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The key to DIA’s success lies in its people

DIA is a Spanish multinational enterprise with operations in seven countries: Spain, France, Portugal, Turkey, China, Argentina and Brazil. In 2012, it had more than 47,800 employees at its 6,914 stores and 44 logistics platforms.

Of DIA’s total staff, 70% work in Europe, 23% in Latin America and 7% in Asia, 84.5% of which have permanent employment contracts and 74% are women.

DIA’s people are the key to the company’s success and that of its stores. Aware of how important its people are, DIA abides by and promotes vigorously the individual and collective rights set out in the specific legislation of each country where it operates. It takes active steps to foster a working climate that encourages stable employment and friendliness between the company and workers.

Its personnel is diverse and made up of professionals from DIA’s various operating markets. This level of diversity engenders integration and non-discrimination. The company also provides the appropriate tools, resources and environment to keep staff up to date, in line with its values and commitment to the organisation´s goals.

DIA Spain’s new Equality Plan

DIA drafted its first Equality Plan 2012 to achieve a real environment of equal opportunities for men and women
DIA is firmly committed to gender equality as a universally recognised legal principle in a range of international, European and national texts, e.g. the Treaty of Amsterdam or the Spanish Constitution.

The Equality Plan for the men and women who work at DIA was not just designed to comply with the law. Rather, it stems from the company’s deep conviction that helping to achieve real equality means more than just preventing discrimination based on sex. It means providing equal employment opportunities for men and women to join the company, equal hiring and working conditions, equal opportunities for promotion, training, compensation, work-life balance and occupational health and safety.

Management’s commitment to this objective and the engagement of employees in this task are behind the Equality Plan, designed in 2012 to be an effective tool for recognising talent regardless of gender.

DIA’s Equality Plan contains a disciplined set of measures and actions aimed at mainstreaming gender equality in the company.

The features of the Equality Plan are:

  • It does not target just women, but is designed for all DIA staff.
  • It adopts gender transversality as a guiding principles and a strategy to achieve real gender equality. This implies including the gender perspective in the company’s management of all its policies and at all levels.
  • It considers engagement through dialogue and cooperation between all parties (management, social agents and all employees) as a core principle.
  • It is pre-emptive, removing any possibility of future discrimination based on sex.
  • It is internally coherent, dynamic and open to change as needs arise from its oversight and assessment.
  • It stems from the company’s commitment to guarantee human rights and the resources necessary to implement, monitor and assess this commitment.

The Equality Plan, constantly under review, is valid for four years, during which it must achieve the following general objectives:

  • Guarantee equal treatment and opportunities for men and women in the company.
  • Instil the gender transversality perspective in the company’s culture, above all its human resources management.
  • Guarantee equally pay for work of equal value.
  • Facilitate work/life balance for DIA employees.

The general objectives relate to plan as a whole and based on these, is a set of specific targets were defined and a total of 83 initiatives have been, or will be, adopted throughout the term of the Equality Plan, between 2012 and 2016.

TABLE: Specific targets and initiatives.
  • Review recruiting procedures and documentation, from job postings to final selection of candidates, to guarantee equal treatment and opportunities and prevent decisions based on stereotypes, assumptions regarding attitudes or characteristics of people of a given sex, race, age, disability, etc.
  • Encourage a gender-balanced representation in the company among all professional groups and the management structure
  • Guarantee equal treatment and employment opportunities
  • Create or appoint an Equality Officer in the company to oversee equal treatment and opportunities
  • Achieve minimum promotion targets for women
  • Strengthen, through procedures, the recruiting possibilities already in place to encourage the professional promotion of women, especially to jobs and categories where they are under-represented
  • Review the criteria established for internal promotion to ensure they are clear and objective
  • Design training and awareness-raising initiatives that guarantee a culture based on equal opportunities
  • Train women and men in specialties where they are under-represented
  • Guarantee systems are in place that encourage and guarantee equal pay for men and women.
  • Guarantee the rights of all employees to work-life balance regardless of sex, nationality, marital status, seniority at the company or contractual arrangement
  • Improve the legal measures for facilitating work-life balance
  • Promote co-responsibility measures, encouraging the sharing of family and domestic responsibilities between male and female workers
  • Apply occupational health and safety measures to prevent specific pregnancy and maternity needs and risks
  • Advance and ensure the gender dimension is included in the health and safety policy and part of the preventative tools for managing health and safety
  • Disseminate the basic principle of conduct in the company of eradicating any form of bullying or harassment
  • Ensure that internal and external communication promotes an image of gender equality and guarantees that all staff has access to internal media
  • Spread a business culture that is committed to equality, raising awareness among all employees of the need to act and work together and globally on equal opportunities
  • Disseminate and promote the use of protection measures established by law and by the company
  • Improve the measures in place for victims of gender violence

The full list of initiatives is available on the DIA corporate website.

