Our People

Sustainable employability is a shared responsibility

We set great store by good employment practice. We consider it very important that our people feel at home with us and that they are able to work well and enthusiastically in a healthy environment. There is an additional advantage to sustainable employability. 

Over 1259 employees work at Van Geloven, of whom 519 are women and 740 are men. 965 employees have a contract, 271 are flex workers and 23 people work at Van Geloven on a temporary basis. To make sure our people remain sustainably employable, Van Geloven is continually looking for developments that make a positive contribution to this. Since working at our company means a great deal of physical labour, this focus is especially important in connection with health and safety issues. As far as health is concerned, responsibility for this mainly lies with our employees themselves, such as ensuring a balanced diet and enough exercise. It is up to them to keep an eye on their sick leave and take appropriate measures to avoid health problems. But it is up to our company to be alert to this in the workplace itself. Using ergonomic tools and resources, training our employees in lifting and hoisting, engaging a physiotherapist and occupational physician, and implementing an active working conditions policy and a lot of attention for safety will help to prevent symptoms as much as possible. 

Safety comes first

Safety has always been an important theme at Van Geloven. After the takeover by McCain (2016) - producer of deep freeze potato and snack products - safety is the top priority. The fact that we take employees’ safety seriously is also evident from the investment in extra employees (QUESH/SHE). This enables the organisation to work with an even higher standard of health and safety. We have also conducted audits in this area. In the coming years, we will continue to invest in safety, and within a few years we will lead the sector in the area of safety by a wide margin.

Working conditions and sick leave policy

It goes without saying that we devote attention to sick leave management in connection with sustainable employability. At Van Geloven, we have a relatively high percentage of sick leave: this averaged 4.6% at our four locations in 2015. That increased further in 2016 to 6.3%. The Helmond location in particular has a high sick leave percentage of 8.7%. This a result of the high average age of employees, who have been working with us for a long time, as well as the physical nature of the work our employees perform. Our policy focuses on personal contact between employees and their managers, also in the event of long-term illness. Every year, we examine why people report sick, how safe certain situations are, and for example whether the company emergency response and first aid facilities are up to standard. In addition, we regularly go on rounds of the locations in order to check that behaviour and situations are safe. In 2016, 31 industrial accidents of various kinds occurred, most of which were minor accidents, and none of which were fatal. Internal KES (Key Elements of Safety) audits will be held in 2017.

Focus on training

At Van Geloven, we devote considerable attention to secondary working conditions such as training and pension in order to keep our people enthusiastic as well as healthy. We regularly hold personal development interviews in which managers discuss their present and future development with employees. If employees are interested in following a training course, we examine the extent to which the company can play a facilitating role in this. We set up the ‘Social Glue’ project group in order to create greater structure in the training courses available at our four locations. This group discusses Working together, Communicating together, Developing together (training and assessment) and Having fun together. In the past year, Van Geloven worked with all the employees of the strategic group to give insight into their own DISC profiles. The strategic group is a group within Van Geloven made up of the people with final departmental responsibility and key officials. The DISC method shows how we act and respond under certain circumstances. This affects our behaviour, communication, our reaction to tension and stress, and what gives us energy or what conditions cost energy. The purpose of sharing the DISC profiles is to improve mutual communication. Among other things, we started looking at the teams from the standpoint of the DISC profiles. After integration of the companies, cooperation within the teams continues to be a strong focus of our attention.

Pension provision

The aim here is to see which training courses are relevant to each job role. In addition, we like to see that our employees are able to continue working in a good, healthy and most of all enjoyable manner right up to their retirement, and then being able to enjoy their well-earned pension. At Van Geloven, staff pensions are insured at VLEP (Pension Fund for the Meat, Meat Products, Poultry and Convenience Food Sector). This pension fund was set up by employer and employee organisations and is compulsory for the entire sector. Like many other pension funds, it too is having difficulty in achieving a sufficient funding ratio. This was 93.8% at the end of 2016.