Our People strategy is founded on the following strategic principles:
We strengthen our people's passion for their work and their motivation by supporting them in their development so that they remain relevant, both for VodafoneZiggo and the labour market.
We are building an organisation that responds quickly and flexibly to developments in our industry.
“Over the past year, VodafoneZiggo employees have delivered an absolutely top-notch performance. The pandemic meant that almost all office employees worked entirely from home and that our shop employees and technicians continued to work hard for our customers. VodafoneZiggo is the first organisation in the Netherlands that – with the support of its works council – developed a hybrid policy for the long term, under which working from home is put on an equal footing with working at the office and consciously combines remote working with working in each other’s physical proximity. Everyone who wants to do so can work from home half the time, even when the pandemic is under control. We actively share details of this policy with society, business customers and other clients, so that they can reap the benefits of the lessons we learned when designing the hybrid policy.”
Executive Director Human Resources
New hybrid forms of working
As early as 2019, we adjusted our mobility policy in order to further reduce the ecological footprint of our operational activities. In 2020, COVID-19 took just a couple of weeks to drastically change our way of working. Attendance at one of our nine offices went from being the norm to the exception. The homeworking situation underlines the value of our offices, as they are the breeding ground for social contact and building and maintaining relationships, and the place where people feel most connected with our purpose. At the same time, people found it pleasant to work at home due to greater efficiency through the elimination of travelling time, the switch to virtual meetings and the positive consequences for our footprint.
We expect hybrid forms of work to remain relevant in both the short and long term. Since we at VodafoneZiggo like to look ahead and respond to these forecasts in time, at the end of 2020 we developed our hybrid working policy, with the approval of the works council. One aim of this policy is that even after the pandemic, our people will continue to work from home at least 50% of the time. The goal here is to improve both the productivity and the well-being of our people, and to further reduce our ecological footprint.
VodafoneZiggo envisages two changes to make ‘post-COVID’ hybrid working a success. Whereas with flexible working – as practiced by many companies – the individual is the main focus, in the new hybrid way of working the team is just as important as the individual. You work whenever, wherever and however is most effective for the team. To ensure equality within the team, each person is present either virtually or physically. From now on, the type of work will determine whether you are present virtually or physically. With hybrid working, you first look at what you are going to do and then determine how the collaboration will take place. Regular meetings, thus also board meetings, are avoided; they work particularly well virtually. Teams go to the office for the development of social contacts, to work on subjects that are complex, or which require a lot of creativity or relate to personal development. The office will therefore be given a new function and will become more of a meeting place for people.
Keeping our people healthy in the middle of a health crisis
At VodafoneZiggo, we believe that many things are that bit easier when you feel good about yourself. You are more positive about your life, you maintain your social contacts more easily, you perform better and you are less troubled by stress.
The advent of COVID-19 made the importance of ourWellbeing programme even more visible. Digitisation has accelerated, and the boundaries between work and private life have become even more blurred. Working from home, often combined with supporting a family and the need to give homeschooling, has led to stressful situations for many colleagues. There was also another group who felt lonely or displaced because they missed their ‘normal’ daily routine. To support our people in this, our Wellbeing programme focuses on four pillars: mental, physical, financial and social fitness.
We offer a wide range of resources in an easily accessible manner. These include inspirational articles, various (digital) workouts, wellbeing training courses, events and independent professional mental support. The strength of our programme is its great mix of professional support and its utilisation of our people’s talents. For example, our own people provide many sports programmes and share recipes via ourWellbeing platform.
Investing in our people’s careers
At VodafoneZiggo, we want our people to be and remain relevant to both the organisation and the labour market. We invest in their development and feel everyone should get the same opportunities to blossom more. Our people decide on the direction and speed of their growth themselves.
This year we implemented a unique learning concept. Unlimited learning opportunities apply to anyone with a VodafoneZiggo employment contract, regardless of their position or level. Anyone who works for us can register for all kinds of training courses, workshops, classroom training and e-learning sessions via our online learning platform Progress For You. They can choose from thousands of training courses from over 50 different trainers. Training courses are offered on the platform about topics including personal leadership, coaching leadership, effective communication, collaboration, innovation and analytical thinking, but also language skills, electrical engineering and privacy & security.
What’s more, a new performance management policy was developed in 2020, based on input from about 650 employees. The focus in that regard will shift from retrospective annual assessment to a continual focus on development and performance improvement. This policy was introduced in 2021.
There are programmes that focus on leadership, culture and the digital transformation of our organisation, such as working in a data-driven, agile and customer-oriented way.