A Monitoring and Assessment Committee will be created to oversee and assess the Equality Plan, interpret its content, evaluation the degree of compliance with the plan, the stated objectives and the scheduled actions. This committee will have a balanced composition between the company and trade union representatives that adhere to it.

Continuous learning

DIA encourages and works actively towards improving and offering training opportunities to its employees.

A Development programme is in place to assess talent and to organise continuous learning. It is centralised in each head office and centre.

Learning content is divided up into five large groups: technical, foreign languages, general, individual areas and programmes.

The Training department provides advice and support, centralises the management of enrolment, payments, etc., and controls the budget for technical training of DIA employees. Each initiative is geared towards the knowledge required of each job. Each area has a specific budget, drawn up by HR and approved by the Executive Committee.

The bulk of the general training budget is earmarked for foreign language training. Accordingly, stricter criteria are applied to selecting which candidates are eligible to receive language training and which need it to perform their current or future position.

General training addresses unspecified needs based on the company’s strategic plans and projects. It is basically for all company employees, including operational staff.

HR proposes the student profiles and course content in accordance their priorities. It is also in charge of ensuring that high-potential employees sign up for programmes designed for their development.

Courses were designed in 2012 covering subjects such as management approaches, handling job interviews, negotiating techniques, management skills, designing effective presentations, management development programmes and specialist courses for managers and certified employees.

Specific training for areas is designed to meet special, exceptional needs of a certain functional area. DIA provides specific training through the FUNCIONA project, designed to provide the functional areas with the skills necessary to implement the training and do so efficiently.

Lastly, individual learning plans target high-potential and high-performance employees. This training is tailored and results from a change in area, expatriation, specific promotion or future development. Students take part in the IESE Business School’s Management Development Program (PDD) of the Senior Executive in Internet Business Program (PADIB) of the Instituto superior para el Desarrollo de Internet (ISDI) centre of higher learning.

To illustrate DIA’s commitment to continuous learning, 47,090 employees received a total of 638,386 hours of training in 2012.

Potential management

For DIA, “potential” is a set of qualities (or the potential to develop qualities), motivation (ambition, willingness to accept jobs of greater responsibility) and commitment (emotional and rational belief in the company, willingness to go the extra mile and wanting to stay at the company).

To assess an employee’s potential, their skills are matched to the levels required of their job before determining their status or optimal functions in the company or considering promotions.

Skills assessment at DIA
Cross-cutting skills for manager level
Results orientation Commitment
Personal contact Initiative
People management Decision-making
Analysis Teamwork
Cross-cutting skills for service manager level
Results orientation Commitment
Personal contact Partner development
People management Team creation and coordination

To perform the assessments, evaluators from the HR department and members of management are first given a work-related questionnaire. Each skill is assessed through at least two tests, while participants fill out a self-evaluation of skills form before they start.

Professional evaluators and those from the same business area involved to ensure consistency and objectivity in the approach.

Talent assessment and remuneration policy

DIA understands talent as people whose performance is above average and who show superior job efficiency through a combination of skill sets and results with respect to both their job description and the objectives set by their immediate superior.

DIA developed a new annual job appraisal interview for employees in 2012.

It rates three areas that underpin DIA’s idea of efficiency: the functions of the job; i.e. permanent responsibilities assumed by each worker for their job; objectives, i.e. specific responsibilities assigned by workers’ immediate superior; and the skills necessary to perform the job; i.e. professional qualifications employees must possess and that are required to perform the job and achieve the objectives adequately.

A level, rather than a score, is assigned to each of these three qualities (deficient, adequate and exceeds expectations). These are rounded off with improvement actions, which are mandatory where a deficiency is identified and recommended in all other instances.

The overall results of the assessment of the three factors gives the overall appraisal, which is later used for any rewards and by the parent to propose any wage increase.

