled to do 25 miles with an average speed of 10mph. Just recently I smashed out over 82 miles averaging roughly 15.5mph!” You can donate to Matt's fundraising page here. We'll be following Matt’s progress on Twitter and at our official Facebook page.

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    Morson-sponsored Megan Nicholls on Royal Ascot, Lockdown and more

    ​The apprentice jockey Megan Nicholls, daughter of 11 times National Hunt winning trainer Paul, surprised a few people when she made the switch from jumps to flats back in 2014. In the last few years, she’s ridden to well over 60 victories and now finds herself riding her two of her father’s horses on the flats at Royal Ascot as racing resumes following suspension during the coronavirus pandemic. A little over a year since the Queen paid Paul Nicholls' stables a visit, Royal Ascot will be without Her Majesty's presence for the first time in her 68-year reign, with the meeting this year taking place behind closed doors due to the continuing social distancing restrictions in place for all sporting events. We spoke to Megan, long time Morson-sponsored jockey following a tricky last few months and her June wins for her fathers’ stable. In the winter last year, Megan spent some time working with horses in Dubai, before returning to the UK. "It was something I'd never done before and it as a really great experience. It was good to have the chance to go somewhere else and see how they do things differently." Before long, the UK had been put into lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Megan was based in Thirsk, riding out locally for trainer Kevin Ryan, based just a short distance up the road that was easily accessible despite the lockdown rules. The restrictions on travel made it impractical for her to visit her father's stables in Ditcheat, Somerset. "Obviously, the horses have to be ridden during that time and looked after as normal. It was about finding a routine and finding ways to manage things well during the crisis. It was much the same at my Dad's stables as well. A lot of the horses at his stables are on their holidays at the moment because the jump season is over but he still has some horses in that are ready to run through the summer, with those riding on the flats. It's all been a bit different but luckily everyone has been sensible and adapted to the changes well and everything has run smoothly." With the resumption of the flats season in June, Megan has already ridden two winners for her father at Pontefract - Christopher Wood and Oleg. "They both ran really well and they both won, so I'm obviously delighted with that. One was having his first start on the flats for us [Christopher Wood] and the other had only had one start and we got two winners. They're both really exciting horses that will be looking towards bigger aims and better races towards the middle-end of the season." Even though the racing season has returned, all meetings will be taking place behind closed doors for the near future, which has been a strange experience for many jockeys. "We've all adapted to the changes now but obviously a lot of the atmosphere at these race courses is because of the crowd and it has been weirdly quiet but it's great to be back racing and hopefully things will keep going in the right direction and the crowds will be left back in at the right time." One of the horses Megan will be riding at Royal Ascot is Ashutor, in the 4:40 on Tuesday 16th. The six-year-old returns to the flats under a new trainer after a break of almost two years, after some mixed performances on the hurdles in 2019 punctuated by a win at Catterick Bridge under jockey Harry Cobden in February 2020. "It's his first run on the flat for us. He's shown loads of ability at home and he did well on the flats in France. He's been slightly disappointing over hurdles, however sometimes you find that some of these horses thrive back on the flat. Hopefully he can run well. It's a very competitive race like all of the races at Ascot so we're hoping for a smooth run round and fingers crossed he can run a big race." Another of Paul Nicholls’ horses that was meant to be jockeyed by Megan at Royal Ascot was Red Force One, co-owned by Morson CEO Ged Mason, Sir Alex Ferguson and the Done family. Red Force One’s most recent win came at Fakenham in October 2019, again under Harry Cobden, but was unfortunately balloted out. "Red Force One got balloted out unfortunately so he isn't running which is frustrating but he does have an entry next week." All at Morson would like to wish Megan and Paul Nicholls stables the very best during Royal Ascot and beyond. Follow @MorsonGroup on Twitter for the latest news from our Morson-sponsored sporting ambassadors and more

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    Morson Training Launch Ofqual Accredited Workplace Social Distancing Courses

