Having a workforce that understands our customers is critical to providing the best shopping experience – our customers should see in Woolworths Group’s people a reflection of themselves. We are building a workforce that supports and encourages diverse perspectives and contributions.
100 per cent of those responsible for hiring new team members to have completed unconscious bias training.
Continue the focus on encouraging cultural diversity, with a commitment that by 2020 the Woolworths Group team will truly reflect the communities we serve.
Employing more than 202,000 people from all walks of life, we strive to be as diverse as the communities we serve. We are building a culture of inclusion and participation, with proportionate representation of women, and people of different cultural and Indigenous groups.
During FY17 we continued to recognise and celebrate our diversity through supporting key cultural events including Harmony Day, NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, International Women’s Day and Wear it Purple Day.
We are working to determine how to effectively capture and map ethnicity data to show that store team members reflect the communities they are serving. This includes at point of recruitment and through internal team engagement surveys. We are currently piloting an approach within one of our brands with a view to leveraging a successful model across the group by FY19.
We are a signatory to the Friendly Nation initiative with the NSW Government. This program is designed to provide employment opportunities for displaced refugees from Syria and Iraq to contribute to successful settlement. A successful program has been run in Western Sydney and in Logan in Queensland. We will continue to work with the Department to provide ongoing support and employment.
Our ambition is to recruit and develop a team that reflects the Australian community. To do this, we will equip our managers and executives with gender, cultural and unconscious bias training. A pilot training program has been completed in FY17 with a view to developing this further for senior leaders and all managers with responsibility for hiring decisions. We are working with external providers to identify a scalable approach for rollout in FY18.
Countdown’s English as a Second Language program is designed to help strengthen English language, numeracy and literacy. The lack of these communication skills is often a significant but hidden problem, and while our people may have a strong work ethic, language can be seen as a barrier to their success. The training focuses on language related tasks which workers with limited English find challenging in their regular work environment. We aim to assist 100 team members per year with their English language learning needs.
Woolworths Group understands the importance of having an engaged workforce and that this is a lead indicator of customer satisfaction. We run two team engagement surveys each year with team members to hear their voice and provide managers an opportunity to respond. In January 2017 we achieved a Voice of Team engagement score of 82% – representing an increase of 5% since the previous survey in June 2016. We are working on further positive initiatives so we can match national and international industry engagement standards.