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DIA’s most valuable asset: its employees
DIA employs over 46,500 professionals across its six operating markets. This diverse workforce - in terms of cultural backgrounds and abilities - is the company’s most valuable asset. With this in mind, DIA goes to lengths to attract and retain talent, offering its employees a stimulating career along with the training and technology needed to do their jobs well and with pride. While respecting local country legislation, DIA applies a common set of guidelines across the board to everyone it hires: respect for diversity, the promotion of workplace health and safety and support for equal opportunities. According to the most recent employee satisfaction survey, 84% of DIA’s employees like their jobs, a testament to the group’s workplace climate and HR management strategy.
The DIA Group is an engine for job creation in all its operating markets. In 2013 its worldwide headcount increased to 46,500. The store-based headcount rose to 34,878, the number of people working in the group’s warehouses increased to 6,354 and the number of office staff climbed to 5,271.
By geography, 70.8% of the headcount worked in Europe, 22.8% in Latin America and 6.4% in Asia.
True to its conviction that steady employment translates into employee endorsement of the company’s targets and aware that this is what most of its employees aspire to, DIA is strategically committed to stable employment contracts: 86% of DIA’s workforce is employed under permanent contracts.
The company is committed to the creation and maintenance of the right conditions for fostering an amenable, safe and healthy work environment that allows for individual career development. This commitment has been enshrined in the firm’s formal corporate social responsibility policies which set the work guidelines applicable groupwide and go beyond strict compliance with the labour legislation prevailing in each country.
In addition to ensuring that labour relations uphold the conventions of the United Nations Global Compact, DIA’s CSR policies focus on promoting respect for diversity by means of development of the right conditions for work among teams of differing abilities, care for the health and safety of all the people working at the company and the provision of training and career development to everyone employed by DIA.
In 2013 DIA drafted and enacted human resource rules that affect not only the HR department but also all the departments that manage human capital. These basic HR management rules form part of a larger-scale project to define the group’s body of rules; this approval process is slated for completion before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
In order to ensure it is meeting its employees’ expectations, DIA also promotes internal company-employee communication by means of several channels. The most significant effort undertaken in 2013 in this respect was the employee satisfaction survey conducted in Spain, Portugal and Argentina, the results of which evidence employees’ endorsement of and identification with the company’s targets and values.
3.2.1 Embracing diversity
In recent years the organisation has proven its ability to accompany its international expansion with successful human capital management. Accordingly, DIA upholds its professionals’ individual and collective rights, in compliance with prevailing labour legislation in each of its operating markets, albeit framed by universal guidelines which it applies to all its employees. These universal guidelines include respect for diversity and support for equal opportunities.
Throughout 2013, the Spanish division continued to implement measures under the umbrella of its Equality Plan. The Equality Plan, signed in 2012, articulates the affirmative measures and actions designed and taken to ensure equal opportunities.
Throughout 2013, the Spanish division continued to implement measures under the umbrella of its Equality Plan
Against this backdrop, the company carried out several training initiatives, appointed an equality officer and updated its protocols and codes of conduct. It also conducted awareness campaigns which generated greater familiarity with the plan itself.
In order to mark the plan’s anniversary and International Women’s Day, the group celebrated Equality Week in March of last year, organising activities in the company’s offices, warehouses and stores targeted at men and women alike. The company also hosted a thematic exhibition, “It’s your responsibility, it’s our responsibility”, at its head office in conjunction with the Red Cross in order to invite reflection on shared responsibilities in the home and work-life balance. The company also echoed the government’s campaign against domestic violence, “There is a way out”, at its headquarters and published a series of materials on the intranet in support of equality such as the “Guide to non-sexist language”.
Looking beyond this initiative in Spain, the company believes it is crucial to instil this vision in all its operating markets given that 68.3% of the people working at DIA are female.
In order to ensure the equal opportunities pledge translates into effective equal opportunities, the company implements each initiative groupwide. Women account for 35% of the group’s management positions on average, although this figure varies by country, reaching 50% or higher in certain markets, including Spain and China.
