A crucial factor for the implementation of the Group’s strategy is the contribution from employees, their expertise and commitment. To secure and develop strategic expertise and resources in the long-term is fundamental in order to maintain an efficient and adaptable organization.
A positive and challenging work environment is a prerequisite for high-performing and committed employees. To create the conditions for this, the Group focuses on a number of different areas, for example competency and leadership development, work environment and preventive health care.
The Group’s employees are annually requested to respond to the Volvo Group Attitude Survey (VGAS), which will focus on employee engagement starting in 2011. The response frequency for the most recent survey was 94%. The responses from the survey are discussed in work groups and result in activity plans. VGAS also facilitates comparisons with other global organizations.
Secure strategic competence
The Volvo Group works proactively with three-year rolling competency plans, where strategic competency needs are identified, gaps analyzed and action plans established. This is followed up in the annually recurring processes, President’s review and Talent Review, where succession planning is also secured.
To prepare leaders of today and the future for upcoming assignments, work is in progress to develop a strategy for leader development, including training programs, tools and methods, for leaders at all levels within the organization, according to the Group’s "Leadership Pipeline" concept. This is a structured method that is based on global research and that different competencies are required at various decision levels in the organization. The concept is connected to Volvo Way, the company culture, and strategic goals.
Internal mobility between companies, across national borders and between functions is another way in which to secure competency and succession planning. This also contributes to a more efficient organization by increased experience exchange and diversity. A strategic initiative aimed at increasing internal mobility is in progress.
Leverage diversity through inclusive leadership
Diversity and an inclusive leadership approach have a positive impact on innovation and productivity. The Volvo Group works actively on fostering a corporate culture aimed at capitalizing on the strength in the organization’s diversity, including through leadership training courses.
New numerical values were introduced in 2010: Balanced Team Indicator that measures the quantitative aspect of diversity (nationality, gender, age and experience from the Group’s various companies), and the Inclusiveness Index, which measures the qualitative diversity, meaning how diversity work is perceived by the employees. The results are followed up annually in the President’s Review.
An adaptable organization
The sudden decline in the global market in 2009 resulted in an increased focus on the organization’s ability to adapt. A strategic goal is to secure optimal structure and staffing levels to cope with changing market conditions, but to also support the launch of new technology and be able to execute decisions and implement changes rapidly and efficiently. A Group-wide follow-up process pertaining to flexibility was introduced in 2010.