Our approach

To attract and engage a committed workforce, ensuring diversity and non- discrimination. Vitec is committed to respecting the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Our people are a key asset for the Group

Our employees are critical to our success. Passionate, motivated and skilled employees in safe working environments directly contribute to our strategy, performance and reputation.

In 2016 we continued to focus time and resources on our employees, including initiatives on subjects such as engagement, wellbeing, working environment, diversity, employee benefits and training.

Our business in Costa Rica was recognised as a “Great Place to Work” in 2016 following an employee survey focused on the areas of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. Continued focus and communication from the local management team resulted in the company being identified as one of the top 50 companies in Central America.

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Health and Safety

The provision of a healthy, safe and productive work environment for all of our employees and third parties on our sites is a priority for Vitec, for which all of our management and employees are responsible.

We have continued to impress the need for excellent health and safety procedures in compliance with the Group’s Health and Safety Policy, which can be downloaded on this site. This policy sets the Group-wide guidelines for the prevention of accidents and work-related ill-health and provides guidance for the adequate control of health and safety risks arising from work-related accidents. It is an important part of our culture to ensure that all our colleagues are able to work in a safe and secure environment.

All accidents and near misses, whether they result in absence from work or not, are reported, with remedial action identified and implemented to prevent such occurrences in the future. Reporting is prompt and any accident resulting in over three days’ absence is reported to senior management as well as the Group Chief Executive within 24 hours. Our five year accident record is shown below, which details the number of accidents resulting in over three days’ absence from work across the Group. There were four such accidents in 2016 compared to five in 2015. We are pleased with this reduction but it remains our aim to have no such accidents each year. Each accident has been fully investigated and key issues identified to try to ensure it is not repeated. This process should deliver continued improvement in health and safety across the Group’s operations and we will continue to develop our practices to deliver further improvements in this important area.


Our five year accident record (over 3 days absence)

There have been no work related fatalities since the Group began collating health and safety statistics in 2002.

The Costa Rican manufacturing site received recognition from a government institution, the National Institute of Insurance, for its strong commitment to Health and Safety Management Systems. The institute performed an evaluation at the site, focusing on assessing policies, procedures, common practices, physical conditions and employees’ engagement related to the prevention of accidents and risk mitigation. The 2016 evaluation was made up of 41 manufacturing and services companies with the Costa Rica site receiving two awards. The first, a bronze medal awarded for “Improvements on Safety and Occupational Hygiene Management System” and the second, a gold medal awarded to Site Manager Julio Lizano for “Manager’s Outstanding Leadership Prevention Practices”.

The Operations Executive reviews health and safety performance every month, discussing accidents and any incidents of note, remedial actions, sharing best practice initiatives and supporting the Divisions in the management of local health and safety committees and the implementation of regular training activity. The Group Chief Executive updates the Board regularly on health and safety performance by way of monthly reports and verbal updates at Board meetings.

Employees receive training on health and safety procedures that are appropriate to their line of work and environment. This may, for example, involve training in warehouse operations, working at heights, fire safety or more general initiatives to make employees aware of the dangers that can be encountered in the execution of their various duties. Within each business, separate assessment  and training appropriate to operations is carried out for health and safety. Employees are regularly reminded of the need to work safely with posters on notice boards at all sites. Our sites in Cassola and Feltre in Italy continue to promote the “Are you working safely?” campaign which provides regular tips and key notes on health and safety subjects.

Health and Safety committees at all major sites hold regular meetings to review safety, ensure that operating practices are safe and address potential safety concerns. At the Photographic Division’s manufacturing sites in Feltre, Italy and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK, a procedure has been set up to observe employees’ health and safety behaviour in the workplace. Using an industrial safety management approach, the procedure checks whether employees’ working practices are compliant with standards and procedures related to personal protective equipment, tools, substances, machinery, handling and other activities, and enables feedback to be given to avoid workplace accidents. In 2016 a total of 60,545 work actions were observed at both sites with an average of 99.8% compliance with safe working practices.

The Broadcast Division’s sites in Cartago, Costa Rica and Bury St. Edmunds, UK as well as the Photographic Division’s sites in Cassola and Feltre, Italy, have had their OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety accreditations confirmed again for 2016. This confirms that the sites operate with a robust health and safety management system, with policies, procedures and controls needed to achieve the best possible working conditions aligned to internationally recognised best practice.

