Fair Working Conditions
The employees not only drive the implementation of the business strategy, but also represent Valora externally – especially in the sales outlets. Accordingly, employee satisfaction is equally important. In addition to motivation, it also shapes loyalty to the company.
In order to maintain satisfaction, Valora provides fair working conditions. The human resources departments in the individual divisions focus on factors such as working hours, work break rules, social benefits, job security, promotion of health, diversity, equality and remuneration. Fair working conditions are also the responsibility and objective of all managers within the Valora network.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Valora increased salaries for short-time working to 80 % of the lost salary if the short-time remuneration was lower than that, which benefited low-wage earners in particular. Last year, the operating partners were supported with a single-digit million sum in the event of liquidity bottlenecks. Despite the dramatic drop in customer footfall, only a few jobs had to be cut since the start of the pandemic – not least due to government-supported short-time working. At the end of 2021, the Valora Group employed 4 529 own employees – 2.4 % fewer than in 2020.
Net turnover on the basis of notice given by employees stayed at 17 %. The proportion of women is 64 %, the age mix is balanced.
Under the Collective Labour Agreement, Valora will increase the wage total by 1 % in Switzerland from 1 March 2022. In Germany, the wage total will be increased by 3 %. An increase in the statutory minimum wage in Germany is also being prepared. Valora is thus continuing to work together with its employees and partners to overcome the crisis.
Salary increase and top-up of short-time working compensation – in Switzerland, unemployment insurance pays 80 % of the previous salary. In Germany, short-time worker’s compensation is initially limited to 60-67 % of lost earnings, and only reaches 80-87 % after seven months.
As in the previous year: increase of loss of earnings in the event of short-time working to 80 % for those receiving less than 80 % of lost earnings, for example in Germany.
Increase in wage total from 1 March 2022 by 3 % in Germany and 1 % in Switzerland under the Valora Collective Labour Agreement.
Due to the dynamics of the crisis, a monthly review of additional top-up options in the event of short-time working.
Partner support – Valora supports the operating partners in coping with the COVID-19 crisis so they can maintain their business activities.
Support for operating partners in the event of liquidity shortages caused by the COVID-19 amounting to the single-digit millions. Assistance in applying for government subsidies, staff leasing in the event of quarantine cases.
Further support options are reviewed on a monthly basis in response to the crisis.
Internal communication – additional channels help with cross-regional communication within the Valora Group, especially when informal communication is more difficult during pandemic-related home and split office phases.
Valora Connect social intranet (Workplace from Meta) with around 1 100 users across various locations and business areas. Regular digital town hall meetings to ensure the flow of information.
Continuation and establishment of digital communication formats.
Staff discounts – depending on the location, there are different offers for employees – from free pretzels and fruit to coffee and collection points.
Introduction of the digital Valora card in Switzerland, which was already being used by more than 1 000 users in 2021 for discounts in Valora sales outlets.
Review of further discounts.
Social dialogue – discussions and consultations as well as negotiations are held with employee representatives on a regular basis.
Ongoing meetings with a focus on dealing with the crisis.
Continuation of the social dialogue.
Valora Integrity Line – all employees, partners and customers have the opportunity to report grievances anonymously online, which are processed by Valora’s compliance officers.
Permanent availability via the Valora website. A total of 19 reported cases (previous year: 34 cases). Conclusion of 18 cases by 31 December 2021.
Ongoing permanent availability and rapid processing of reports.
Increase in awareness throughout the Valora network.
Business Partner Code of Conduct – the Code of Conduct is included in contracts with agency and franchise partners.
Inclusion in new contracts and gradual updating of existing contracts.
Inclusion in further contracts in Germany.
Equal pay analysis – equal pay is analysed based on gender. This has been required by law in Switzerland since 2021.
Analysis carried out in Switzerland. Results to date do not require any corrective measures.
Completion of the analysis by external third parties.
Surveys – the satisfaction of employees and business partners is surveyed in order to identify any areas for improvement.
Postponement of the planned staff survey until 2022.
Conducting a Group-wide staff survey.
Talents and Careers
The modern working world is in a state of constant flux, which requires flexibility and adaptability from Valora and the employees in its network. At the same time, newly acquired knowledge and skills as well as additional qualifications have a positive effect on performance, motivation and employability. Valora wants to offer its employees and the agency and franchise staff attractive prospects. An environment to develop in a future-oriented way. The HR departments and the Operations teams are jointly responsible for the further training activities in the different business areas.
The newly launched Valora Academy e-learning platform efficiently handles compulsory training for all employees on topics such as protection of minors or cyber resilience. Numerous optional training courses and continuing education courses have been added to the range of learning opportunities. One focus area is on format-specific introductory programmes for prospective agency operators and franchisees.
Valora trained 50 young people to professional level with programmes last year as part of dual vocational training and dual study programme. Further training programmes are also being conducted to counter the shortage of skilled workers. However, the recruitment of baristas and managers for the production of baked goods remains challenging.
Training and development activities will be further reinforced. One of the focal points in future will be the development of management personnel. In addition, a Group-wide staff survey will be conducted in 2022 to determine additional training needs.
Training company – Within the framework of the dual vocational training and the dual study program, apprentices are deployed in various areas. Further trainee programs and internships prepare young people for entry into professional life. At the same time, Valora benefits from the next generation of qualified employees.
50 apprentices in Germany and Switzerland (previous year: 56), of which 11 dual students (previous year: 11). Development of a new retail vocational training model with rotating stations. Pilot project in Canton Zurich with six agencies and own outlets to facilitate cross-location and cross-format training.
Creation of additional training places in retail and roll-out of the program for trainees in other cantons.
Recruiting – job offers are published on an internal platform and advertised on the Valora Connect social intranet. This promotes transparency and contributes to the visibility of further training opportunities.
Establishment of an internal job platform to promote internal recruitment.
Test at Food Service Switzerland to motivate employees with financial incentives to support external recruitment.
Training of operating partners – new franchisees and agency operators receive format-specific training over several days to facilitate their induction.
Conducting various virtual conferences and workshops. Establishment of the training campus for the BackWerk and Ditsch formats in Essen, which went into operation at the end of 2020. Expansion to include digital courses.
Continuation of the conferences and workshops.
Further training programs – employees are trained to take on key positions that are difficult to fill via the open labour market. Format-specific programs are also offered.
Establishment of a further development program at the Oranienbaum production site: 21 unskilled employees underwent training as machine operators, 12 machine operators underwent further training as line managers (previous year: 18 and 6).
Continuation of the program in Oranienbaum.
Valora Academy – all Valora employees (excl. Ditsch USA) and business partners in Switzerland have access to a wide range of training and compulsory training courses online.
Launch of the new Valora Academy e-learning platform in November. Expansion of the offer to include 100 new training courses in seven languages. Over 5 000 users have attended over 22 000 courses (previous year: 23 000).
Development of further training programs. Restructuring of onboarding for new employees on the Valora Academy e-learning platform.
Management training in sales – branch managers study for a SIU diploma in cooperation with the Schweizerisches Institut für Unternehmensführung (Swiss Institute of Management).
Pilot of the new training program at Retail Switzerland: 11 employees and 11 prospective agency partners receive an introduction to sales outlet management by March 2022.
Roll-out of the training program at Retail Switzerland in the event of successful pilot project. The training should become the standard for all sales outlet managers and agency partners.