    Morson Group’s award-winning training division is set to deliver a new, fully-accredited social distancing compliance courses. As we slowly transition back into what may become the new way of working, all organisations are required to make changes to the way they operate in workplace environments in order to comply with the government mandated guidelines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Arguably, none of the guidelines impact the operational norms of the workplace more than social distancing. The team at Morson Training have developed an Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) approved training courses to help companies return to work in this new world in a way that protects both the employee and the organisation as a whole: Level 1 Award in Social Distancing Awareness Level 2 Award in the Responsibilities of a Social Distancing Compliance Officer. Morson Training director Matthew Leavis said: “It’s an inescapable reality that every business across every sector is having to make dramatic changes to the environments in which they work. The key to the successful implementation of, and compliance to, these guidelines is educating employees at all levels of the business. These comprehensive courses provide everyone with the broad tools required to successfully comply with social distancing regulations in every workplace.” Level 1: Creating awareness Creating broad and comprehensive awareness of social distancing rules is the fundamental basis of workplace compliance, as Level 1 of this course delivers. Aimed at all employees within the workforce, this short course (4 hours) is delivered online and can be completed prior to a return to work or during work hours. The course helps employees understand what their employer has done to address social distancing measures as well as educating them in what is required of them as an employee. Upon successful completion of the course, employees will be able to understand: What they can do to protect yourselves and others When PPE is required and how to us it safely The importance of hygiene What to do if they develop symptoms In Level 1 there is a workbook assignment that has to be completed to gain the qualification with a follow up one-to-one. Level 2: Creating champions A crucial part of ensuring compliance with the guidelines within work environments is to create social distancing champions. The Level 2 course is aimed at anyone who is responsible for making the workplace safe, including facilities managers, Health & Safety representatives, union representatives and owners. Delivered over two units followed by an assignment after each, the course will provide an in-depth knowledge of how to manage the risks associated with social distancing, how to ensure your organisation maintains legal compliance, and be able to enhance confidence in enforcing changes within the workplace. The aims of the course are: Understanding why we need Social Distance Compliance Officers Understand your role Finding up to date information and guidance Maintaining a plan to control personnel in the workplace ​Fully online and delivered either on a one-to-one basis or to small groups, the course will take individuals 10 hours to complete over a 5 day week, meaning employees won’t lose two full days of productivity. The course comprises: Two online sessions (2 hours) First assignment (2 hours) Second assignment (4 hours) ​The assessment process is a workbook, with a follow up one-to-one. These courses will be certified upon completion and all those that successfully pass the course will be issued a certificate of completion verified by an external awarding body. For more information and to enrol on one of the courses, contact the award-winning Morson Training team at

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    Morson are hosting a virtual roundtable to support recruitment and HR leaders

    Morson is hosting a virtual roundtable exploring the impact of COVID-19 on talent resourcing and skills sharing to support recruitment and HR leaders to navigate labour sourcing during return to normality. Our online event will begin with an analysis of the labour sourcing market before an in-depth exploration of the trends that have emerged since the COVID-19 outbreak. Led by Morson’s client services director, Steve Seddon, and group sales director, Dave Lynchehaun, guest speakers and industry experts will join the interactive discussion that is set to cover how to safely adapt the workplace, socially-distanced workplace training, technology for long-term home-based recruitment and the impact of the Coronavirus on mental health. The roundtable – to be held on Thursday 11 June, 10am-11am – will examine the industries that have grown fastest since the outbreak of the pandemic and vice versa, and as a result, how these sectors have gone about meeting the demand and any downturn for talent. You can register here. Additionally, it will look at whether furlough and redundancy has led to a mass movement of talent; how the delay of IR35 has impacted both employer and contractor networks and how both of these challenges can be harnessed to create an economic upturn in coming months. We are encouraging in-house recruitment leaders and HR teams from technical sectors including IT and digital, construction, rail, aerospace and defence, engineering, nuclear and professional services to attend the event to gain advice and guidance on how to overcome and capitalise on the challenges the pandemic has enforced on the economy. At the start of the UK lockdown, we joined the ‘Keep Britain Working’ campaign in partnership with fellow recruitment giant, REED, as its official Northern Partner, to identify and facilitate new roles for those who found themselves out of work as a result of the pandemic. With a contractor base of almost 15,000 and having worked with businesses ranging from small disruptors through to international market leaders, we offer a unique perspective of the world of work and talent resourcing. Morson’s client services director, Steve Seddon, said: “In the last three months, as the pandemic has taken hold of the country, we’ve learnt that our clients and others in their industry are hungry for detail and guidance on what comes next. We decided to create a forum where we could share ideas and information from our learnings, to boost both morale and collaboration to ensure the economy can get back on its feet. The Coronavirus has brought about the introduction of new policies and workplace schemes, and we want to inform people about the impact this will have on talent pools, which have the potential to become bigger than ever before. Even contractors who would typically have never considered changing roles are contemplating their future and looking for opportunities that offer more stability. This means there is a huge opportunity for businesses which are seeing a surge in demand to scoop up the skillsets of these individuals and help get them back to work so that the economy can start to thrive once again. Our virtual roundtable has been designed to help all those who capitalise on this trend with the new challenges the world of work will present, to ensure the health and safety of their staff, and themselves.” Our event will be introduced by the speakers, who will deliver an overview of the state of the labour sourcing market, before guest speakers join four mini sessions: Health and safety: How to adapt your workplace for a safe return for your staff, led by Morson’s group director of health, safety, quality and environmental compliance, Gareth Morris. Gareth will discuss COVID-19 secure workplaces and early detection technology, including Morson’s Fit For Work app. Socially distanced workplace training: To be led by Matt Leavis, group training director at Morson. The team are developing accredited courses around social distancing awareness principals and compliance which will be a key driver in changing behaviours, especially from office staff that are less acutely aware of health and safety compared to those on site in safety critical roles. Topics include social distancing and hygiene protocols, as well as mental resilience and how to prepare for your return to work. Technology to manage your workforce from afar: The session will explore which technologies best aid the end-to-end recruitment process when working from home. This is even more difficult in today’s state of play, and Morson will profile its Vencuro technology alongside others. Coronavirus’ impact on mental health: Morson’s health, wellbeing & engagement partner, Heather Deering, will analyse, from the perspectives of those working from home and those returning to the workplace, how employers can better support their workforces beyond the parameters of physical health. Anyone wanting to attend the roundtable on Thursday 11 June, 10am-11am, can sign up for the event here

