Our goal is to provide employees with the opportunities, resources and environment to allow them to make an effective contribution to the business.
Our objective is to ensure that no employee or applicant for employment receives less or more favourable treatment. Our recruitment and selection policy is therefore based on objective criteria consistent with applicants' skills, abilities and potential. No applicants or employees will be unfairly discriminated against on grounds of criteria not relevant to the performance of the job.
Training and career development
We have adopted a number of objectives aimed at reducing staff turnover and absenteeism through offering secure jobs, job mobility and high quality social protection. In 2009-10 to support our aim of building a high performance culture we introduced an employee-designed behavioural framework and performance review process. The framework and management tools were communicated group-wide with the help of 70 volunteer employees. Staff were encouraged to give feedback on what the business needed to do to become even more successful. This feedback has helped to develop a people strategy that directly meets our talented workforce's needs and that has the full support of management.
In 2009, over 3,400 Veolia Water UK employees received training (some employees were trained more than once). During the year, in addition to vocational and professional courses, training was provided on environmental awareness, health and safety in practice, driving assessments, diversity at work, and stress management.
Training for Veolia Environnement group businesses in the UK is provided by Campus Veolia Environnement in Staines.
Health and safety
The health and safety of our staff is paramount and we continually train and urge our staff about the need to work safely. Following a comprehensive review of our health and safety performance in 2008, and as part of Veolia Environnement's Year of Safety, we set about changing our culture to one of "zero harm".
We believe that we can be successful only if everything we do is achieved without harm to people, the environment or property.
There were 19 reportable accidents in 2009, four less than the previous year, despite an increase in the number of employees and operating contracts. There were no fatalities.
At Veolia Water, we are committed to ensuring our employees are healthy and happy at work. We also recognise that people lead busy lives and there is a growing demand on us all to meet responsibilities outside the workplace. With this in mind, we have expanded our flexible working policy to apply to all staff, not just those with children or carer responsibilities.
Listening to our staff
We continue to work positively and progressively with trade unions. We also consult our workforce annually for views on a range of company and personal issues. The response rate to the 2008 employee survey was 69%, an increase of 2% on the previous year; staff satisfaction increased from 59% to 64%. There was no survey in 2009-10 due to the Group-wide personal development workshops which solicited staff feedback to management. This feedback has formed the basis of action plans for directors.