Encouraging and empowering our people
Our employees come from many cultures and backgrounds, and our business benefits from the breadth of ideas and experiences they bring.
Having such a diversity of people who support each other’s success creates a unique mix. Our differences are balanced by a common view on our industry – we support personal choice and the freedom to choose – and that philosophy helps drive our business strategy.
Being free to discuss and debate means we develop our business in exciting ways and give individuals their voice. Empowering teams creates fresh ideas and different experiences, keeping us sharp, innovative and ahead of the game.
Key to our culture is a set of fair minded Employment Principles which apply to all our operations. The Principles state that we will not discriminate in hiring, promotion or retirement decisions on the grounds of candidates’ or employees’ race, colour, gender, age, social class, religion, smoking habits, sexual orientation, politics or disability. Rather, we match the requirements of the job to the ability and potential of the individual.
Our companies are required to operate according to the Group Employment Principles, with flexibility to customise their management of employee and development issues in the ways that are most appropriate to their local business environments.
Diversity helps us to understand our consumers, customers and stakeholders and to meet their needs. It also provides different ways of looking at challenges, encouraging creativity and innovation.
Operating in more than 200 markets, we have a very diverse workforce in terms of nationality. In 2015, we had 138 nationalities working in management globally.
To maintain a diverse workforce we need to attract talented individuals from different backgrounds and make sure our culture supports them. Our Guiding Principles have always included a statement on how diversity gives us a competitive advantage, but we need to ensure our people fully embrace this value and promote it globally.
We have very diverse customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, and want a diverse workforce to meet their needs. We are committed to improving the diversity of our senior management teams, focused on gender and nationality, and so are supporting the career development of these focus groups.
In 2015, the proportion of women in all management roles across the organisation was 33%.
One of the ways that we are supporting women’s progression into senior roles is through a programme called Women in Leadership, which provides training, mentoring and other types of career support for high potential female employees.
We are also pleased that, with 30% female representation on our Main Board in 2015, we exceeded the target recommended by the UK Government.
You can view data on the proportion of women in senior management in our sustainability performance centre .
We track employee satisfaction through our Group-wide ‘Your Voice’ employee opinion survey, which we carry out every two years. The most recent survey was conducted in 2014, with 93% of our employees choosing to complete it.
We achieved an Employee Engagement Index score of 72% in the survey, ahead of a FMCG comparator norm of 69%. Broadly, this score combines employee satisfaction with their attitudes towards recommending us as a place to work, their desire to stay and their pride in working for us.
Our High Performance Index score rose three percentage points to 72%, indicating our continued focus on leadership and talent development is supporting our high performance culture.
We use feedback from the survey to address areas of improvement, alongside our other initiatives to provide a workplace that will enable people to develop and contribute to the Group’s success in the years ahead.
The full results of the survey can be viewed in our sustainability performance centre .