Our employees are one of our most important stakeholder groups. In order to deliver on our goals in such a people-based business, we need highly motivated and engaged employees who believe in the company and do their est to provide our customers with great service every day.
During 2015, we conducted a global employee engagement survey to assess whether we are delivering our commitments to our employees and maximising their levels of engagement.
The feedback from the survey is vital in shaping our engagement plans for the future so every effort is made to ensure that as many employees as possible have the opportunity to participate. The questions in the most recent survey were based on our employee engagement model called PRIDE, which sets out how we will Protect, Respect, Involve, Develop and Engage our people. As this was the fourth global engagement survey, the results tracked improvements and also provided feedback from employees on new questions on the company values.
Overall, the feedback was positive and all questions had a favourable response rate in excess of 76%, with a number, including those relating to fair treatment, personal development and effective communications, showing an increase in favourable responses since 2013.
Levels of engagement remain high, with 80% of employees confirming their intention to stay with the company and that they would recommend G4S as an employer. In spite of these positive responses, there were also opportunities for improvement identified in areas such as health and safety and managerial feedback in relation to employee performance. Following communication of the results, businesses have been developing their action plans for implementation in 2016.
Having leaders who are inspired by the group aims and who strive to develop their businesses to meet these aims is critical so, in addition to the global employee survey, senior managers were invited to participate in a separate survey in order that we could gauge their specific views in more detail. Participation levels and favourable scores from senior managers were high, with over 86% of leaders responding and three-quarters of them doing so positively.
Offering interesting and challenging roles continues to be seen as a huge attraction to working with the group, with a significant number of senior managers confirming that this is the most important factor influencing their decision to stay with G4S. Of the concerns raised, leadership development and pay and reward were the most significant, both of which the company has taken steps to address with the launch of the new regional leadership programme and a review of the alignment of incentives.
Both the employee and senior management surveys included questions on the group values to establish whether these are fully understood and whether they help shape employees’ behaviour at work. From senior managers there was positive feedback about the introduction of the new ‘Safety first’ value, and in the wider employee engagement survey it was encouraging to see 90% of respondents confirming they are clear about how to behave in accordance with the group values. Embedding our new values in core processes will be a key focus for 2016.
Employee turnover is one of our key performance indicators and is closely monitored each month. In 2015, a number of regions and businesses introduced measures to address high voluntary turnover rates. For example in Europe, where turnover is relatively high, during the first six months of employment, new induction and employee buddying programmes are being piloted.
In Latin America the focus has been on improving the recruitment processes and building the skills and confidence of the first-line managers. In North America we have used the extensive feedback from the employee engagement survey to develop plans for improving retention rates. The reduction in turnover rates suggest that the measures are working but we will continue our focus in this area and extend any good practices developed to gain maximum benefit across the group.
Having a stable workforce enables us to build relationships with our employees and ensure the consistent delivery of service to the same standards for our customers. It also helps to reduce costs related to the recruitment and training of new employees and allows us to focus resources on the development of employees who wish to stay or progress within the organisation. In 2015, 74% of our employees had more than one year’s service.