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6 examples of responsible attitude to labor practices
Corporate social responsibility of large companies relates to a number of areas (the annual report of Cisco, for example, includes 49 points.) One of them is responsibility to employees. The required minimum here is the full compliance with labor laws. But, certainly, corporate responsibility should not and cannot be limited to this.
Below are 6 examples of responsible attitude to labor practices from the experience of ICL Services.
1. Compliance and communication with top officials of the company
Employees need to be sure that their opinion is taken into account and affects the situation in the company. They also need a sense of security. The following system is created in ICL Services in response to these expectations:
- Key business processes are regulated in details by shared process documents. They allow employees to confidently make decisions in difficult situations.
- There is also a reference point for complex ad hoc situations — the Code of Ethics. Over 50% of employees were working on it (in a format of personal discussions and general surveys). The company’s management and HR Service actually were the organizers and moderators of a 6-month discussion, they submitted periodic reports on its results to employees and made appropriate adjustments. The Code really became the bearer of the corporate spirit.
- Finally, any employee has the tools to ensure company-wide compliance. This is a «red button» — a means of instant online notification of responsible employees (compliance manager, senior managers) on violations of human rights, the legislation as a whole, reputational risks, as well as gross violations of corporate values.
- If there are questions and doubts, ICL Services has a well-adjusted two-way communication scheme «employee — manager». Its most interesting channel is between employees and the Directorate. This channel has two key components. Firstly, special e-mails for sensitive issues (on wages, questions for top managers, etc.). Only responsible persons have access to these e-mails. And in urgent cases each employee has the right to appeal directly to Head of ICL Services and Head of Operations. Secondly, senior managers organize quarterly meetings with employees — Strategy updates. Top managers tell the whole team about major events, achievements and goals of the company; employees can publicly ask the most important questions, make suggestions and get a response from top officials. If someone cannot attend the meeting in person (for example, cannot leave a workplace), an online broadcast or a video record of the event are available.
2. Responsibility in assessment of professional effectiveness
In addition to security, each employee needs:
- a clear idea of the results that the company expects from him/her;
- confidence in the objective assessment of performance and transparent criteria for such assessment;
- equitable remuneration.
For these purposes ICL Services developed an automated KPI-based system for assessing effectiveness. Its basic principles:
- transparency — all assessment criteria are known to all parties involved (both employees and their supervisors);
- objectivity — high degree of automation prevents human errors;
- validity — KPIs of each employee are selected to reflect his/her contribution to the business results of the company.
Note that prior to the launch the system was in the alpha (for about 15% of employees) and beta testing modes (100% of employees worked with the system and gave feedback necessary for its setting and improvement) for 9 months. This is another example of the openness and responsibility of the company to its employees.
3. Responsibility in corporate training
Both the company and its experts are interested in their professional development. Therefore, ICL Services believes that it is the responsibility of both parties. The company created a unique training system:
- free internal training with corporate trainers (soft skills and IT areas);
- corporate business library;
- external courses from over 50 providers at the company’s expense (on condition of a «student agreement»);
- certification exams (also covered by the company);
- online courses, including unrestricted access to iLearn (education portal of Fujitsu Global — one of the main partners of ICL Services; iLearn contains hundreds of courses on soft skills, IT standards and areas);
- language training in own language school or external courses;
- development of a personal development plan together with T&D experts;
- the training program for managerial candidate pool (65% of graduates were invited to managerial positions after the program);
- the training program for internal trainers — a 3-month course, which allows employees to improve their trainer, leader and speaker skills.
In terms of figures, the total funding for training and development programs is usually about 2.5% of the total payroll of ICL Services. And the responsibility of employees is to take advantage of the opportunities offered.
By the way, they do it: 95% of employees complete internal training annually, at least 70% — external training, 84% — certification exams.
4. Responsibility in working environment
This responsibility may be expressed differently. There is a visible side — modern offices, medical and dining rooms, furnished corporate playgrounds, etc. And there is something less obvious — for example, assessment of workplaces.
Security of workplaces in ICL Services is assessed by independent external experts with state accreditation level. Presence/absence of hazardous factors that threaten the health of employees is audited. According to the results in 2015, working conditions comply with regulatory requirements.
5. Openness of the company in matters of employment
Another example of responsibility of ICL Services is the openness to applicants. The company uses all modern recruitment tools but pays special attention to the programs that make it much more open and accessible to a candidate.
Firstly, it is a constant participation in job fairs and meetings with students, where applicants can learn any information in a personal conversation with a recruiter.
Secondly, it is a program of references: employees invite people they know to work. The company encourages referees using a system of bonuses and a philosophy of responsibility for the team: «if you invite the right people to ICL Services, you will feel more comfortable in the team and we will achieve encouraging results.» Applicants receive a mostly objective assessment of the pros and cons of their work from our employees, this gives phenomenal results! For example, almost half of the members of one of the teams on application support were at university together and then came to ICL Services on the references of each other.
6. Other aspects of responsibility
ICL Services strives to take into account any life circumstances of employees. In practice, this means that:
- one parent receives not only a maternity leave but also one additional day off per month until a child turns 18;
- people with disabilities working in ICL Services are provided with special conditions — 2 additional days of vacation;
- employees, who experienced important happy (like the birth of a child or a wedding) or sad (like the death of loved ones) events may receive an additional vacation and financial support.