Our people

We aim to attract and develop the most talented people by offering a motivating, healthy and inclusive workplace, while engaging employees in our culture and strategy

Our people – Our approach

We support, train and encourage more than 92,000 people working across Vodafone to ensure they have the right capabilities, commitment and enthusiasm to achieve our business goals.

Our aim is to attract, develop and retain the very best people by offering a motivating and inclusive workplace in which talent is recognised and developed, and wellbeing is promoted.

We make it a priority to listen to our employees, to understand their views and respond to their feedback by taking action to improve. We monitor employee engagement and satisfaction levels through our annual Global People Survey, and use this to assess managers according to the experience they create for their team.

Read on to find out more about our approach or go to Performance to read about our progress in 2013/14.

The Vodafone Way

The Vodafone Way sets out a consistent way of working for everyone at Vodafone. It is supported by our Code of Conduct which sets out the high ethical standards all employees must uphold. We actively promoted our Code of Conduct throughout the year via our global ‘Doing what’s right’ campaign. The aim was to improve understanding of and engagement with key topics including health and safety, anti-bribery, privacy, security and competition law, and to ensure that people managers know what’s expected of them and their teams.

The Vodafone Way is part of all employees’ performance objectives and those demonstrating outstanding commitment to it are recognised as The Vodafone Way Heroes each year.

In focus: The Vodafone Way

The Vodafone Way helps us strengthen our position as an admired company in the eyes of our customers, shareholders and employees. To achieve this objective, we must be customer obsessed, innovation hungry, ambitious and competitive, and operate with:

  • Speed – bringing products and services to market quickly and prioritising the things that really matter
  • Simplicity – making things simpler for our customers, business partners and colleagues
  • Trust – acting with honesty, integrity and fairness, being reliable and transparent, and valuing the confidence that people place in us as a company.

Employee engagement

Open and regular communication is fundamental to employee engagement. Our intranet keeps employees up to date on company strategy, internal news and events, provides videos from around Vodafone and promotes discussion through Vodafone Circle, our internal social network. Group and local market Chief Executives also communicate directly with employees through regular webinars and videos.

We use our annual Group-wide people survey to assess engagement levels and identify opportunities to improve ways of working and support employees to do their best. From the survey, we calculate an Employee Net Promoter Score which provides a key indicator of employee commitment to promote our products and services.

Our Employee Engagement Index gauges how committed employees are to Vodafone, their desire to continue working for us and their willingness to recommend Vodafone as an employer. The accompanying Manager Index provides a measure of the experience our managers create for their teams. For the latest survey results, see Performance.

Employee consultation

Vodafone recognises the rights of our employees to join trade unions, however, we prefer to consult with our employees directly to ensure everyone is treated fairly, whether represented by a trade union or not.

Where representation by trade unions is conferred automatically by legislation, these rights are upheld. All our local businesses respect the wishes of the majority of their employees in deciding whether to recognise a trade union’s right to negotiate terms and conditions of employment, where legislation permits.

In focus: Vodafone European Employee Consultative Council

We consult directly with our employees on changes to the business and other relevant issues through, among other channels, round tables and employee representatives.

If two or more countries in Europe are affected we also consult with our employees through the Vodafone European Employee Consultative Council (EECC). The EECC meets at least once a year and gives employee representatives an opportunity to raise any concerns with our executive management team.

Employee delegates also hold two interim meetings a year, elect Select Committees and can request translation services. Founded in 2003, the EECC meets the requirements of Article 13 of the EU Directive on Multinational European Works Councils. Employees from 14 countries within the European Union are represented. The number of representatives per market is in proportion to the number of employees in each market.

Managing organisational change

We are committed to treating employees fairly and with respect during periods of organisational change. Any reorganisation is carried out in compliance with local legislation and in consultation with employee representatives, works councils and local unions.

Changes are communicated clearly to employees through team events and affected employees meet with their line managers and human resources teams. In cases where changes result in redundancies, we offer support to help affected employees find new jobs either within the company or externally. This includes outplacement services, recruitment events, and training on interview techniques and CV writing skills.

See Performance to find out about organisational changes in 2013/14.

Development and training

Our development and training programmes ensure we have the skills and talent needed to grow our business now and in the future. The programmes help our employees gain new skills and experiences through formal training, on the job experience, coaching and mentoring.

