Our people bring Action to life every day. As Action continues to grow, we continue to offer jobs to people of every age, educational level and background. Every store or distribution centre we open creates new jobs. The activities and motivation of our colleagues also depend on the inspiration we provide them. At Action, we really care about our employees and we celebrate diversity. Our workforce represents the diversity of our customers in terms of cultural background, gender and age. No less than 129 nationalities work at Action – in our stores, our distribution centres and our country offices in all seven countries we are active in. We help our employees to grow through training and development programs. We provide them with promotion opportunities whenever we can. One of these trainings is ‘aggression and violence in the store’, which is offered to all Action employees. This training teaches them how to deal with aggressive customers and it makes our employees more confident at work in unexpected situations, but also in their private lives.
Recent results and activities
In 2018, Action hired more than 5,000 new employees, taking the total number of employees to 46,000 by the end of the year.
At our Action Academy, we offer our employees the opportunity to take training courses in different fields and for different purposes. From work safety and systems trainings to leadership training. In 2018, we recorded almost 24,500 participants across our various courses. More than 40% of these courses were dedicated to developing our employees’ soft skills. These include leadership and communication seminars and workshops, in which employees learn how to prevent aggression and violence. Safety training courses, including first aid and firefighting, accounted for around 20% of the courses.
Training programmes for young talents
In addition to the development of our employees, we consider it at least as important to invest in future generations of retail talents. This is why we offer students the opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of an international organisation via internships. In Germany and the Netherlands, we took this a step further: we worked on educational programmes for school graduates and formed strong partnerships to provide the best foundation for future career development.
Back in 2017, we started the first vocational educational programme in Germany that offers young people the opportunity to earn qualifications as a retail salesman or a business administrator in retail. In 2018, more than 80 young people participated in those programmes. In the Netherlands we partnered with SBB (Stichting Samenwerking Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven = Foundation for Cooperation, Vocational Education and Business), the official consulting institution for vocational education. As a result, Action now offers students and school graduates in the Netherlands the opportunity to obtain a diploma as first salesman or retail manager. Six classes started in 2018 with more than 80 participants.
Action Scholarship Fund
Last year was also the first active year of our scholarship fund for the children of our employees. The Action Scholarship Fund was founded in 2017 and aims to help our employees to pay for the education of their children if they cannot afford to finance this themselves. In 2018 the children of five employees qualified for the sponsorship and received financial support. This support enabled them to start their education in Accountancy, Foreign languages, Agriculture, Construction and Aviation. This is a good start and we are looking forward to supporting even more children in the future. We believe in making personal development possible for everyone.
Regular employee satisfaction survey
To measure our employee satisfaction and evaluate the levels of engagement across the organisation, we conduct a survey among our employees: the “Voice of Action”. We follow up on the results in each part of the business, drawing up action plans to focus on continuous improvement of engagement and satisfaction levels. The last survey was conducted in 2017 and 92% of the employees participated. The overall satisfaction score was well above European retail average.