Commitment to people living with disabilities
DIA is committed to integrating people with disabilities into the workplace. In Spain, where the company has stepped up its integration efforts, the number of hires with some form of disability rose by 43% in 2013 to 178, thanks to collaboration agreements with several organisations, most notably the ONCE Foundation.
The company has a long-term agreement with ONCE (the Spanish association for the blind) under which it hires people with disabilities and purchases goods and services from special employment centres. Under the umbrella of this agreement, in 2013 DIA analysed and enhanced its recruiting and selection processes by catering cashier job descriptions to accommodation goals and began to cooperate more closely with the HR consultancy arm of the ONCE Foundation.
The DIA Group celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities once again by running employee awareness sessions at its head office in Las Rozas, in collaboration with the ONCE Foundation, also disseminating these materials on its intranet. The company also supported the work of ONCE by earmarking space in its offices for the sale of its special New Year lottery tickets, publicising the foundation’s work in the process.
A range of initiatives designed to make the company a more accessible employer were also carried out in DIA’s other operating markets.
Brazil implemented the Crescer Project, a social inclusion initiative for the provision of skills training to people with disabilities; moreover, team leaders are taught how to engage with these employees with their development and retention in mind. DIA Brazil currently employs more than 180 persons with disabilities between its stores and warehouses.
In Portugal the company entered into agreements with two local entities (Escuela de Amare and Centro de Reabilitação e Integração de Torres Novas) with a view to equipping candidates with the skills and experiences needed to facilitate their employment.
In France the company rolled out initiatives in support of diversity, including training and awareness drives.
3.2.2 Safe and healthy workplace
DIA offers its employees a safe and healthy environment in which to do their jobs. In 2013, the group’s occupational health and safety service continued to develop and implement projects designed to ensure the safety of all processes.
In its quest to prevent accidents, it is worth highlighting the theoretical and practical training courses given in Spain on pallet jacks and stackers and with respect to the new merchandise containers introduced in the company’s warehouses and stores in the course of last year.
DIA also carries out health initiatives in its various operating markets, such as check-ups in Spain and a flu vaccine drive. A good example of these initiatives outside Spain is the workplace exercise program implemented in Portugal with the aim of reducing the number of workplace accidents, particularly muscle injuries, caused by jobs entailing physical force.
The company’s commitment to preventing accidents was evident in the inclusion, for the second year running in Spain, of World Day for Safety and Health at Work in the HR department’s calendar. In 2013 it organised a new campaign under the slogan “Together we can make prevention work”.
The campaign was supported by the distribution to all store and warehouse staff of a promotional poster and information brochure outlining DIA’s workplace health and safety rules.
Once again in 2013 DIA Spain encouraged its employees to develop healthy lifestyle habits at work and at home. For the third year in a row the company celebrated Health Week; this initiative, which is articulated around sport and exercise, nutrition and emotional balance, was organised at the head office and regional offices. The activities organised included a short-tennis tournament and workshops such as ‘Back school’, ‘Care for your heart’ “The keys to greater happiness”, “Healthy cooking for the whole family” and “Laughter therapy”.
In Brazil the company conducted a year-round campaign called “The pregnant mother” with a view to offering pregnant employees optimal working conditions and medical care. DIA Brazil also provided psychological attention to employees suffering some form of violence in the company’s stores, encouraged employee participation in charity races organised by independent organisations and created a quarterly newsletter called “Our DIA” which covers workplace safety topics.
DIA Argentina, meanwhile, sponsored a campaign dubbed “Live better”, providing healthy lifestyle suggestions and tips for office employees, including talks about nutrition, ergonomic posture and healthy eating in the workplace, CPR classes, yoghurt Wednesdays, Vegetable Fridays, gym activities and a running team.
3.2.3 Encouraging career development
In its efforts to attract and retain talent, DIA encourages career development at the company, providing its employees with the training and technology needed to do their jobs well and with pride.
Committed to job creation, DIA has agreements with different vocational training entities and schools and offers talented unemployed young people work placements and practice in different areas. It also participates in job and career fairs and collaborates with a number of universities in its operating markets.
