Training blueprint helps Keon Homes claim Best Small Construction title for Workplace for Development

The launch of a new training blueprint and a strategic tie-up with Cranfield School of Management have helped Keon Homes secure the highest placing for a construction company in the recently released UK’s Best Workplaces for Development list.

The Burntwood-based business, which is part of the rapidly expanding Tara Group, took 20th position in the Small Companies ranking, finishing a massive 50 places above any of their sector rivals.

Organised by Great Places to Work, the national competition recognises firms that place a significant importance on giving their employees the chance to better themselves, to learn new skills and to progress within the organisation.

Judges scored Keon Homes heavily for its involvement in the Tara Academy that will equip all its 50-strong workforce with the skills and personal development opportunities it needs to help it continue to deliver the live construction projects it is currently working on.

Through this groundbreaking initiative it offers everyone a tailored plan that combines the best internal/external training opportunities with access to higher education courses, leadership and management qualifications and supply chain/partner visits.

This has been boosted further with a strategic partnership with Cranfield School of Management, which gives staff access to 30 online learning modules.

These aren’t just for managers/leaders, but open to everyone in the business and range in levels depending on your level of expertise. Bronze is a 4-hour of online learning gives you a basic understanding, whilst completing the silver and gold levels helps individuals work towards Post Graduate Awards and an MSC.

“This is a fantastic achievement and comes just a few months after we finished 6th in the overall Great Place to Work list for businesses under 50 employees,” explained Julie Caudle, Director of People and Performance at Keon Homes and the Tara Group.

Keon Homes staff outside its new office in Burntwood.

“For this specific accolade, judges are focused on the development opportunities companies are providing and our work in this area is second to none, with the recently launched Tara Academy underpinning everything we do when it comes to supporting our people.”

She went on to add: “Everything is funded by the business and has been designed so that individuals can access as many of the courses as they wish and, importantly, when they want to – whether that is in person or virtually.

“Once again, we are the best small construction company to work for in the UK, a title we’ll help to attract the talent of the future.”

Under the guidance of industry experts Warren Bolton and Richard Williams, Keon Homes spotted an opportunity in the marketplace for a new approach to delivering ambitious housing projects and Extra Care schemes that place ‘community’ at their heart.

The company has built strong relationships with more than 10 housing associations to unlock disused sites, completing over 400 essential housing plots in five years, with a further 850 properties underway or about to start.

With revenue set to hit £50m for the first time in 2024, the company is investing heavily in its staff and continues to recruit experienced professionals, graduates and apprentices.

Richard Williams, Managing Director of Keon Homes, concluded: “It’s all about doing things differently and partnering with experts in their respective fields. Our relationship with Cranfield School of Management is a great example.

“This, when combined with the Tara Academy, demonstrates our commitment to supporting our people to be better versions of themselves and is key to not only their personal development but that of our business. It is also a key retention tool and allows us to keep and grow some of the best talent in our sector.”


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