Carol Kavanagh, Group HR director, Travis Perkins Group
Paul Creber, September 17, 2018
Carol Kavanagh joined the Travis Perkins Group in 2006 and is responsible for the group's people strategy and its successful implementation
Kavanagh is the group HR director for Travis Perkins, the UK's largest distributor of building materials with over 20 merchant and retail brands serving all sectors of the construction industry. The group's brands include the eponymous Travis Perkins, Wickes, Toolstation, Tile Giant, City Plumbing and Benchmarx. Kavanagh oversees all HR, safety and communications activity across the Travis Perkins Group and is also responsible for the Tile Giant business.
The Travis Perkins culture is over 200 years old and this, combined with our exceptional colleagues, creates a competitive edge for the business. The group has 29,000 employees working from over 2,000 locations across the UK and Ireland in very different roles and environments. Attracting and engaging the best and most customer-obsessed colleagues in the market is a priority, and Kavanagh's team continually find innovative ways to achieve this.
This year alone the team have launched a new internal colleague brand, an external and internal website promoting career opportunities, and new HR systems giving all colleagues greater opportunity to self serve. The group has a best in class Early Careers Programme offering career paths and opportunities to students, while the multi-award winning apprenticeship programmes ranging from branch through to MBA, have been recognised nationally as leading the way. As part of the commitment to diversity and inclusion, its apprenticeship programme also sponsors 15 young women each year to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme to hone their leadership and practical skills.
Kavanagh is a passionate advocate of continuous improvement in all areas and the business regularly surveys employee engagement levels to ensure that investment is made where it makes the biggest difference to the performance of our branches. She continues to invest in an extensive benefits package for employees. Family values are a cornerstone of the group's culture, along with a strong focus on safety, which also forms part of Kavanagh's remit. The business has been recognised consistently by the Great Place to Work Institute as a Top Employer for the past nine years.
As the group focuses increasingly on digital and technology, the communications team and internal design agency, under Kavanagh's leadership, are embracing new channels, most recently launching an Instagram feed giving an insider view of life at Travis Perkins.
Prior to joining Travis Perkins, Kavanagh worked at both Argos and Storehouse (now Mothercare) as HR director, and before that held senior HR roles at Ladbrokes and Safeway (now Morrisons). A masters graduate of Leeds University, she is an active swimmer and an advisor for British Swimming. She is also a former non-executive director of Leeds Building Society and previously served on the advisory board for De Poel.