DIA has 46,258 employees in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil and China. This diverse and multicultural workforce increased by 5,398 people in 2015 to support the company’s growth and the specialisation of its retail formats in fresh products.
During the year, the company tackled the integration of the El Árbol supermarkets and modified and enhanced its HR management system in response to the needs of a company of the emerging scale and complexity of the DIA Group. The new system better addresses aspects related with how to recognise excellence, foster transparency and maximise talent.
On the training front, in 2015, the company continued to develop its Talent Management System covering key positions within the organisation, rolling out horizontal career paths and coaching initiatives and highlighting the role of managers in the career development process. In addition, it implemented the market-leading technology solution to support this process and make it more accessible and productive for users.
Committed to jobs
Of the 46,258 people working at DIA, 70.2% work in Europe, 26.9% in Latin America and 2.9% in Asia. Seventy-four per cent work in the group’s stores, 13% in warehouses and 13% in its offices.
In all of its markets and workplaces, DIA upholds prevailing legislation and fosters the development of universally recognised human and labour rights, equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
AVERAGE HEADCOUNT BY COUNTRY
DIA is strategically committed to job stability: at year-end, 86.83% of the workforce was employed under permanent contracts. Employee turnover, understood as voluntary departures, stood at 1.59% and the average length of service stood at 6.8 years at year-end.
Driven mainly by acquisitions as well as structural changes, in 2015, the company reorganised its sales, warehouse and office networks and this work logically affected the HR function. This department’s work was similarly affected by the company’s strategic commitment to the franchise format globally and the outsourcing of owned stores during the year.
Integration of El Árbol and Eroski-Caprabo employees
One of the biggest challenges surmounted on the human resources management front was the integration of El Árbol’s employees in Spain. In the wake of the acquisition of this financially non-viable chain in 2014, DIA has maintained the vast majority of its employees.
It is worth highlighting the important contribution of El Árbol staff and this chain’s existing training centre in Valladolid to enriching the group’s know-how, especially in the perishable goods management arena.
Elsewhere, the integration of 145 Eroski stores in 2015 also implied the addition of more than 2,400 people, most of whom again specialised in the handling of perishables.
Format innovation in recent years has led to the recruitment of professionals with different backgrounds, people with greater expertise, in order to manage the sale of products that require certain handling skills, such as fresh goods. Against this backdrop, in 2015, the company added, between new hires and the employees taken on from newly-acquired stores, more than 1,200 experts in managing the meat, cold cuts and fish counters for its DIA Maxi and La Plaza stores.
External recognition for DIA’s role in generating jobs
DIA’s role in generating work was recognised by the financial trade journal Actualidad Económica, which gave the group one of its Prizes for Successful Enterprising in Madrid, specifically the Job Creation Prize for the launch of its newest format: La Plaza de DIA.
Changes in the HR management model
In 2015, the DIA Group changed its human resources management model at the group level; the new model applies to over 3,000 people from the clerical categories and higher and is designed to respond to the company’s evolving business circumstances.
The company has incorporated the value chain tool into this system to identify and acknowledge the value that the various job categories generate for the organisation. This system, which is more flexible, in addition to delivering consistency organisation-wide, permits recognition of the business’s strategic areas and identification by the organisation of the people who add that bit extra to the company using a system underpinned by common criteria.
These criteria can be summed up as follows: value chain, quantitative criteria, employee numbers and levels, replacement cost, degree of autonomy and ability to assume greater responsibility, reporting lines, and complexity of the assortment managed and related negotiations.
Fifty-four per cent of the job opportunities arising at the organisation’s head office were filled internally by advertising the vacancies on the DIA Portal, encouraging horizontal and vertical development of internal talent and reinforcement of employee profiles with a broader vision of the company.
Development of the Talent Management System
DIA remains uniquely committed to providing all of its employees with continuous training. In 2015, without counting the job training provided before new hires begin, the company imparted more than 55,000 training hours to its headquarters and office staff and over 251,000 hours to warehouse and store staff worldwide.
The company continued to develop its Talent Management System along three lines of initiative in 2015:
• The International Management Development Programme
DIA rolled out its International Management Development Programme in 2014-15 with the overriding goal of fortifying and boosting management skills and capabilities in the context of the DIA Group’s business, offering course participants a top-down vision of business management in general and food and retail sector business management in particular. Thanks to the success of this initiative, the second edition of this programme was launched at the end of 2015 and will finish in the first quarter of 2016.
DIA engaged the San Telmo International Institute, a business and executive management school specialised in the food retailing sector, to design and execute this important programme.
This external programme is rounded out with presentations given by DIA Group executives. The in-situ sessions are complemented with online courses in accounting and finance.