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Engagement

We aim to provide our employees with an engaging and stimulating environment where they are encouraged to learn and develop. We communicate with our employees on a regular basis, keeping them informed of business performance at a Group, Divisional and Business Unit level. Reflecting the diverse global nature of our employees we use multiple channels and a variety of media to communicate. Business overviews, focusing on results and key events, are shared with all employees via annual, global communication videos presented by the Group Chief Executive which are uploaded to the Group intranet. The Group Chief Executive also communicates with employees via regular Group-wide emails. The Group Chief Executive visits our primary sites to meet with all employees and share updates on business performance.

Alongside Group-wide communications, employees receive briefings on performance and business issues on a regular basis from Divisional and Business Unit senior management. This takes the form of internal announcements, meetings with management, regular “town hall” presentations and via the intranet sites. The Production Equipment Business Unit started an employee newsletter in 2016 to disseminate news and employees are encouraged to submit articles for publication.

We continue to use the intranet sites to communicate business news, employee changes and Group policies. The Group website remains a source of information for employees including a section on Working at Vitec for prospective employees to find out about career opportunities throughout the Group.

A number of initiatives to keep employees engaged in the workplace and provide a chance to relax with colleagues were undertaken at sites in the US, UK, Italy and Costa Rica. These included Thanksgiving and Christmas lunches, wellness fairs, on-site massages, meditation coaching, sporting classes and competitions, and cooking contests.

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Wellbeing

Good3

The Good3 project, launched in 2011 by the Photographic Division, continued in 2016 with more initiatives undertaken at several sites.

The programme was developed to help employees stay healthy by providing them with training and tools to develop good habits in the areas of diet, exercise and the prevention of illnesses. Discounted gym memberships for employees at the principal Italian sites of Cassola and Feltre have been extended to include family members.

Healthy eating initiatives continue to be promoted with a healthy eating workshop for children hosted in the Cassola canteen, where children learned to prepare and cook simple and nutritious food.

The focus on educating employees to enable them to make healthy decisions is also active within the Broadcast Division. Initiatives include occupational health services and talks, the cycle to work scheme under the Government’s cycle initiative in the UK, annual flu vaccinations, healthy eating, health and safety initiatives, and exercise  programmes across the UK, US and Costa Rica.

Work environment

We continue to invest in improving the work environment for our employees, creating contemporary spaces with upgraded technology and communication systems that enable collaboration and personal efficiency. We utilise web-based video-conferencing solutions where possible to facilitate global business meetings.

We have also listened to and responded to our employees’ views. The Photographic Division’s site in Cassola, Italy, opened a canteen in the building, providing hot food on site and using an online ordering system resulting in reduced food waste.

A summer camp programme for employees’ children aged between three and 14  continued in Italy in 2016, helping families with childcare during the school holiday period. Over 40 children enjoyed sporting and cultural activities over a number of weeks. For older children, a workshop was held in Milan to educate them about the world of work after leaving school. Hosted by HR managers from a number of Italian companies, the teenagers learned about CV writing, job interviews and the use of social media in recruitment.

Benefits

We employ around 1,700 employees in ten countries who are managed in accordance with local employment legislation, policies and our organisational values. Attracting the talent we need and retaining their commitment to our organisation in all of the territories we operate in has required the organisation to adopt comprehensive  benefits packages, to support our employees and remain competitive in a global market where talent is in short supply.

In the US our employees participate in a consolidated Health Benefits Plan that provides a valued level of healthcare. Employees at the Cassola and Feltre sites in Italy now benefit from the new Benefit Salute health care plan which has been promoted to provide an increasing number of services in line with our policies in terms of health, welfare and support of the individual employee. Similar plans are offered to employees in other territories.

Employees are also given the option to join pension plans appropriate to local  markets. In the UK this involves a Company approved pension plan with minimum employer and employee contributions and in the US a 401k plan. Since April 2014 in the UK, all employees except for those who have expressly opted out, are now in a qualifying pension plan.

All employees in the UK, US, Italy, Costa Rica, France, Germany and Japan, are given the opportunity to join an all-employee Sharesave scheme on an annual basis, enabling the employee to save to purchase shares in the Company at a discounted rate. Employees save a fixed monthly amount of up to £350 (or US$500 in the US or foreign currency equivalent in other territories) over a fixed term (usually three years but two years in the US) with the option to purchase a fixed number of shares at a discount of up to 20% on the prevailing share price at the time of the offer. Over 600 employees participate in the Sharesave scheme across these territories which represents over 40% of eligible employees able to participate in the scheme. We will continue to offer this valuable benefit to employees annually and will look to extend it to other  territories where possible.

