A positive working environment is not only essential for the advancement of employment relations, but it also provides security and makes employees feel significant and necessary for the achievement of corporate objectives.
Bidirectional communication and cooperation
We strive to foster employee engagement in many ways: by promoting a positive work environment, through requiring ethical business practices and by communicating proactively with our employees.
As our employees are our most prominent and valuable ambassadors with the majority of our external stakeholders, we endeavour to communicate important news about the company to employees as quickly as possible and through the most appropriate channels.
Means of communication that we use to this effect are the internal corporate network (intranet), e-mail, departmental announcements, bulletin boards and informative meetings between staff and management.
Employee information feedback is also critical to our success. As is the case with our external stakeholders, we work to understand our employees’ concerns, needs and thoughts pertaining to the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and incorporate these findings into our strategies, processes and programs so that we can achieve our business goals.
The Employee Suggestion Program (see indicators G4-37 and G4-LA16, at "OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE" section) is a particularly useful and innovative internal communication tool, that enables our employees to make anonymous or named queries, submit questions and, in general, promotes a dialogue between all levels of employees with management and/or the Group’s appropriate organizational units. When the queries/questions are submitted, the program’s administrators ensure and guarantee the confidentiality, speed and process efficiency. All suggestions are then answered in cooperation with the relevant departments and detailed records are kept, for statistical analysis and the monitoring of the suggestion progress.
During 2014, submitted proposals concerned issues that were related to: the promotion of Group subsidiaries, technical and administrative services, internal network (intranet), human resources, IT and internet and participation/ teamwork.
All of the proposals were examined in depth, of which 10% have already been implemented while 20% will be undertaken as future Group actions. The decision and the implementation time of the proposals is linked to criteria such as usefulness and added value, materiality in relation to operational priorities, compatibility with the Group’s strategy, the possibility of these proposals being part of the approved budget and, of course, implementation feasibility. In any case, interested parties have factual information.
As part of our mission to maintain a satisfying and productive work environment, we routinely survey our employees to learn more about their perspectives on the business and on how we respond to the needs of our workforce.
The Group participated, for the 2nd time, in the Best Workplaces 2015 survey, in which all permanent and fixed contract employees from HELPE, EKO and HF participated. The overall participation rate reached 60%, an increase of almost 50% compared to the corresponding participation rate in 2013. Analytical findings from the Great Place to Work Institute are expected in 2015, after which decisions on launching actions – measures for further improvement will be taken.
For the third consecutive year, the Group rewarded its employees for their excellent performance based on the Group’s Principles. Our employees, who with their expertise, efficiency and consistency, achieve their goals and in many cases surpass them, are honored for their achievements by the Group’s Management annually.
Overall, in 2014, 128 employees and team representatives (from Greece and abroad) were awarded for their outstanding performance at either at an individual or team level.
In addition to the employee surveys, our Compliance Office provides an avenue for employees to confidentially submit their concerns, regarding transparency and corruption issues. The office also plans for any relevant actions.