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    CEO Ged Mason: How the Pandemic has Transformed Labour Sourcing

    Morson Group CEO, Ged Mason OBE, discusses how Covid-19 has completely transformed the labour sourcing market and how businesses can respond to ensure operational continuity and keep Britain working. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge shake up in labour sourcing. From challenges in HR to redistribute teams to cover in-demand services, to the pressure on essential businesses to recruit enough labour to keep the country moving, each organisation faces individual issues. With no blueprint mapping out the steps to solve these concerns, our expertise in contingency labour planning continues to be sought after. With many companies looking to restructure and focus purely on core business in the short to medium term, organisations may consider outsourcing their recruitment solution entirely. To respond to rapidly changing requirements and environments businesses are looking to labour experts, like Morson, who have the robustness, proven experience, engaged talent pools and collaborative approach, to support them with their talent acquisition and operational needs at this time of instability. In our pursuit to keep Britain working – and as the official Northern Partner of the campaign – we are collaboratively supporting organisations who, due to COVID-19, are facing unprecedented challenges with labour sourcing, providing a range of specialist services and added value options to ensure they can achieve a level of continuity. Sector-transferrable skills Businesses in particular sectors – namely pharmaceutical, logistics, healthcare and eCommerce – have seen surges in demand for their products and services. Even if all their staff return from furlough or home working, they still fear they won’t have enough labour resource to deliver their usual service levels. In response, businesses will launch a recruitment drive. But when the UK faces a skills shortage in these industries, where will the extra resource come from? In these instances, we encourage businesses to expand their candidate criteria and rather than looking for those with specific qualifications, instead we say to look for individuals who display transferable skills. Their experience might be in a completely unrelated industry – which, previously, might’ve made them an undesirable candidate – but looking outside your usual parameters opens you up to a wider talent pool. For example, we’ve seen engineering specialists with decades of experience in aerospace be snapped up by medical device manufacturers; they won’t know the healthcare industry inside out, but at the core of their skills is an ability to design and construct technical equipment. And that’s in need in the medical sector. Elsewhere, we’ve seen contractors who we’ve placed with telecoms companies transferred to the NHS to help upscale their call centres in this time of national emergency. Building well rounded teams who are passionate about delivering a key or essential service comes down to more than experience. Often, a cultural fit outweighs any amount of industry certification, and we can help businesses identify the transferrable skills they need to meet demand even when it seems like sourcing extra labour is impossible. Internal remobilisation For other industries, however, it may be the case that only certain departments within a single organisation need to be upscaled, while others can be put on pause altogether. Internal remobilisation solves this challenge. The first step is to analyse what has remained the same about your business and what has changed, in terms of demand. This will help you identify where adjustments need to be made, and you can assess how your existing workforce is equipped to deal with this. In many cases, staff can be redeployed within the business. Again, this comes down to looking at skillsets and personalities to see which are transferable and can be effective in different departments or functions – even if these individuals have little experience in that space. The benefits are that your team remains consistent and you can potentially unfurlough easier than planned. However, reorganisation can often leave gaps in terms of resource and firms are sometimes reluctant, in these cases, to quickly employ new blood which might not be required long term. To fill this temporary void, consider short-term, contingent labour. For example, we provide highly-skilled HR contractors to businesses, assist with the remodelling of strategic initiatives, deliver change and transformation programmes to ease the strain, as well as upskilling internal HR teams, and in turn, saving huge amounts of money and time when compared to recruiting and training new team members. Post-COVID, businesses facing revenue pressures will be likely to only recruit for permanent positions in critical roles – health and safety, for example. When the situation changes week by week, it is a safer option to adopt contingent labour pipelines that are used to quickly scaling up and scaling back down in line with demand. For teams which have remobilised, consolidated or reconciliated, contractors are the most commercially viable option. We want to keep Britain working and though that will mean significant changes in every industry, it may well even highlight benefits you had never previously considered. Whatever challenge your company faces in terms of sourcing labour, Morson can offer advice on which solution is best for your needs – or can act as the solution itself. To find out more, contact Morson Director, David Lynchehaun, on To support you further we are hosting a virtual roundtable exploring the impact of COVID-19 on talent resourcing and skills sharing to support recruitment and HR leaders to navigate labour sourcing during return to normality. To find out more and to register click here.