The Photographic Division’s Italian sites offer employees a Vitec Shopping Card that allows employees to benefit from special prices on food, drink, travel, clothing, sport, cinema and medicine through agreements with local retailers. These discounts of up to 50% help employees to increase their purchasing power.

A Long Service Award programme has been reinvigorated at sites in the UK, US and Costa Rica. On achieving various milestones with the company, ranging from five to 40 years, employees are awarded “points” which can be used to purchase gifts via a website. During 2016, 83 awards were presented by the business unit senior managers at all-employee meetings to publically recognise these dedicated employees.

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Capability and development

Learning and development activity continued to take place in our businesses in accordance with personal development plans, results of annual performance appraisals and organisational need. Talent reviews of senior employees were expanded to include succession planning matrices, to fully understand the  organisation’s capacity and capability for achieving its strategic plans. The talent reviews and succession planning enable the Operations Executive to create the  leadership pipeline for its critical roles and specify the development requirements to be offered to employees. The outcome of the reviews were presented to the Nominations Committee for the most senior employees, allowing the Nominations Committee to have oversight of talent below the Board and assist the Operations Executive in identifying areas of strength and weakness.

The performance appraisal process, in operation in both Divisions, provides the opportunity for the employee to discuss current performance and future potential with their line manager in an objective and positive manner. The development needs identified by the discussions will continue to be used to enhance the global programme of talent development for release more widely across the Group.

After a successful launch in 2015, the Photographic Division’s Performance Appraisal (“PA”) system continued to be developed for employees during 2016. Along with evaluating the distinctive competencies and skills of each employee, it is now being used to plan training and development activities according to the needs identified during reviews. It enables the business to manage employees’ performance in a fair and inclusive way with a structure that is common across the Division, enabling career development that is aligned to the strategic objectives of the business. All Photographic employees can access the PA system and find induction models on the Divisional intranet. A further project, “Click Potential”, has been piloted to support managers in evaluating their team’s individual competencies and the results will be used to define development and career paths.

Targeted learning and development activities have continued within the Group’s businesses. Manfrotto Distribution in the US continued to offer a Tuition Programme for eligible employees for educational assistance related to the employee’s current duties or a foreseeable future position with the company. Within the Photographic Division, Manfrotto’s School of Xcellence offers a three day induction programme for all employees called “Shoot and Capture Imaging”, to educate employees on photography and videography.

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Equal opportunities

Vitec has an equal opportunities culture with an express prohibition on discrimination of any kind. During 2016, results of the Hampton-Alexander Review FTSE Women Leaders were published and the Parker review on Ethnic Diversity was launched, and we have confirmed in our diversity statement, set out in the Governance Report and on our website, that we will also take these publications into account in addition to Lord Davies’ 2011 review on board gender diversity. The Board has continued to monitor progress on this issue and the Group Chief Executive is responsible for developing diversity throughout the Group. The organisation’s gender breakdown as at the end of 2016 was as follows:

Gender statistics as at 31 December 2016

  Number of men % of men Number of women % of women
Board 5 71% 2 29%
Operations Executive 9 90% 1 10%
Senior Management 38 88% 5 12%
Rest of organisation 1,103 70% 468 30%

This data does not include contractors

We continue to recognise the importance of diversity throughout our workforce and the human resources teams continue with efforts to attract women to Vitec and encourage them to apply for promotions. To assist with this aim, training was provided to female employees in Costa Rica to develop their skills and to encourage them to consider applying for more senior roles.

Vitec’s approach to diversity has always followed a strict policy of sourcing the best person for the role irrespective of race, gender, age, religion, sexual preference or disability. We are keen to develop further the recruitment of talented women to the organisation at all levels and are developing policies and procedures across the Group to achieve this. Recruitment processes have been reviewed to ensure a diverse mix of candidates is reviewed and shortlisted for interviews, where appropriate, with a view to increasing the number of women in senior roles. Flexible working policies have been introduced in all major business units, allowing all employees, regardless of gender, to request flexible working. This is usually granted, unless the needs of the business cannot otherwise be met.

It is Vitec’s policy that applications for employment by disabled persons are always fully considered, bearing in mind the respective aptitudes and abilities of the applicant concerned. In the event of employees becoming disabled all reasonable effort is made to ensure that their employment within the Group continues. It is our policy that the training, career development and promotion of disabled persons should be, as far as possible, identical to that of all other employees.

We continue to strive to employ a diverse workforce.