Recruiting, developing and retaining our talent is one of our most important priorities. We work towards that objective by communicating openly and consistently with our employees, providing training and opportunities for career advancement, rewarding our employees fairly and encouraging employees to give direct feedback to senior management. We recognise the importance of providing a supportive working environment and of providing a healthy work/life balance for all our employees, both in Georgia Capital and in our portfolio companies.

A key factor in our success is a cohesive and professional team, capable of accomplishing the Group’s objectives. We are committed to attracting and identifying the best professionals, caring and planning for their needs, investing in their development and fostering their commitment.

The Group develops Human Resource (HR) policies and procedures which promote the key principles, areas, approaches and methods that are crucial for building Human Capital Management systems at each business level and at Georgia Capital level in line with the above mentioned policies implemented across the Group. Examples of some of our HR policies and procedures include, but are not limited to

  • employee planning and recruiting;
  • staff administration;
  • compensation and benefits;
  • code of conduct;
  • employee development and training human rights;
  • grievances;
  • retrenchment; and
  • anti-nepotism.

We are committed to employee engagement and we believe that effective communication is key. We strive to provide our employees with a continuous flow of information, which includes our corporate culture, the Group’s strategy and performance, risks relating to its performance, such as financial and economic factors, and our policies and procedures. We provide information in a number of ways, including via managers, presentations, email, intranet and regular off-site meetings. We also value the views of our employees. We consult with them regularly and have implemented feedback systems, such as frequent employee satisfaction surveys, which ensure that the opinions of our employees are taken into account when making decisions which are likely to affect their interests. Employee feedback also helps to improve our customer focused approach.

In 2018, the Board nominated Kim Bradley as the Independent Non-Executive Director on the Company’s Board representing the workforce.

TALENT ATTRACTION

Sustained development of the Group’s businesses requires the strengthening of the teams, both by using the Group’s own significant internal resources through staff development and rotation and by attracting external candidates. Our Recruitment Policy and relevant control procedures ensure an unbiased hiring process that provides equal employment opportunities for all candidates. According to
the HR Policy, internal candidates have priority when filling vacant positions, especially in situations where there are vacancies in top and middle management. In order to attract young talent, we actively partner with leading Georgian business schools and universities, participate in job fairs and run extensive internships not only locally, but also internationally. In 2019, an intern from Limerick University spent two months working in the Finance department at the Georgia Capital office in Tbilisi. In 2019, Georgia Capital continued its talent acquisition project for its Investment Officer position. The project was launched in 2016 and selected a number of young and talented candidates for various investment projects within the Group. Furthermore, the Investment Officers hired in 2018 were promoted to managerial positions Group-wide.

In 2019, GHG participated in 29 job fairs in different universities and colleges and recruited more than 192 students. Also under the Student Internship Programme, 500 students had internships in GHG facilities, 106 of which were hired by GHG. GHG has signed MoUs with 15 nursing colleges in all regions of Georgia. GHG has an exclusive partnership agreement with the pharmacy college Orientiri. GHG offers grants to its employees who have no pharmaceutical education. After two years of college, they can graduate with a pharmacy degree and start a career in one of GHG’s pharmacies. GHG finances 50% of the total tuition fee. 14 participants are already enrolled and are expected to graduate in 2020, and three of them are already working with GHG. The main goal of the project is to address the shortage of qualified pharmacists.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

To manage our employees in a way that best supports our business strategy and employees growth professionally, we seek to help them contribute to business performance through personal and professional development. Following our aspiration to develop strong leaders, we have developed an extensive Leadership Development Programme.

The Group’s corporate learning system is comprised of a wide range of internal and external training sessions, specifically designed to meet the needs of front and back office employees at the Group’s portfolio companies. Middle and senior level employees are given the opportunity to receive external training in well-known training institutions outside of Georgia.

In 2019, Georgia Capital conducted training in giving and receiving feedback in the Deliberately Developmental Organization and continued coaching for its employees at all levels. Training provides an individual approach towards developing leadership skills. Employees involved in training developed their skills and gained awareness of their leadership strengths and opportunities for future growth.

The Group’s P&C Insurance business creates different development opportunities for employees. To help the integration of new employees and make them aware of the systems and procedures, Aldagi delivers an effective Induction Training Programme, where participants have an opportunity to meet with one of the top managers, who share their career story in the company and explain their values and approaches.

