Our people

We aim to attract and develop the most talented people by offering a motivating, healthy and inclusive workplace, and listening to our employees to drive improvements

Our people – Our approach

We support, train and encourage more than 101,000 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. To do this we offer a motivating and inclusive workplace where we recognise and develop talent and promote wellbeing. We believe we are at our best when our people are at theirs and we use our employer brand to unite employees around the world to create a sense of pride in what we do (see feature below).

We make it a priority to listen to our employees to understand their views. Through our annual Global People Survey, we monitor how engaged and satisfied our people are with us as an employer. We use this feedback to assess managers based on the experience they create for their team, and to drive improvements in the way we run our business.

In focus: We’re at our best when our employees are at theirs

Our new employer brand, launched in 2014/15, aims to help us attract and retain the world’s best talent and inspire our people globally. Informed by the views of over 15,000 employees, it creates a consistent way of showing people around the world what we stand for and helps to ensure we remain an employer of choice.

Our new strapline for our employer brand is ‘We’re at our best when you’re at yours’ and our key messages behind this are that we:

  • are an industry leading company that empowers people to shape their world
  • use our Mobile for Good programme to deliver benefits to society through the work of the Vodafone Foundation
  • offer employees a world of opportunities
  • provide exceptional work to exceptional people.

In return, we expect our employees to:

  • deliver great results
  • live The Vodafone Way (see below)
  • drive business growth
  • always do what’s right.

In 2014/15, we began integrating these messages into our communications across our local markets, including Discover, our new global graduate campaign (see Development and training).

Read on to find out more about our approach, or go to Performance to read about our progress in 2014/15.

Living The Vodafone Way

The Vodafone Way sets out a consistent way of working for all employees to deliver exceptional customer service (see feature below). It is supported by our Code of Conduct which sets out the high ethical standards all employees must uphold.

We promote our Code of Conduct through our global Doing What’s Right campaign. The aim of the campaign is to improve understanding of, and engagement with, key topics including health and safety, anti-bribery, privacy, security and competition law. The campaign is also designed to ensure that people managers know what’s expected of them and their teams.

Every employee is expected to work in The Vodafone Way. This is included in their performance objectives and assessed annually. Those demonstrating outstanding commitment to it are recognised as The Vodafone Way Heroes.

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, one company with local roots 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.

Diversity and inclusion

We believe that diversity plays an important role in the success of our business. Our Group-wide diversity and inclusion strategy outlines our commitment to creating an inclusive work environment that respects, values, celebrates and makes the most of the individual differences our people bring to Vodafone.

Key to our 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. We offer similar workshops for human resources professionals and employees who report directly to senior leaders. Our online resource centre provides information on diversity and inclusion to help promote this agenda in each of our local markets.

Valuing diversity

We value all types of diversity, but our 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 also 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 tolerate unfair treatment or discrimination on any grounds. This applies to anyone working for Vodafone whether they are an employee, contractor, agency worker or self-employed.

We promote an open culture that encourages people to raise issues and challenge any behaviour that excludes or discriminates against individuals.

See Performance to find out about our progress on diversity and inclusion in 2014/15.

Development and training

Our development and training programmes ensure we have the skills and talent needed to grow our people and our business. These programmes help our employees gain new skills and experiences through formal training, on-the-job experience, coaching and mentoring. Building sales capabilities and equipping employees with the skills they need to deliver exceptional customer service is also an important focus.

We analyse our training needs across the business annually, to identify priorities and ensure that learning plans support our business strategy. All employees have 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 Technology, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Legal and Retail enable people to develop the critical skills employees need to work in these areas. We work with leading business schools and accredited external providers to develop and deliver the training, most of which is online. Over the last twelve months, over one million courses were taken online and we have begun to develop mobile learning options to enable our people to learn at the exact point of need. Training for our sales teams focuses on customer interactions and building customer relationships.

We offer exceptional graduates the opportunity to participate in our two-year Discover programme. Our top graduates can further develop their capabilities through our Columbus programme, which gives them experience of varied cultures by working on international assignments over a two-year period.

Developing the skills of employees with strong leadership potential is a key focus to strengthen our succession planning. We identify these managers across the Group through our annual talent review process. Where appropriate, these employees are given the opportunity to take part in Inspire, our global leadership development training programme to accelerate managers into senior leadership roles. Over a period of 18 months, Inspire participants receive structured mentoring from senior Vodafone leaders, gain experience of working in other local markets and complete assignments with the Vodafone Foundation. We also use our talent review to identify high-performing leaders, match their skills to our business needs and help them achieve their development goals.

We encourage employees to develop their careers 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. See Performance to find out about development and training in 2014/15.

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 and provides videos from around our business. Through Vodafone Circle, our internal social network, we promote best-practise sharing and encourage employees to share their views. Group and local market Chief Executives communicate directly with employees through regular webinars and videos.

We use our annual Global People Survey to assess engagement levels and identify opportunities to improve ways of working and to 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 promoting 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. We also assess how effective employees are through an operational excellence index which indicates how productive employees feel and whether they are making the best use of their skills in their current role.

For the latest Global People 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 markets 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.

Managing 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 2014/15.

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 offers 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, 188 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.