Commitment to people with disabilities

In 2012, for the first time, DIA joined in the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December, honouring its commitment to respect diversity in the company. On 5 October, it signed an agreement with ONCE Foundation’s FSC-Inserta under which DIA assumed six specific commitments aimed at promoting the employment of persons with disabilities, and acquiring products and services from Special Employment Centres:

  1. Promote direct employment of persons with disabilities
  2. Train persons with disabilities, establishing a degree of involvement and cooperation in the development of training initiatives
  3. Promote indirect employment of persons with disabilities by purchasing goods and services from Special Employment Centres under ONCE (the Spanish association for the blind) and its foundation.
  4. Encourage initiatives to raise accessibility to goods and services: development of best practices in the area of access to goods and services offered within DIA’s business
  5. Promote initiatives to disseminate and raise awareness in the media on the actions and results of the agreement
  6. Participate in Foro Inserta Responsable (responsible labour insertion forum), forums on CSR and disabilities, workshops, seminars, institutional events, etc.

In 2012, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, DIA selected different materials and disseminated content among employees to raise awareness, such as the video series of the Programa Xtalento (“for talent” programme) initiative.

Internally, the Adecco foundation gave a series of workshops at 18 regional centres aimed at normalising disabilities, facing fears regarding diversity and encouraging the idea that different abilities make people unique. The workshops were given to managers of regional centre offices, warehouses and stores.

2012 results – Insertion plan for people with different abilities
  • 46 people with disabilities hired in 2012
  • Presence at negotiations of goods and services with Special Employment Centres
  • €1,570,939 invoiced through Special Employment Centres in 2011
  • Awareness-raising workshops for HR heads
  • Awareness-raising workshops for regional centre heads
  • Draft of recruitment and induction handbooks
Promoting charity initiatives among staff

DIA supports and encourages all employees to participate and involve other workers in initiatives it considers important.

To publicise it’s the company’s initiatives, management offers a variety of internal communication channels, such as the intranet or newsletters.

Proposed initiatives in 2012 featured:

  • Bottle cap collection for ASPACE (the Spanish cerebral palsy and other similar disabilities of Ávila). Verónica Gutiérrez (on-site transportation department) suggested a drive to collect bottle caps to support ASPACE’s campaign with the aim of raising funds to acquire two wheel chairs.
  • Race against Leukaemia. In 2012, employee Alfonso Rojas spearheaded a project to raise funds for the Josep Carreras Foundation by “selling” kilometres on the Ironman Lanzarote triathlon competition in which he has signed up to participate on 18 May 2013. Starting at a euro a kilometre, all employees were invited to participate from www.migranodearena.org/alfonsorojas1 and follow Alfonso on his blog. Donations will go entirely to research into this disease.
  • Co-operation with APASCIDE’s Santa Ángela de la Cruz centre.Spain’s only centre with the blind and deaf, the aim of the Santa Ángela de la Cruz centre is to improve the well-being of people who are deaf and blind (and that of their families), integrate them and enable them to make the most of their abilities and lead a full and happy life.

In 2012, the centre was suffering financially and on the verge of closing down. That’s why Raquel García (Spain head office), who has been volunteering for APASCIDE (the Spanish association of parents of deaf and blind people) for years, asked DIA and her colleagues to help raise awareness about the situation and make voluntary contributions. Thanks to the efforts of Raquel and her colleagues, the centre is still running.

Occupational health and safety

Another key principle guiding DIA’s HR relations is to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Work is done daily from each local office in Spain, France, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil and China to reduce or minimise risks at work, with the ultimate goal of eradicating occupational accidents altogether. The aim is for working procedures to be carried out correctly and safely to, alongside another initiatives on this front, reinforce the Company’s preventive culture.

Particularly important is training on how to prevent occupational risks, designed to instil safe working behaviour. An average of 2.5 hours per worker was spent on occupational health and safety training in 2012.

In the same vein, monitoring health is another key pillar to prevent occupational risks, helping workers to be able to do their job and, where necessary, making adjustment for any limitations identified. To illustrate, 34.8% of staff in Spain took voluntary medical exams.

DIA not only provides medical coverage in all the countries where it operates. It does other things to improve employees’ health. For instance, in 2012, global initiatives were carried out in all countries, including flu shots and vaccinations against other similar seasonal diseases.