The company values experience and length of service at the company, especially in its most senior positions, as the best way to safeguard and improve its financial performance while satisfying employees’ expectations. This is evident in the fact that 85% of DIA executives have reached their current positions by means of internal promotion; their average length of service is 17 years.
DIA values experience and length of service at the company, especially in terms of its management positions.
In order to make the most of internal promotions, the company has systems for assessing and detecting performance in various job categories and at different levels of the company; it rounds these out with various training and development programs which are adapted to each country’s culture and management system.
The overriding goal is to develop talent in-house by means of projects that are positive for the company and for the professionals participating in them.
3.0 Technology to make work easier
The company gives its employees the tools they need to do their jobs optimally. In 2013 it began to roll out its store 3.0 management model by giving store supervisors a tablet to facilitate their everyday work.
Thanks to the development of proprietary apps, supervisors can verify store checklists, view performance indicators and upload basic data for the stores under their purview into the system, among other capabilities.
This increases the work capacity of people who are not always sitting at their desks. Supervisors can work more comfortably and ergonomically as they no longer have to print and carry around piles of documents. This initiative is also resulting in substantial paper and ink savings.
The company began to give supervisors these devices in July 2012 as part of an initial study that was then pilot-tested in February 2013; implementation began in June. The company is currently studying the idea of rolling the initiative out in the expansion and perishables departments.
Continuous learning and tailored training
DIA is committed to its people and developing their professional abilities. In line with this commitment, specific training is provided for each job. This enables the company to adapt to the needs of each group and handle problems related to functions carried out by employees in their daily work.
DIA provided 446,137 hours of training in 2013. Employees from all job categories and countries participated in the courses.
DIA’s continuous learning program encompasses a range of content: skills training, languages, general training, area-specific courses and individual programs.
DIA provided 446,137 hours of training in 2013 with employees from all job categories and countries participating in these initiatives.
The bulk of the general training budget is earmarked to foreign language training. Accordingly, strict criteria are applied to selecting which candidates are eligible to receive language training and need it to perform their current or future jobs.
General training addresses broad-ranging issues dictated by the company’s strategic plans and projects. It is addressed at all company employees, including operational staff.
Area training is designed to cover the specific, ad-hoc needs of a given functional area. This training is articulated by the IT WORKS Project at DIA.
Individual training plans target high-potential and high-performance employees. Made to measure, in response to a change in area, expatriation, specific promotion or future development, students take part in the IESE Business School’s Management Development Program (PDD), which is part of the ISDI centre of higher learning’s Senior Executive in Internet Business Program (PADIB).
These plans are carried out in all the country markets through different programs. Portugal, for example, has its own human capital development program that addresses succession, high-potential, talent identification and career development.
Training on the handling and sale of perishables
The constant evolution of our store models, coupled with the growing importance of perishable products in our supermarkets, highlights the importance of ongoing skills and customer service training specific to this product range. Perishables training has been structured around four major topics: the product, management/ handling, display at the point of sale and sales techniques for guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
In conjunction with the rebranding of the Schlecker stores and the opening of new Clarel stores, DIA set in motion a comprehensive HR project in order to guarantee that the Clarel brand attributes are echoed by the stores’ staff.
The plan prioritised in-store customer service, to which end all the people with sales duties were trained on how to advise shoppers in-store, paying special attention to the cosmetics and personal care ranges.
To assess each professional’s potential with a view to establishing their ideal placement within the company or their readiness for internal promotion, skills are matched to the levels required of the job.
To perform these job assessments, evaluators from the HR department and members of management are first given a work-related questionnaire. Each skill is assessed through at least two tests, while participants fill out a self-evaluation form before they start.
Professional evaluators and professionals from the same business are involved to ensure consistency and objectivity in the approach.
Talent assessment and remuneration policy
At DIA, pay (fixed and variable) is tied to performance across all job categories. This pay structure is designed to reward and motivate the workforce.
DIA employees’ job performance is evaluated by means of an annual interview. These interviews assess three parameters: job duties, delivery of the targets set and the skills needed to do the job. A level is assigned to each of these three aspects (could do better, adequate and exceeds expectations). These are rounded out with specific areas for improvement, which are mandatory when a deficiency is identified and recommended in all other instances.
