Veolia staff are encouraged to join in a lively employee dialogue aimed at sharing experiences across the company, promoting initiative and creating team spirit.
In addition to our work with Trade Unions, our employees are represented internally by Staff Council members. These officials report on topics such as business performance overviews and proposed changes to the organisation. Council members are consulted on matters that directly affect all employees.
The simplest way for many of our staff to talk is through our lively intranet. Our online community, ‘Engage’, offers clubs, forums and blogs – enabling our team to give feedback on what is going on in our company, and to work with other staff right across our diverse business.
Our internal magazine, ‘Vision’, particularly developed for our operatives, is dedicated to business development and staff exploits, and we also provide a monthly digest of news and key issues within the industry through ‘Vision Extra’ – available on the intranet. We make sure all employees are kept up to date with both the business and the social side of working for Veolia.
‘Have Your Say’ survey
In July 2010, 5,193 employees completed our first multi-language ‘Have Your Say’ survey – with a 46% response rate that we aim to increase year on year. This survey provided Veolia with a number of indicators, with an overall employee engagement score of 70%. The survey was provided in four different languages (English, Portuguese, French and Polish) to ensure that we were inclusive of the many different nationalities working within our company. From the results gathered, we have implemented a number of programmes, including Leadership training.
Veolia aims to set the standard in social performance, offering our 12,000 employees the means to achieve their career goals and adapt to the increasingly complex and changing face of life in the environmental services industry.
To rise to this challenge, Veolia was among the very first group of employers to sign the UK Government's Skills Pledge in 2007. As part of this commitment, we aim by the end of 2012 to have all of our employees trained to a minimum educational level of NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) 2.
The company has implemented a far-reaching training policy underpinned by key guiding principles that reflect a proactive approach. Training occurs at our very own Veolia Campuses, which run a range of courses and qualifications, including apprenticeships, delivered by dedicated trainers. Training applies to all categories of personnel, with a special focus on those in the field, from the moment people join the company through to the end of their career.
The training needs to provide recognised qualifications – hence the move to create diplomas specific to the company’s business lines – specifically, recognised by Local Authorities. We run courses to gain NVQ foundation qualifications and bespoke accreditations for areas of expertise.
In 2010, 9,215 employees attended at least one course (increasing the number of delegates by 28% from 2009), delivering nearly 11,400 training days (an increase of 12% from 2009).
Mark Jennings is completing his four-year engineering apprenticeship with Veolia, based at the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Portsmouth, and has already developed into a valued member of the team.
Mark applied through our Veolia apprenticeship scheme – a key part of the company’s progressive approach to career development and its commitment to attract and retain the very best people.
It is through these apprenticeships that we provide students with the work experience and skills needed. The well-structured training will reward Mark with fully recognised qualifications, which will equip him for his future in engineering. Mark has been working on mechanical maintenance, testing electrical circuits, looking after the plant and making ongoing repairs.
There are 115 young apprentices participating in various programmes, such as business administration, engineering, vehicle maintenance, driving goods vehicles, horticulture and purchase and supply management. We also have a total of 242 adult apprentices in driving; 46 have completed apprenticeships since 2007.
In 2010, we took on six new graduates for a two-year programme that includes full graduate induction and training. Our graduates are each given a mentor to act as their Director to work under. The intention is to provide the necessary exposure and visibility to all of the business, with variation depending on which area they start in and what projects they commence with. Each graduate is given tailored programmes, as they will have their own specialism. We believe in both individual development and development as a business; therefore, our graduate schemes are aimed at developing the individual as well as Veolia itself.
Skills for life
We recognised that a large number of our employees would benefit from developing their numeracy and literacy skills, so we have designed a ‘Skills for Life’ initiative to help our employees increase their access to career opportunities within Veolia. We are working in partnership with Unite, GMB and Unison, and have launched pilot programmes with all three unions for our employees.
'Backing Young Britain'
We are supporting ‘Backing Young Britain’, a Job Centre Plus initiative to support the employment of young people. We supported this through offering apprenticeships and graduate and internship programmes in 2010.
Our ‘Talent Forum’ was launched at the end of 2010 and is a dedicated vehicle for driving organisational culture, developing and nurturing talent. Targeted at middle and senior management, the Forum is focused on leadership and personal development, providing an opportunity for our employees to reach the next level in their careers.
To mention some of the benefits, the ‘Talent Forum’ offers career development, interaction with executive leadership, targeted learning opportunities and involvement with special projects for experience-based development.
The Veolia 'fast track' scheme also forms a key part of the talent management strategy. Our goal is to identify, develop and retain high-potential individuals who will fill the leadership pipeline, increase bench strength and form the basis of a strong succession plan.
Through these programmes, we expect a higher degree of internal promotions and more focused development, as we aim to provide skills to develop employees to the next career level.
Sustainable development and the effective management of environmental impact is a key goal for policy action at both global and local levels. We recognise as a business that understanding sustainability and integrating its principles and methods within our everyday practice is vital for the environment, and the economic and social welfare of society. Therefore, beyond the environmental training given to our employees through our training centre, Campus Veolia, we have introduced a formal qualification in ‘Sustainability’ for our staff.
The Foundation Degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management is delivered and accredited by Staffordshire University, and the course challenges students to transfer the broad ideas and principles of sustainability and environmental management into implementation at our ‘local’ level, while also drawing on our employees' working knowledge. After two years, our employees may take up the opportunity to further their training and enter into a formal Bachelor’s degree.
To find out more, visit: www.campus.veolia.co.uk
Veolia is proud to have received ISO 20000 accreditation across our group. This is the first international standard for I.T. Service Management. Veolia promotes the adoption of an integrated-process approach, to effectively deliver managed services to meet business and customer requirements.