At VodafoneZiggo, there are over 1,400 different positions. As a result of this, the possible career paths are not always obvious to employees and managers and it is not always clear what is needed to grow in your position or to switch to another position. To create more insight and transparency with this, the foundation was laid for the Career4U programme in 2020, which was subsequently implemented in 2021. With Career4U, we offer our people a simple and comprehensible career framework that replaces our current job classification system with a model that is entirely based on our employees’ skills.
Assessing our people on the basis of development
In 2020, we implemented a new interview cycle for our new assessment system that is less performance-driven and focuses more on our people’s development: GROW. Since we want to use this performance management system to look ahead more, the recommendation is that remuneration should no longer be linked to performance but to individual and team goals. In addition to the familiar targets with regard to work performance. targets will also be added in terms of development and conduct. Each quarter, you reflect with your team and as an individual on the contribution made and determine the contribution for the next quarter.
Continually monitoring if we are on the right track
We attach great value to feedback from our employees. Are they happy and satisfied with what we are offering them or could our employment practices be improved? Every quarter, we carry out a survey (the ‘Heartbeat’) in collaboration with external partner Peachy Mondays. Via a list of questions, employees can state anonymously how they feel about working for VodafoneZiggo. We ask about subjects like energy, leadership, personal development, culture and the degree to which our colleagues recommend our own products. In 2020, we saw increased involvement. The COVID-19 situation has made us stronger together and the way in which VodafoneZiggo handled the crisis was appreciated by employees. One example of a point for improvement in response to the survey is the Wellbeing programme, which as developed and implemented in 2020.
We consider the results of the survey to be valuable input for fine-tuning our HR strategy. Above all, however, the results give managers a reason to enter into and remain in discussion with their teams: what are we doing well and what do we want to improve together in order to ensure that everyone does his/her work with energy and enjoyment? We encourage managers and employees to take ownership of this process themselves. At the same time and in line with our Open Up value, we are working to create an open culture in which these types of topics are discussable. In addition, we offer people the opportunity to make an anonymous report in the event of undesirable situations or misconduct via ‘Speak Up'.
Welcoming our new colleagues
We welcome new colleagues with a special onboarding programme. Over the first two working days, the new colleagues learn about VodafoneZiggo’s code of conduct, culture, values, mission and products. They spend a day in a call centre and visit one of our shops. They learn that each position and each individual in the organisation is equally important. They visit the TEC Campus and the Experience Centre, where they see how we put our customers first in everything we do. They participate in an ‘onboarding’ day for all newcomers who start that month. In 2020, a total of almost 1,500 new colleagues completed our onboarding programme, which due to COVID-19 largely took place online. More than 400 colleagues passed through our centralised onboarding programme. In addition, almost 1,000 new employees in our shops and contact centre took part in a decentralised onboarding programme.
Investing in the talents of the future
At VodafoneZiggo, we believe that we can only continue to create value long-term if we invest now in the talent of the future. Our Discover Traineeship programme ensures that emerging talent gets the chance to get to know our company quickly and progress. We select those trainees who we believe embrace our purpose and who can help our company move forward both now and in the future. Each candidate undergoes a comprehensive assessment in which we look at experience, knowledge and growth potential. In 2020, no fewer than 1,177 potential candidates applied, 50 of whom were selected to start as trainees.
Number of Discover trainees employed
Our interests represented by our works council
Both Vodafone and Ziggo used to have their own works council. In 2019, a single works council was created. Merging 25 members into one joint council makes coordination between the organisation and the works council more effective and makes the work for the works council clearer The elections for the newly merged works council took place in 2019.
Together We Grow
During 2020, the theme of VodafoneZiggo leadership was ‘growing together’, the aim being to develop leaders who can create good teams and who can take us with them to the future. The Together We Grow curriculum, which kicked off in January with a Leadership Event, is built around three central themes: Empower Teams, Manage Energy & Coaching. These are also the critical skills that are needed for digitisation and that will help us to achieve horizontal, selected leadership. A whole host of development options were presented for these three themes. People Leaders were invited to put together their own learning path by choosing what they need to develop into the best possible leader.
It’s no coincidence that the freedom to choose a learning path reflects the priorities of the Together We Grow leadership curriculum. There was much enthusiasm for themes that focused on connecting within the teams, such as remote leadership, Leading High Performing Teams, Heartbeat Dialogue and the Teambooster with one’s own team. In Learning to Lead, new managers learned how to direct, inspire and motivate their team. Many managers also took steps to develop their employees by deepening their coaching skills. There was a special focus on development in the new Chapter Lead role. And in the Go Digital Experience pilot, a beautiful connection was made between the four digital pillars and leadership, an important follow-up to which is planned for 2021. In all these learning pathways, we were able to gain a lot experience by using virtual learning and development solutions. All in all, more than 350 leaders in the Together We Grow curriculum further developed their leadership skills.