Page 2: Land and labour
'Land' in economic and business terms includes earth, sea and sky and all the natural resources within them. Like nearly all economic resources, land is scarce - there is less of it available than people want to use, therefore people must pay to own or use it. When firms use land efficiently, the land rises in value. Land Securities often puts land to new uses. If the buildings already on it are no longer serviceable, the company will demolish them and redevelop the site. If, however, the buildings still have potential, Land Securities will save resources by refurbishing them.
Taking care of the environment is a big issue in the case of land use. Land Securities is careful to manage resources sensitively. It recycles rubble from old buildings into new projects, such as Heathrow's new Terminal 5, which was built using recycled aggregate. It also works with subcontractors to ensure that buildings are as energy efficient as possible. Land Securities also develops brownfield sites e.g. the Kent Thameside Development of mixed housing and commercial property. The company seeks to minimise the effects its suppliers have on the environment. In particular the Group is looking at all of its sources of paper and timber. As part of its Land Securities Trillium ISO14001 Environmental Certification, it checks all of its potential suppliers' policies on health, safety and the environment to ensure that its environmental footprint is as small as possible.
Labour is the work done by an economy's workforce. Different people do different jobs requiring different skills and attributes. Labour, therefore, does not just mean physical effort. It refers to all work done, whether by hand or brain. Land Securities employs nearly 2,000 people across the UK. They are responsible for the management of the property portfolio. They also look after the development and delivery of all the business property services.
The company believes that employees' performance, and their contribution to achieving business objectives, should be rewarded appropriately. With this in mind it uses pay, incentives and benefits to help motivate its staff. The business communicates openly with employees, so that management and employees can easily exchange ideas or solve problems. Communication includes:
- an intranet that regularly updates employees
- regular presentations on business activities and future plans
- management and staff 'away days'
- email updates
- various magazines, both on paper and online, including a monthly environmental newsletter.
Land Securities also encourages staff to suggest ideas that might bring benefits to the company. It rewards them for original ideas that prove capable of being put into practice.
The Group looks to recruit and develop the best people for its various business roles. It also offers them ongoing comprehensive training programmes. It sets targets for internal promotion and constantly monitors staff to ensure that people maximise their career opportunities. It runs a 'Values into Action' award programme, which rewards employees for demonstrating in the workplace the company's core values. These are:
- respect for the individual
- customer service
The company also encourages its employees to be involved in community activities in the areas where they are based. This helps to build good working relationships between the company and local communities.