The aggregate results of the assessment of these three factors yield an overall evaluation, which is later used as the basis for pay increase proposals.
3.2.4 Respectful and cordial work environment
DIA engages with its employees to foster a mutually-beneficial relationship by maintaining open, two-way communication by means of several in-house channels. The company uses these channels to transmit its values, objectives and decisions to its professionals and also to listen to their suggestions and complaints.
The group believes internal communication is crucial to the management of such a large and geographically dispersed workforce. To this end, it uses various channels, which are tailored depending on the employee segments at which they are targeted, and continually reviews and questions the ways used to engage with staff.
The employee satisfaction survey revealed that 84% of employees like their work and 89% identify with the company’s values
In addition to the intranet, the company’s key communication channels include its corporate newsletter, DIALOGUE, which it uses to keep employees abreast of all the main decisions affecting the company and sector. This publication has a print run of 19,500 copies in Spain, 3,800 in Portugal, 3,900 in Argentina, 6,200 in Brazil and 7,600 in France
In 2013 DIA revamped its Spanish corporate newsletter; the November edition published was more visually appealing and gave greater prominence to store and warehouse employees and the topics of greatest importance to the company: customers, franchisees, CSR products and employees.
Last year the company also designed an employee portal for Spain and the headquarters containing HR information and tools; this new platform was pilot tested in 2013 for rollout for office employees during the first quarter of 2014. DIA also developed an employee portal that is accessible by all DIA employees in Spain, including store, warehouse and office staff, from any internet connection.
The Argentine team, meanwhile, reinforced its employee newsletter; this publication is sent out every Friday and contains all the company news.
Employee satisfaction survey
The company also adopts new mechanisms for information-sharing, such as the workplace climate survey. The results of the survey conducted last year in Spain, Portugal and Argentina reflect DIA employees’ strong sense of belonging.
According to this barometer, 84% of those polled like their work and 89% share the company’s values (efficiency, initiative, respect, teamwork and customers). This favourable internal image is further evident in the fact that the immense majority of its employees are loyal DIA customers: 93% buy DIA-branded products and 79% purchase its perishables.
Overall, employees have a favourable opinion of their immediate superiors, while DIA managers ranked in line or above comparable benchmarks on aspects such as respect, accessibility and job evaluation.
The feedback on pay and benefits was similarly encouraging: generally speaking, DIA employees rate the compensation and benefits they receive positively.
When asked about their jobs, the employees said they were clear on their job duties and responsibilities and felt capable of putting in the energy needed to do their everyday jobs.
The survey had an added benefit: DIA gave one kilo of food to the food banks for every survey filled out. Thanks to the high participation rate, DIA donated 9,400 kilos of food as a result of this initiative.
The results of the survey have been used to set in motion action plans designed to cater to the most pressing concerns voiced by employees: internal communication, customer relations, engagement with the franchises, embracement of the corporate values and reinforced publicity of the business ethics code and whistle-blowing channel.
Initiatives country by country
Brazil extended its calendar of commemorative initiatives, creating in-house cultural competitions. It also launched a “Proud to be DIA” campaign. The company continued to work to reinforce employee attitudes in terms of the firm’s business ethics and gave the entire administrative team a gift notebook with the company’s mission and values. The team designed corporate communication materials targeted at all employees in Brazil; these materials were hung in offices, warehouses and in the training store. Fifteen managers were asked to a meeting with the head of DIA’s Brazilian operation. Meanwhile, DIA negotiated employee discounts with a number of centres.
In Argentina, DIA continued to share moments with its employees. Throughout the year it organised a number of events, including a football tournament attended by more than 250 people, and “Family DAY” (punning the word in Spanish for day: DIA), attended by over 300 people, which served to foster a favourable work climate. It also marked Father’s Day and Mother’s Day with employee engagement events.
In April DIA France celebrated national sustainable development week. Almost 200 employees participated in a baking competition in which participants had to bake using DIA’s organic product range. The employees taking part in the competition received a basket of organic DIA products and helped select the winning cake.