• Training for managers at other levels
Warehouse and head office middle and line managers also receive skills training. DIA earmarked 5,500 hours to this form of training in 2015, equivalent to an average of 19 hours per person. Some of the topics addressed included management skills, financial training, team management, etc. The e-learning language and time management modules were fortified within this training programme.
The company also introduced a Head Office Welcome Manual to help new hires get to know the company, its facilities, work tools, rules and regulations and values using an interactive application.
• Store and warehouse training
Development of fresh produce and a dedicated training plan
2015 was an important year in terms of boosting fresh produce related training, prompted among other things by development of the DIA Maxi and La Plaza de DIA models in Spain, as these stores are being fitted with meat, cold cuts and fish counters and broader assortments tailored to customer needs.
With the aim of delivering professional customer service, last year, DIA added over 1,200 professionals specialised in management of the new fresh produce counters for Dia Maxi and La Plaza de DIA: meat, cold cuts and fish.
The human resources management systems are being adapted to this new paradigm. Specific training and career development programmes are being developed to incorporate this specialisation in fresh products for sales managers, store supervisors and counter specialists.
The focus on fresh produce is being built into a modular training programme designed to reinforce: customer orientation, the skills needed to profitably manage these counters on a daily basis, the correct use of these sections” specific equipment and sales skills targeted at detecting and satisfying customers” needs.
During the coming year the company plans to continue to fine-tune this expert training and to develop specific training programmes addressing quality management at the bread and fruit and vegetables counters.
As a result of the growth derived from the acquisition of the Eroski and Caprabo stores in central and southern Spain, upfront training courses were designed to cover checkout, store and counter management for around 3,000 people. These courses were concentrated in the roughly three months it took to transform these stores into the DIA Market, DIA Maxi and La Plaza de DIA formats.
In October, DIA implemented its IT systems in the El Árbol stores, providing relating training to more than 3,000 people in just one month.
Over 40 professional coaches and DIA store supervisors and managers threw themselves into the job of providing these newcomers with upfront welcome training.
Franchise support staff
Training the franchise support staff is one of the areas of priority focus in the group’s Spanish HR training programme.
Specific training initiatives reinforce the business-related expertise and skills of the franchise supervision staff. A crucial part of this supervisory function is the provision of advice by our supervisors. To this end the supervisors are provided with courses in communication and motivational skills with the aim of having this translate into enhanced franchisee loyalty.
The customer, cast in the lead part
The HR Department devised and promoted the Customer Attitude initiative in Spain with the aim of rolling it out internationally in the future. The goal of this programme is to deliver a better shopping experience through our people, the key enablers in this respect.
The word “attitude” embodies the essence of this project since the actions carried out are designed to boost and fortify internal and external customer orientation and translate into higher end customer satisfaction.
The activities carried out under the umbrella of the Customer Attitude programme include specific workshops for practising customer service attitudes and commitment, involving and engaging the company”s entire chain of command, from executives to store staff, in this quest. This customer revolution has taken hold in the regional centres which carried out a range of initiatives related to this project including competitions, prizes and attitude merchandising.
These initiatives are then disseminated and broadcast via the employee portal.
Store staff training continued at Clarel all of last year, reinforcing sales skills and product range knowledge.
In 2015, particular attention was paid to deepening knowledge of the company”s private-label brands. Training sessions were organised directly with the Basic supplier, Maymó, and familiarity with the Bonté brand was reinforced by means of product files and reinforced in-store training.
A specific training plan has been drawn up to addresses knowledge of these products and the provision of professional advice to customers for implementation over the course of 2016.
Warehouse training in Argentina
The figure of Operator Coach was introduced in the country’s four warehouses in Argentina whose role is to welcome, accompany and train new hires to shorten their learning curve and speed up their integration into the team. Thanks to their work transmitting know-how in respect of everyday logistics activities, the Operator Coach helps standardise processes and procedures.
2015 was a year of consolidation in terms of the measures rolled out in the wake of the workplace climate survey carried out at all levels and for all job categories two years earlier. These measures included the reinforcement of online internal communication initiatives via the portal for store and warehouse staff in Spain with over 200 publications and around 7,000 subscribers.
In Argentina, there is a monthly newsletter which contains not only information but also links to internal vacancies and e-learning course content.
In China, the results of the workplace climate survey and the resulting action plans were communicated. On the internal communication front, the company continued to produce its in-house newsletter and meetings were organised with the warehouse and store team managers to improve job efficiency and team management.
The group’s various geographic units are organising a series of meetings between management and the team managers with direct responsibility over customer attention to nurture a customer-centric culture and improve in-store customer attention processes. Specifically, in China the company rolled out a series of meetings between management and the managers of high-performing stores to establish a direct line of communication with these stores.
In Argentina avenues for communication with management were also put formally in place: sales meetings and logistics meetings, aimed at aligning all areas around the overriding goal of improving the shopping experience.
