Viridian Group is committed to a working environment in which personal and employment rights are upheld; which ensures equality of opportunity for all employees and job applicants; and which enables employees to realise their maximum potential and to be appropriately challenged and fully engaged in the business, with opportunities for skills enhancement and personal development. Viridian Group is recognized as one of the 20 Best Large Employers in Ireland 2013 by the Great Place to Work Institute.
Viridian Group is pro-active in implementing human resource policies and procedures to ensure compliance with fair employment, sex discrimination, equal pay, disability discrimination, race discrimination, sexual orientation and age discrimination legislation. The Group’s equal opportunities policy commits it to providing equality of opportunity for all employees and job applicants and it regularly monitors its actions to promote compliance with legislation and to ensure that it provides equality of opportunity in all its employment practices. Equal opportunity measures and statistics in respect of the relevant businesses are reported formally to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
It is Viridian Group policy to provide people with disabilities equal opportunities for employment, training and career development, having regard to aptitude and ability. Any member of staff who becomes disabled during employment is given assistance and re-training where possible.
Viridian Group operates fair and visible remuneration policies which are externally benchmarked to ensure that employees are paid an appropriate salary for the work they undertake. The Group seeks to align employee interests with those of other key stakeholders through an effective approach to recognition and reward, based on business and individual performance. Various reward schemes are in place including incentive schemes, out of hours schemes, time banking arrangements, bonus schemes and skills progression arrangements.
Learning and Development
Viridian Group aims to align its human resources policies with key business drivers, which include performance and productivity improvement; cost reduction; business growth and innovation; and customer retention. These policies are supported by clearly defined values and behaviours, a robust performance management process, a strong commitment to employee and management development and organisational competence built upon appropriate capabilities and skills. To ensure a highly skilled, multi disciplined workforce, a multi skilled approach has been taken to vocational training schemes. Learning and development needs are identified through the Performance and Development Review process, which gives each employee the opportunity to shape their own development and career plan.
There are formal employee complaints and grievance procedures and Viridian has a wide range of family-friendly working arrangements including enhanced maternity and paternity provisions, adoption, parental and dependant leave, a child care scheme, career breaks, job sharing and flexible working hours.
Health and Wellbeing
Viridian Group operates a Wellbeing Programme which includes an employee Wellbeing committee, flu vaccines, employee health checks, and smoking cessation clinics. External occupational health and counselling services are available for employees as additional support. The Group recognises that Well Being extends beyond physical health and also offers the family-friendly and flexible approaches outlined above, a subsidised Social Club and employee committees to organise workplace events. Each business selects a charity each year based on employee nominations, with an employee committee and series of events to help raise funds. A series of Money Advice workshops for employees was introduced as a new feature in 2013.
Engagement and Communication
Viridian Group places significant emphasis on engagement and communication. Employee communications occur through team briefings, communication and involvement groups, project groups, electronic communications and through interaction, consultation and negotiation with trade unions. Employee relations in all businesses are positive and constructive. There is a well established arrangement for consultation and involvement throughout the Group and for negotiation with the relevant Trade Union in Power NI.
An annual employee survey is carried out and the results shared with employees, who play a key role in shaping and delivering action plans for improvement. The 2012 survey was carried out in partnership with the Great Place to Work Institute. The results were very positive, with the survey findings showing a high level of employee trust and engagement. Great Place to Work also evaluated the Group’s culture and policies against best practice in areas like hiring, communication, employee involvement, reward & recognition, learning & development, health & wellbeing, worklife balance and CSR. The combined results led to the award of Great Place to Work status, with the Group ranking in the top 20 Best Large Employers in Ireland 2013.
Viridian engages with relevant external organisations including the CBI Employment Affairs Committee, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, the Labour Relations Agency and the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation.
The Group also maintains links with education, in particular with local Universities. Approximately 10-12 student placements are offered each academic year across a range of functions and departments.