Commitment to a safe and sustainable working environment

Every year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) chooses a topic for its awareness campaign. In 2012, it was “Promoting safety and health in a green economy". The aim was to promote safe and healthy work in “green jobs”, i.e. those which seek new energy sources and other environmental protection activities, such as recycling or improving waste removal systems.

In Spain, DIA joined the ILO campaign for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2012. In its drive to develop and implement projects, the company guarantees safety in processes and sustainability in all its activities. The Risk Prevention Service renewed its commitment to preventing risks at work, working even harder to reduce accidents at work and set up healthier and safer working spaces with the ultimate global of eliminating accidents at the workplace through a campaign under the slogan “We all share prevention. You’re part of the chain. Don’t break it”.

The campaign was designed to get employees to think about and realise how important abiding by working procedures and safety rules is to make the jobs of all DIA employees safer.

Reduction in accident in and outside of centres and stores

The analysis of results from the various areas affected by prevention and the impact of health and safety initiatives show that by getting everyone to work together, the number of accidents decreased by a further 16% in 2012.

One initiative to reduce accidents was the Road Safety campaign aimed at improving driver safety at work, focusing mainly on reducing the number of driving accidents of employees going to and from work, and during work. The campaign provided reminders of safe habits and behaviour on the road and streets for both drivers and pedestrians. The messages were sent to all staff in a variety of ways, e.g. informational leaflets, road safety manuals, posters, etc. to raise awareness and have an impact on the greatest number of employees possible.

Health Week in Spain

A balanced diet, exercise, stopping smoking, controlling stress, being happy with yourself and enjoying life are all keys to a person’s health and preventing illnesses.

In a bid to help all its employees adopt these habits if they want, DIA set out a set of planned activities in the second annual Health Week from 17 to 21 September at the company’s headquarters. Activities included therapeutic massages, talks about nutrition, emotional well-being and an introduction to sports. The communication plan with the information leaflets and posters was geared around three notions: “Stay in shape, eat healthy and keep a positive attitude”.

To get the message across to all centres, activities were organised in 18 different centres for the first time ever. Talks were held on ergonomics in the workplace, nutrition, emotional well-being, anti-smoking and stress management.

Both the head office and regional centres focused particularly on promoting sports, both during Health Week and throughout the year. As it does every year, the company sponsored employees wishing to run in the race organised by FEDER (Spanish Federation for Rare Diseases) and men’s amateur 7-a-side football tournament organised by the Real Federación Española de Fútbol de Las Rozas (Royal Spanish Football Federation). It also promoted several in-house sports tournaments (e.g. indoor football, basketball, paddle tennis) at the regional centres.

To teach employees more about a healthy diet, fresh fruit stands were set up at the head office and each centre during Health Week to promote “healthy breakfasts”. Employees were asked to contribute and share their own healthy recipes.

Lastly, health-related slogans were sent out to the store network through the POSs and the “Notes” application to employees, along with information leaflets on each practice.

Visual health campaign

This campaign targeted employees at the head office who work with computers, offering a free eye examination by professional eye doctors. The campaign focused on employees’ visual health, with participants’ situations reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A total of 506 eye exams were carried out, representing 65% of staff.

Induction handbooks

As an employer, DIA must have HR policies and procedures that ensure objectivity, respect and equal opportunities. Accordingly, HR provides the recruitment departments of the regional centres with standardisation documents containing the rules and regulations governing hiring processes.

There are also induction and initial training handbooks and procedures to help new employees integrate, work in teams and adapt.

DIA Spain training plan

The DIA Spain training plan comprises a series of actions aimed at achieving a professional workforce at the stores, warehouses and regional centres aligned with the company´s culture. These include:

  • Operational training, to keep workers abreast of issues related to the efficient management of the business at all times
  • Management skill training, designed to hone skills and teach employees how to be leaders, encouraging “team thinking”, self-motivation and communication skills
  • Occupational risk prevention training, based on creating ideal safety conditions in the workplace and the use of protective elements

DIA Spain’s training is mainly carried out through the Regional Training Schools located in each regional centre and the National Training Centre. Initial and ongoing training is provided to employees and to many franchisees.

DIA has a commitment to people and developing their professional abilities. In line with this commitment, specific training is provided for each job. This enables the company to adapt to the needs of each group and handle problems related to functions carried out by employees in their daily work.

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C/ Jacinto Benavente 2 A 28232 Las Rozas. Madrid - España

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Jesús Umbría / DIA