We conduct an annual analysis of learning needs across the business to identify priorities and ensure that learning plans support our business strategy. Each employee has a formal Performance Dialogue once a year with their line manager to review their performance and set clear goals and development plans for the year ahead.

Our global learning Academies in Marketing, Technology, Sales, Retail and Finance enable people to develop the critical skills they need to work in particular functions. We work with leading business schools and accredited external providers to develop and deliver the training, most of which is online. Training for our sales teams focuses on customer interactions and building customer relationships.

Developing the leadership capabilities of high-potential employees is a key focus to strengthen our succession planning. High-potential employees across the Group are identified through our annual Talent Review Process and, where appropriate, they are given the opportunity to take part in our global leadership development training programme, Inspire. Inspire is designed to accelerate the progress of high-potential managers into senior leadership roles. It provides a combination of learning programmes, executive coaching and mentoring from senior Vodafone leaders over a period of 18 months, and may include an assignment to another Vodafone local market or function.

We want people to grow at Vodafone and encourage people to develop their careers in the company, either through promotion or a change of role to broaden their experience. Vacancies across the Group are advertised on our intranet, which encourages the transfer of talent between local markets. We also conduct quarterly Talent Reviews for senior leaders to identify high-potential leaders, match their skills to business needs and help individuals achieve their development goals.

See Performance to find out about development and training in 2013/14.

Diversity and inclusion

We believe that diversity plays an important role in a successful business. Our Group-wide diversity and inclusion strategy outlines our commitment to creating an inclusive work environment which respects, values, celebrates and makes the most of the individual differences our people bring to Vodafone. Our Group Head of Diversity drives the agenda at a senior level.

Key to our diversity and inclusion strategy is our recognition of diversity as a business asset that fosters innovation and helps us better understand and meet the needs of our customers.

Inclusive leadership

Inclusive leadership workshops for our most senior leaders highlight the business benefits of diversity and encourage them to act as role models to promote diversity and inclusion across Vodafone. Similar workshops for their direct reports and human resources professionals, together with a dedicated online diversity and inclusion resource centre, support efforts to improve diversity within each of our local markets.

Valuing diversity

We value all types of diversity, but one global focus is on gender balance within teams and at all levels of the business. To understand and strengthen our female talent pipeline, we analyse the proportion of male and female promotions, new hires and leavers through a talent management dashboard.

With operations worldwide, Vodafone is not only multinational but multicultural. We recognise the value that international experience brings by opening up new perspectives and spreading best practice. As part of our strategy to invest in talented employees, managers are encouraged to gain experience working in different countries.

Individual responsibility

All employees have a duty to act with integrity and respect for their colleagues and customers at all times. We do not condone unfair treatment or discrimination on any grounds. This applies to anyone working for Vodafone whether they are employees, contractors, agency workers or self-employed.

We promote an open culture that encourages people to raise issues to ensure that any behaviour which excludes or discriminates against individuals does not go unchallenged.

See Performance to find out about our progress on diversity and inclusion in 2013/14.

Reward and recognition

We offer competitive and fair rates of pay and benefits to attract and retain the best people.

Our global short- and long-term incentive plans reward employees based on their performance, potential and contribution to the success of the business. An ownership mentality is also a cornerstone of our reward programme and senior executives are expected to build up and maintain a significant holding in Vodafone shares.

Each of our markets offer a competitive range of benefits, which vary according to local market conditions and regulations. These include medical insurance, subsidised mobile phones, share plans and retirement benefits. For more information, see our Annual Report.

Employee wellbeing

We want to help employees balance work and family commitments, manage stress and have a healthy lifestyle. Supporting our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing improves their performance, reduces absence rates and helps to make Vodafone a great place to work.

Our Group Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy (pdf, 183 KB) sets out our global commitment to wellbeing. Local markets develop initiatives tailored to the needs of their employees and share information through our Health, Safety and Wellbeing Network.

Employees can get advice on how to improve their own wellbeing such as reminders to set up workstations properly, tips on safe driving and how to limit stress through clear goal setting and good time management. Best-practice guidance is available for managers to promote wellbeing among their staff.

We measure the effectiveness of our wellbeing programmes by asking employees what they think through our annual Global People Survey (see Performance). For more on our approach to employee safety, see Health and safety.