Warm welcome to new employees
In 2018, we started with an 'onboarding' programme for new employees. In the programme, we focus on elementary things like the strategy, values and our products and services, in order to provide everyone with an overall view of our organization.
To familiarize new colleagues from day one with the world of VodafoneZiggo, they are not only informed about our company, but also invited to our TEC Campus in Amsterdam and the Experience Center in Utrecht.
We make sure they feel welcome by providing a buddy system, in which they are assigned to an experienced colleague. They take part in an onboarding-day for all newcomers that particular month. And we coach their direct managers, so they know exactly what’s important for these employees in the first, often exciting and tense weeks.
Talent determines the success of VodafoneZiggo. One of the programme we have been offering for many years, is the Discover Traineeship. Its goal is to extensively familiarize potential talent with our company and employees in the course of one year, during which time we challenge them to learn fast and improve in a dynamic company as ours. During the year they work on three different projects. Two are carried out in the business unit where they applied for a job and the third project takes place in a different business unit. In that way they explore multiple aspects of the organization and we challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. In addition, they take part in several sessions with a trainer-coach to work on their personal development. Apart from a project manager, they are also assigned to a line manager who supports them in their development during the year. In 2018 we received over 500 applications, from which 26 men and women were selected to start as Discover Trainees. Prior to hiring, a candidate is asked to partake in an extensive assessment in which we look at current experience and knowledge as well as the trainee’s potential for growth. After all, we select the Discover Trainees because we believe they are the innovative talents that shape the current organization and the future of our company.
Dilemma: Flexible working versus agile working
Speed and constant improvement are two conditions companies in our industry need to fulfil in order to be successful. Customers expect to have an adequate connection everywhere and at all times, with the best entertainment offer, fixed as well as mobile. To meet that requirement, we must be able to respond fast and adequately to new developments. Cooperation is the keyword in this. In 2018, we introduced agile teams for that reason to run projects, while physically working together as much as possible – in our view essential for a team to achieve good results.
This seemingly conflicts with our choice for flexible working. At VodafoneZiggo most departments work flexibly, offering employees the freedom to work at a time and location where they are most productive. We manage on results at an individual and team level in which it is less important how employees arrive at these results. A large part of our employees has been used to flexible working for years now. The occupancy rate of our offices is calculated based on this principle. According to Statistics Netherlands, already 95% of large enterprises in the Netherlands allow their people to work flexibly. That is also to our advantage, since a large part of our revenues in the business market is related to flexible working based on certain communication services. Moreover, the afore-mentioned survey by EY shows that flexible working results in huge economic, environmental and social benefits.
We therefore have a dilemma between the need to physically collaborate more on the one side, and the benefits offered by flexible working, on the other. In practice, this means that clear arrangements must be made within teams and between teams about what we at VodafoneZiggo call 'Connected Working'. Our people leaders are key in this. They determine which teams and people can work flexibly. In addition, we have made a number of organization-wide arrangements. Employees don’t have a fixed day to work from home, for example, but they do have the opportunity to start earlier or later. For many people this still takes some getting used to and finding a balance between flexible and agile working provides them with a challenge. In 2019 we will continue with the development of the VodafoneZiggo way of working, Connected Working, as unique as our culture and company itself.