In order to maximise staff potential, the P&C insurance business promotes lifelong professional and personal development. Internal professional education is comprised of a wide range of internal and external training sessions, specifically designed to meet the needs of the front and back office employees. In 2016, Aldagi established an Internal Business Trainers Programme to encourage employees to become in-house trainers and share their knowledge with colleagues. The P&C insurance business has also established a sales coaching system in the sales and retail department. Selected mid-level and senior-level employees are given the opportunity to receive external education in well-known universities abroad.

In 2019, GGU continued implementing a 360-degree assessment for the entire management team, with the purpose of evaluating the level of their competencies and target their future development. Based on the results, group and individual coaching sessions were organised for more than 35 employees.

GGU continues to concentrate on staff development as one of the key pillars for sustainable growth of the business. In 2019, career development plans have been developed across each function within the company at the level of individual employees. The development plans include professional, hard and soft skill training, along with personal transformation programme, leadership and coaching.

Along with GGU’s engineering manual, Construction and Exploitation of Water Pipes and Sewage Systems, in 2019, GGU finalised two engineering manuals – Regulations of Water Supply Emergency Works and Water Supply Network Exploitation Rules. The aim of these manuals is to increase the qualification level of employees and to standardise the processes. Several company-wide projects, executed in 2019, are worthy of attention as well. One of them includes providing certified first aid training for its employees as mandatory, along with the health and safety training. More than 150 employees have been certified in first aid. Also, for the first time in 2019, service standards and the code of conduct were developed and documented into manuals for more than 20 positions responsible for daily communication with customers, third parties, Government, police, etc. More than 500 employees have been retrained with the new standards and the code of conduct.

The GHG Leadership Programme is one of the pillars of GHG Human Capital Strategy. The programme is designed for 250 middlelevel managers to further develop and improve their managerial and leadership skills. 179 managers have already taken the five-month, 180-hour General Management Course since 2017. GHG balances gender composition in their Leadership Programme, where 67% of the participants are female and 33% are male. GHG has also developed a Personal Development Programme, which further builds leadership competencies through effective performance feedback and coaching sessions. In 2018 and 2019, 106 middle-managers used the 360-degree feedback tool and developed their personal plans and 75 of them also took part in individual coaching sessions.

In 2019, GHG invested GEL 4 million in training and development courses for medical and administrative staff. GHG offers continuous medical education through the EVEX Learning Centre. In 2019, the EVEX Learning Centre trained a total of 3,208 nurses (both employees and candidates), 2,623 physicians and 450 back office employees and managers. In 2019, EVEX Learning Centre conducted a six-month, 108-hour Basic Nursing Course for students and nursing professionals willing to start a job in GHG hospitals. 132 of them were offered jobs at GHG healthcare facilities. In 2019, GHG’s hospitals business developed and implemented the E-Testing module to make the staff attestation process more efficient. 745 nurses participated in the e-testing attestation process. Professional development of GHG’s pharmacy and distribution business employees is led by the GEPHA Training Centre trainers. In 2019, the GEPHA Training Centre trained a total of 4,000 participants. Among them, 186 students took a preparation course for pharmacists and 35 of them were offered a job. GHG launched a new 27-hour, four-day Basic Sales Skills training programme for pharmacists. The programme started in November 2019 and plans to train all front office staff by the end of 2020 (2,100 trainees in total).

GHG’s medical insurance business also operates its own Imedi L Academy, offering specialised vocational training programmes and courses to its employees. Imedi L Academy trained 1,442 participants in 2019. In May 2019, GHG opened GHG Library “The Exploration Centre” in its head office. The library contains more than 600 books about professional, business, leadership and other fields. In line with GHG’s strategy to develop a new generation of doctors in Georgia, GHG operates a postgraduate residency programme in a number of fields since 2015. Currently, GHG has 237 talented residents involved in 29 specialities; 14 of them have received a 100% grant and 37 an 80% grant, while 32 residents have obtained student loans. In 2019, 44 residents completed the programme.

