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 investments.
The Group has in place a Code of Ethics, as well as policies which relate to environmental matters, employees, social matters, our respect for human rights and anti-corruption and bribery.
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;
- retrenchment; and
We are committed to employee engagement. We believe that effective communication is key and we strive to provide our employees with a continuous flow of information, which includes information about 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 town hall and 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 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.
Sustained development of the Group’s businesses requires the strengthening of the teams of our businesses 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 2018, an intern from Stanford University spent one month working on different investment projects at the Georgia Capital office in Tbilisi. Interns are directly coached by the Company executives and middle managers to help them on their path to gaining their first management position. In 2018 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 2017 were promoted to managerial positions Group-wide.
In 2018, GHG’s human resources department organised job fairs for students in leading medical universities and nursing colleges in Tbilisi and other regions. GHG has memoranda of understanding with various nursing colleges and universities. In 2018, GHG’s EVEX Learning Centre conducted 140-hour six-month free nursing courses and 165 candidates who earned the passing score were offered jobs at GHG’s healthcare facilities. In 2018, GHG continued its special partnership with “Panatsea”, the biggest nursing college in Tbilisi. GHG offers the college its medical facilities for their students’ pre-graduation training.
In September 2018, GHG signed an exclusive partnership agreement with the pharmacy college “Orientiri”. GHG offers grants to its employees who have little or no pharmaceutical education. After two years of college, they can graduate with a pharmacy degree and start a career in one of GHG pharmacies. GHG finances 50% of the total tuition fee. 14 participants are already enrolled and are expected to graduate in 2020. The main goal of the project is to address the shortage of pharmacists and increase the number of staff qualified for this position.
Leadership Programme is one of the pillars of GHG Human Capital Strategy. The Programme is designed for 200 middle level managers to further develop and improve their managerial and leadership skills. 125 managers have already undergone five-month 180-hour General Management Course in 2017 and 2018. Further 75 employees will take the course in 2019. GHG balances gender composition in their Leadership Programme where 59% of the participants are female and 41% are male. GHG has also developed a Personal Development Programme, which further builds leadership competencies through effective performance feedback and coaching sessions. In 2018, 65 middle managers used the 360-degree feedback tool, developed their personal plan and 30 of them also took part in individual coaching sessions.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
To manage our employees in a way that best supports our business strategy, 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 2018, Georgia Capital started the Personal Mastery and Leadership Programme and coaching for its employees at all levels. The Programme provides an individual approach towards developing leadership skills. Employees involved in the Programme gained a greater 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 stories in the company and explain their values and approaches. 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 in order to maximise the performance of the staff. During the last two years, up to 15 retail sales agents were promoted to a head of sales position.
During the current year GGU has implemented a 360-degree assessment for the entire management, 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 35 employees.
GGU concentrates on staff development as one of the key pillars for sustainable growth of the business. In 2018, GGU carried out an internal project called “The Future Engineer”. More than 300 employees had the opportunity to work on and introduce technological solutions to real challenges that the Company is facing in the fields of water supply and sewerage systems.
In 2018, GGU published the Company’s engineering manual – Construction and Exploitation of Water Pipes and Sewage Systems. The aim of this manual is to increase the qualification level of the Company’s employees and to standardise the processes.
GHG offers continuous medical education through EVEX Learning Centre. Apart from modern training methods, the Centre offers up-to-date equipment, auditoria, computer labs and other facilities that conform to the highest international standards. In 2018, the Centre trained a total of 1,170 nurses, 1,669 physicians and 1,529 back office employees.
In 2018, GHG’s healthcare services business spent about GEL 3 million on training and development. Most of the expenditures went towards training nurses, physicians and pharmacists.
Professional development of GHG’s pharmacy and distribution business employees is led by the GEPHA Training Centre trainers. In 2018, the GEPHA Training Centre trained a total of 4,500 participants.
To encourage continuing professional development, GHG’s medical insurance business has also launched its own Imedi L Academy, offering specialised vocational training programmes and courses to its employees. Imedi L Academy delivered training to 1,000 participants in 2018.
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 that commitment to the elimination of 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 2018, Georgia Capital had a total of 20,000 employees across the Group, out of which female employees were 13,714.
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. The Company systematised its approach to gender equality and executed specific goals throughout 2017 and 2018. m2 has established internal grievance mechanism for employees to file complaints on genderbased discrimination, 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 yet. For example, construction team internships were completed by women for the first time in m2 history.
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 and Human Rights Policies are 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 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. Our Human Rights Policy applies to all employees and includes procedures in relation to employment processes (including recruitment procedures and procedures governing the continuity of employment of employees who become disabled during the course of their employment), training and development.
CODE OF ETHICS AND ANTI-BRIBERY POLICIES
The Group has a Code of Ethics, as well as Anti-Bribery 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 and 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 the third parties might pose, the Group carries out the following due diligence processes: indirect investigations which includes 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 Deputy CEO, Legal 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 antibribery policy during 2018.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
Ensuring the safety of the workplace and providing healthy working conditions are among the Group’s fundamental HR management principles. The Group pays particular attention to preventive measures, such as conducting regular staff training and medical check-ups, certifying workplaces and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Occupational health and safety is the most critical in the construction business and therefore to enhance the awareness of health and safety risks associated with the construction process, m2 conducts regular employees and contractors training and educational seminars. In 2017 and 2018, the number of health and safety training hours amounted to approximately 86 and 20, respectively. 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. In addition, m2 has a comprehensive reporting procedure for health and safety concerns. m2 follows an Emergency Management Plan to prepare and respond to procedures. The plan outlines possible scenarios during emergency situations and determines specific procedures for the Company’s employees, contractors and visitors on how to react when in a crisis situation. Furthermore, m2 in partnership with NGOs is implementing fire prevention campaigns in schools, as well as a fire risk reduction campaigns in residential complexes.