The internal communication tools in place in this market were also bolstered with a new bi-monthly newsletter targeted specifically at warehouse operators which contains logistics related-content but also aims to outline how their work impacts the stores and, ultimately, the company’s customers. In China, the warehouse team heads meet to work on best practices and search for solutions to shared problems.
A website has also been site up for ‘Warehouse Leaders’ where these professionals can consult key logistics and other business indicators; it is targeted at supervisors, shift managers and warehouse managers in Argentina.
The DIA Group is firmly committed to the provision of equal opportunities in the workplace. Female employees account for 66% of the total headcount and 37% of management positions at the group level; this percentage rises to above 48% in Spain and China.
BREAKDOWN BY GENDER AND COUNTRY. IN %
In order to make sure gender equality is borne out in practice, the group monitors and correctly publicises its hiring, promotion and workplace training processes, as well as ensuring equal pay for jobs in a given category.
To encourage equal opportunities for all members of the Spanish workforce, the firm has had an Equality Plan in place since 2012. This plan’s effectiveness is evident in the fact that 63% of promotions to job categories higher than entry level went to female employees in 2015.
Last year, DIA also set up a tab within its Employee Portal called ‘Building Equality’ with a range of materials, videos, articles, etc. focused on equality from the standpoint of children and youths. It also organised children’s drawing competitions to teach about gender equality.
In this same vein, the company has signed up for the ‘Companies for a society free of domestic violence’ campaign sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. On 14 July, it signed a collaboration agreement to raise awareness about domestic violence.
To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, DIA printed the ‘There’s a way out of domestic violence’ logo on its shopping bags for one week and echoed the campaign on its social network accounts. It also distributed more than 14,500 badges for its employees to wear on their uniforms during the week of 23–29 November.
Workplace integration of people with differing abilities
DIA has pacts with foundations and associations that foster the integration of people with differing abilities into the workplace, notable among which the agreement signed in 2012 with the ONCE Foundation in Spain covering the provision of work practice and the direct and indirect purchase of goods and services from this foundation’s special job centres (companies over 70% of whose employees are disabled). Thanks to these agreements, the number of differently-abled employees in Spain rose from 202 in 2014 to 241. Also under the scope of the collaboration agreement with ONCE, the company sold its lottery tickets at its head offices.
The company’s diversity pledge is also palpable in its other markets; indeed, Brazil is the country with the most differently-abled people on its payroll: 264 in total. The company is working consistently to deliver the legally-stipulated minimum thresholds as quickly as possible.
No. of employees with differing abilities at year-end 2015
In Spain a special effort was made to brief employees and raise awareness by leveraging the Employee Portal, which contains a range of content, including information about the awareness drives carried out in the regional centres and 10 rules of conduct in the presence of someone with a guide dog.
Workplace health and safety
DIA, aware of the crucial importance of health and safety matters to all its employees, contractors and suppliers, continued to reinforce its safe and healthy work environment across its offices, stores and warehouses in 2015. The company invested over €216,000 in health and safety training between all its markets, providing an average of over two hours per employee.
In Spain, the occupational health and safety team worked to reduce accident rates and enhance employee safety at every step of their jobs.
Several workplace safety training courses were designed and executed in 2015, all with the aim of ensuring the highest standards of safety across the group’s operations:
Stores: DIA boosted the safety courses targeted at its butchers and fish-mongers, providing them with theoretical and practical information about the risks intrinsic to their jobs and preventative measures to put into practice during their daily work.
Warehouses: ongoing provision of the training plan for newly-hired fork-lift operators (with 101 receiving training in 2015) and refresher courses for the rest of the workforce (with 171 operators receiving this course in 2015). During the second half of the year, the stockists and maintenance staff received training on preventative handling of elevating platforms.
Head office: at the Madrid head office the training provided to the building evacuation teams contemplated in the Building Emergency Plan was reviewed. A full-blown evacuation drill was carried out to integrate safe evacuation and coordination guidelines for all of the designated emergency teams.
DIA Spain also participated in the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April), launching a campaign called “Safety is in your hands” to remind employees of the importance of prevention in their everyday work and to prompt them to reflect on the importance of complying with the safety procedures and rules consistently so that everyone works together towards the common goal of preventing accidents.
In Argentina, an awareness campaign was targeted at all employees making use of the various internal communication tools in place at each distribution centre. This initiative was rounded out with a specific campaign to control non-compliance in the warehouses that was run and managed by the safety and labour relations department.
The Brazilian business earmarked a week to briefing employees about workplace safety, organising several different talks and providing safety tips using the various internal communication channels in place in this market.
Aware of the importance of nurturing the right safety climate, DIA complies scrupulously with prevailing legislation. The lost-time accident frequency rate was 0.50%, which is low considering the nature of the store and warehouse work performed, while the percentage of lost-time hours due to sickness was 3.88%, also considered very reasonable. Both readings fell from 2014.
