Logistics organisation Europa has several organisational values that it believes are central to the way in which it treats employees, and what it expects in return. These include key principles such as driving out complexity, acting reasonably, creating a family spirit, and allowing people to ask so-called ‘dumb’ questions.
The values had already been in place for a number of years but were relaunched this year. The HR team has been central to this, rewriting every job description in the organisation to include relevant values, and communicating these to employees, which then form a part of regular staff appraisals.
Elaine Robertson, head of human resources at Europa, says: “The job description is given to the individual before their annual appraisal, and we’re doing 1,100 staff between now and the end of June.
“The appraisal will reinforce the values that we’ve given to them in the job description and make them accountable for them, but they will also see that we’re doing it from the top down.”
As well the appraisal itself, there will be other regular meetings with HR business partners and managers to assess whether individuals are on track and what they need to do more. “That could be more supportive training, coaching, mentoring, or redirection and refocus,” Robertson says.
The project is already starting to change the culture, adds Robertson. “There’s now an enhancement of the family spirit that there always was in Europa, and people are taking ownership of their own journey,” she says.
“When I came to the business, we weren’t quite walking the walk. But we are now on that journey, and delivering those values to all of our staff.”
As well as communicating the organisational values, Europa has been building up its employee benefits offering, which now includes measures such as the ability to buy or sell annual leave, a new health and wellbeing policy, and videos from directors to staff to thank them for their help during the pandemic.