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    Spotlight on Gerry Mason Scholars | James Kelly at Morson Projects

    The Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarships were set up in 2015 when Morson founder Gerry Mason met with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford to pledge £270,000 towards establishing a scholarship programme to support local, talented engineering students. His vision was to provide a programme for the most gifted students across all disciplines of engineering to flourish irrespective of their financial background. Sadly, Gerry passed away later that year but the scholarships were continued in his memory. Gerry Mason scholar James Kelly, who graduated with a BEng in Petroleum Engineering in 2018, has since gone on to work at design consultancy Morson Projects. The University of Salford recently caught up with him and found out how his time at the university and receiving a donor funded scholarship helped him on his journey to a career as a full time Systems Engineer. How did being awarded the Gerry Mason scholarship help you while you were a student at Salford? Having the scholarship helped take the pressure off me from a financial point of view and allowed me to maximise focus on my studies. This was a big aid throughout my studies but particularly in my third year which was the most time-consuming and intense of the three. As well as this, having the support of Morson and the Mason family provided more than enough motivation for my studies! What brought you to Salford and what did you enjoy most? I wanted to study Petroleum Engineering and there were not many Universities that offered this course. Once I had a look around Salford and heard feedback from Students who had studied the course, I was confident Salford was the correct choice. I enjoyed a lot about my time at Salford but the one thing that stands out from an academic perspective is gaining hands-on practical skills during my project in the final year. This was completely new and was driven by my own ideas for the project and I certainly enjoyed the challenge! Did you attend a placement at Morson whilst a student and how did this help you in thinking about your future career? I had a one week work experience at Morson Projects towards the end of my second year. The week was certainly eye opening and gave me a good understanding of what the role of an engineer entails across various disciplines. This helped me directly in my studies as it shaped the choices I made in my final year, but the variety and intricacy of the work I had witnessed at Morson Projects left me with the confidence that engineering (of some form!) was the right career choice for me. Thankfully, this is now something I get to be a part of everyday. How did the connections you made at Morson whilst a student help you into employment after University? During my studies I was fortunate enough, through the scholarship, to meet various Morson employees. To my surprise, even the CEO of Morson, Ged Mason, took a personal interest in all of the scholars and that really shows what Morson is all about. As I was keen to start my career at Morson Projects, I utilised these connections to the full upon graduating and not long after I was starting as a Graduate Engineer at Morson Projects. Can you give us a summary of your career to date and what is your current role? I started on the Civil Engineering team at Morson Projects. Being my first job in engineering, everything was new to me but with the support of the experienced engineers around me I soon began to pick things up. I was involved in a project primarily using AutoCAD but once this project had finished, I moved to the Control Systems department (known as Ematics). The work at Ematics is software engineering based (something I had no experience in), but I enjoyed my time so much that I decided to stay with Ematics permanently. I am currently a Systems Engineer for Ematics and I have worked on SCADA (a type of software used for control systems) projects in both the power and rail sectors. How have you settled in to work after graduation and how are Morson as an employer? I worked for 3 months during each summer break at university and this is something I would recommend to any student. I think having that workplace experience, even in a nonengineering environment, helped me to settle into my new position. Of course, the work was challenging initially but everyone at Morson Projects was understanding and someone was always happy to talk through any questions I had. In fact, I have found that this is one of the reasons why Morson Projects has such a positive working environment and everyone is happy to share their knowledge with co-workers. Morson have been an amazing employer for me so far. The workplace is fast-paced and at Projects we all are aware we have deadlines to make but we are rewarded for our hard work. I was fortunate enough to attend the Morson’s 50th anniversary party last summer alongside guests such as Ricky Hatton and Sir Alex Ferguson and that was a day I’ll never forget. I am proud to work for a company who supports charities and the community in the way Morson does. It sounds cliché, but it’s amazing how a company of this size manages to maintain a strong family ethos. What are your future career ambitions? I hope to go on to have a long and successful career at Morson Projects and develop into an experienced and well-rounded Engineer, gaining an understanding of all areas of the business from both a technical and commercial standpoint. Above all though, I hope to enjoy the rest of my career as much as I’ve enjoyed the first 18 months. If I manage that I’ll know that I’ve had a good career! As well as helping individual students through their engineering degree courses, Morson also partnered with the University of Salford to help create the Morson Maker Space. Find out about how the Morson Maker Space helped tackle the PPE shortage during the coronavirus pandemic

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