The medical check-up plan falls under the umbrella of the company’s overall occupational health and safety plan and enables evaluation of employee health in relation to the risks intrinsic to their jobs, in turn allowing DIA take a proactive attitude to health and safety requirements by adapting jobs as needed; these checks also enable the company to monitor health trends over time and detect symptoms of potential injuries that could result in workplace illnesses and absences.
DIA’s workplace health and safety programme similarly includes a range of procedures designed to enable early detection of the health repercussions of working conditions by identifying employees particularly vulnerable to certain risks in order to facilitate customisation of job conditions to individual needs.
As part of this initiative, the organisation extended some of its long-running initiatives in all its markets, including the flu vaccine drive, initiated and promoted by the Spanish public health service and facilitated by DIA to make sure that everyone who wants to get vaccinated can do so.
As part of its responsible HR policy, the company sought once again to encourage its employees to adopt health lifestyle habits, to which end it celebrated its Healthy Day for the fifth year at both the head offices in Madrid and its regional work centres, involving and engaging staff from the store network, warehouses and offices. Participating employees had the chance to take part in activities articulated around physical exercise, healthy food and emotional well-being.
In Brazil the implementation of a 24-hour support service for employees and their relatives in critical situations stands out; this initiative improves their physical and mental health as well as their job productivity. In addition to psychological and social support, the programme offers legal, financial and social security related counsel. Other health and well-being campaigns run in Brazil include ‘DIA in movement’, ‘Health at DIA’ and ‘Quick massage’.
In 2015, DIA Brazil also launched a drive to prevent conjunctivitis targeted at all employees, as well as smoking cessation and H1N1 flu vaccine drives. Pregnant employees benefitted from a special programme including dedicated workshops and pregnancy health tips.
DIA Argentina gave several health talks, including ‘How to make your day healthier’, ‘Feel good every day: good posture’ and ‘Mind your skin’. Another edition of the pregnancy care seminar was held on 17 September. This is a briefing session for new mothers at DIA and takes place in the stores and at the regional centres. These meetings are attended by paediatric nurses from an NGO (Las Casildas) who provide breast-feeding guidance. In addition, knowledgeable DIA staff informed them about the required paperwork and the company benefits for new mothers and their babies. The novelty introduced last year was the fact that the future dads were encouraged to participate in the event.
Attracting and retaining talent
In 2015, DIA sought to attract top talent by means of rigorous recruiting processes which guarantee equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
DIA Spain and DIA Brazil began to carry out recruiting activities via LinkedIn, the professional social network par excellence. These LinkedIn profiles also provide good vehicles for informing potential candidates about other topics of interest, complementing the company’s communication effort in the process.
DIA runs programmes that facilitate youth hiring. In 2015, the company carried out a secondary school work practice programme in Argentina under which DIA’s owned stores had as many as 200 interns in the month of July. This programme targets youths from the age of 16 with no prior work experience; they are pre-selected by the participating schools on the basis of their marks, behaviour and match for the job with the aim of helping them to develop their skills and discover their professional calling.
DIA’s remuneration system is designed to attract, motivate and retain a workforce qualified to tackle the challenges facing the retail sector. Implementation of this system entails a protracted process ultimately designed to reward employees fairly for excellence.
For skilled workers, middle managers and executives, the first step is to evaluate their jobs. The result of this exercise is a universe of assessment maps at both the head offices and the country units.
This assessment yields different job categories. These groups are then assigned a status and a wage band which is wider the more the jobs comprising it contribute to the organisation. Each wage band has an average and a width, depending on the market positioning decisions taken by the Management Committee.
The wage bands are quantified on the basis of a market study that is updated regularly by an external consultant and market positioning decisions.
As a general rule a promotion should result in promotion to a new position and inclusion in the corresponding wage band; if this is not possible it should give rise to a pay increase of at least 4%.
Merit is the main driver of wage growth. Merit is quantified on the basis of an annual assessment of the match with the pre-established values and skill-sets and delivery of the pre-defined targets. The results of these assessments are categorised as either ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘room for improvement’ and are correlated with pay rises.
Moreover, ‘merit’ (delivery of personal targets) is used, along with delivery of the corporate targets defined at the board level, to calculate the bonuses earned by middle managers and executives.
‘Potential’ is understood at DIA as the capabilities needed by an employee to take on work with greater responsibility in the future and can accelerate wage growth. By means of a system designed to capture this ‘potential’, the company pinpoints high-potential employees and establishes retention measures, including recognition in the form of a higher job category and prioritisation for training and internal promotion processes.
As for store and warehouse employees, the wage policy is governed by the terms of the collective bargaining agreements in effect between the company and the various unions, which are disclosed via the official channels of the competent public organisms.