Gender Diversity

Georgia Capital is fully committed to provide equal opportunities as an employer and prohibits unlawful and unfair discrimination. We believe that there are great benefits to be gained from having a diverse and varied workforce. Although we do not set specific diversity targets at Georgia Capital level, we seek to ensure that our corporate culture and policies create an inclusive work environment that helps to bring out the best in our employees. Georgia Capital’s Diversity Policy establishes, a commitment to eliminating unlawful and unfair discrimination and values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. The Board embraces diversity in all its forms. Diversity of gender, social and ethnic backgrounds, cognitive and personal strengths and balance in terms of skills, experience, independence and knowledge, amongst other factors, will be taken into consideration when seeking to make any new appointment within the business, whether an employee, client, supplier or contractor. At 31 December 2019, Georgia Capital had a total of 21,446 employees across the Group, of which 14,374 are females and 7,072 are males.

In late 2016, m2 committed itself to incorporate Women Strengthening Principles internally, in the company’s core operations and internal policies, and externally, at the marketplace and in the community. m2 systematised its approach to gender equality and executed specific goals throughout the year. In addition, according to the new administrative law, every agreement concluded in the company is reviewed to ensure none of them are discriminative to women. m2 has an established internal grievance mechanism for employees to file complaints on gender-based discrimination, and also formed special council to discuss issues related to any types of abuse. m2 adopted gender responsive recruitment strategies, it tracked the percentage of women in traditionally male roles in the company and took measures to gradually increase this number without any specific target set as yet. We are supportive of the ambition shown in recent reviews on diversity, including the Davies Review and the Hampton-Alexander Review, and will continue to examine ways in which we can increase female representation at Board and senior management level. While we do not currently employ any formal diversity targets at Board level, the Board will continue to keep this approach under review.

Human Rights Policy

The Human Resources Policy is an integral part of the employee on-boarding package at each business level. It is available for employees and the updates are communicated electronically. The Human Rights Policy is part of the Human Resources Policy and covers the following:

  • equal opportunities and anti-discrimination;
  • work environment free of harassment; and
  • grievance policy.

We recognise the importance of observing human rights and are committed to implementing socially responsible business practices. Our Human Rights Policy establishes priorities and puts control procedures in place to provide equal opportunities and prevent discrimination or harassment on any grounds, including disability. This Policy applies to all employees and includes procedures in relation to employment processes, training and development, procedures on recruitment and on the continuity of employment of employees who become disabled during the course of their employment.

CODE OF ETHICS AND ANTI-BRIBERY POLICIES

The Group has a Code of Ethics, as well as Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy, which are also applicable to the Group companies.

As an organisation that is fully committed to the prevention of bribery and corruption, the Group ensures that appropriate internal controls are in place and operating effectively. Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy enforcement processes include:

  • operating an internal whistleblowing hotline system;
  • disclosure of gifts or other benefits, including hospitality offered to, or received by, the Group’s personnel;
  • voluntary disclosure of corrupt conduct;
  • third-party screening to identify the level of risk third parties might pose;
  • informing the banks/partners/counterparties about anti-corruption and anti-bribery principles before commencement of business relations;
  • ensuring that anti-bribery and anticorruption clauses are incorporated in the agreements with customers and third parties;
  • ensuring that anti-bribery and anticorruption matters are included in contractual agreements with partners/counterparties; and
  • online training programme aiming to raise awareness of corruption and bribery issues among employees.

As part of the Group’s third-party screening to identify the level of risk third parties might pose, the Group carries out the following due diligence processes: indirect investigations, which include general research of the activities undertaken by the proposed business partners, their reputation and information whether the company is a related party. The Compliance Officers represented by the Deputy CEO and the General Counsel have the authority to conduct periodic compliance checks of the operations of the Group.

We are pleased to confirm that there have been no instances of violation of the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy during 2019.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

Ensuring safety of the workplace and providing healthy working conditions are among the Group’s fundamental HR management principles. The Group pays particular attention to preventative measures, such as conducting regular staff training and medical check-ups, certifying workplaces and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Occupational health and safety is critical in the construction business and therefore to enhance the awareness of health and safety risks associated with the construction process, m2 conducts regular training and educational seminars for employees and contractors. In 2019, the number of health and safety training hours amounted to approximately 120. In addition, m2 publishes safety brochures and
booklets and special rules to be followed when working on sites. Respective control procedures include quarterly audits by external health and safety consultants and monthly internal inspections of m2 worksites.