HR Grapevine interviews Volvo Car UK's Managing Director, Nick Connor

HR Grapevine interviews Volvo Car UK's Managing Director, Nick Connor

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Calum Di Lieto from HR Grapevine magazine interviews Nick Connor, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK Ltd.

They discuss driving employee engagement with a caring culture.

@HRGrapevine – Twitter

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hello my name is calendar yet i'm here with HR grapevine and we're about to enter unique Connor the managing director of Volvo my UK okay well firstly thank you for taking time out to be with us pleasure as we all know Volvo's are very very safe the renowned for being very safe cause but how as your emphasis on safety and how does that translate into your employee welfare all right well safety is of the colbert think that volvo doesn't are our founding principal actor 1926 so everything we do is it's designed around people and that's a starting point for us so that's that assess where we start for everything we do is it's designed to make people I'll take care of people and to provide the safest possible working environment and conditions forward we have a reputation that was built on safety lock in our cars in our factories in our working environment too and because volvo cars are also safe what do you do to ensure that your employees are driving driving these cars i guess and not less safe absolutely well were always very happy to see our employees driving our cars we have what's called an employee car ownership scheme which basically means that we provide cars to our employees on favorable terms they buy them through our apartment finance company and it extends both to employees and they were meet your families we also have privileged purchase terms for the wider wider family to as many people as possible to work for us in their families convert my production as you can see from our car park it's it's pretty much fuller bubba boys i'm pleased to say there aren't very many people who choose to drive any other product i'm a senior are evolving I broke over my wife drives a Volvo my father drive the ball but my sister drives a Volvo so yeah it's it's a very valuable benefit for two employees to have access to such a wide range of cars and I think we are real unusual even amongst car manufacturers in the extent to which we offer about cars to to our employees and their fam and basically people have pretty much free access to Carlton in the range we do put limitations on the ancient size particularly for younger drivers to make sure young people on climbing inappropriately powerful cards but beyond that turning on a 25 year old car driver and a largest car the xc90 or they can choose to drive the v40 which is our safest car and how if you family that's increased employee engagement I think it makes it makes a huge difference because when people try the product they understand it they understand the ethos behind company that has done quality of the product and if they're always use with cars often they come to life first with four employees you feed that back into the organization so we can make we can make my better for customers world by pre-empting pre-empting issues with customer cars I think you're just by that access to the product people get very excited by it we do a lot of staff training sessions around the product we teach them the technical side we have a corset specifically looked at technical trainings and more technical people so we give them a bit of background behind the cars and I think it just it just creates a sense of ownership and a sense of belonging the plant and the product which you don't get if if you don't engage with it on a daily basis and it's interesting so there the program that teaches technical knowledge is there a lot buying from that yeah I mean we virtually all employable go on that course during their time here arm is particularly important to people who are engaged with customers or customer service team it's part of their induction program but it's available to all staff here and we we encourage everyone to do that we also have mandatory driver training whether them to the staff and we also extend it out optional basis to members of their family have access to our cars as well and that's very much designed around accident avoidance what to do is look if the worst happens how to reduce the effect of an impact and we see significant reduction in of accident claims that we've had as a result of that training and as a result of the improved safety passive and active of a product and pinner as well as safety and I noticed the your corporate social responsibility is very strong we work with organizations such as the WWF in Australia there are spare yeah I this is being part and parcel of our strategic approach for decades is nothing absolutely nothing useful it goes back to 1920 60 founding fathers talked about safety being our family principle and looking after people so there's nothing nothing new in that for which we support a wide range of charitable organizations we support a lot of sporting initiatives particularly young people with a sponsor of the royal yachting association and bid on young people introducing people to sport saying all sorts of things so there's a there's a lot that we did both here and globally we respond sort of the Swedish askim Association promoting the clean inside and out message of our cars that it's not just about people inside but it's about people outside the colors were protecting their safety so we do a lot we do a lot of a lot of this stuff our factory to amongst pleased in the world we will include paint plants anywhere in the world we use very little water in our production in the lowest consumption of water of any color manufacturer I would put her car basis so we don't have a very full range of things on the CSR so and why are those CSR initiatives one able it wasn't for your employees I think because they they reflect on our band positioning they reflect you know who we are as a band what what we stand for plenty of statistical evidence that says they're having a having a good csr approach helps drive profitability but that's not fundamentally why we do it we fundamentally believe that we are a different car company or not like other manufacturers it's not just bottom line it is about protecting people it is about helping people leave in three lives and better lives so I think our employees really get that message and they engage with it I mean it's reflecting the fact that we have such low staff turnover both here and globally in fact it is a less than three percent globally and we're below two percent in the UK at the moment so people people come here thinking they're attracted by the ground they're attracted by the position that we have we don't attract a lot of people from other car manufacturers I think we attract people from different industries who come to us who are who are basically pulled in by the appeal at Warwick stands for they mechanize was doing doing things slightly differently from other car companies when they get here and you know they stay for very long periods of time and we have we have a lot of people in this organization going on periods of service in thirteen thirty years not uncommon and if it would come and they like culture I think I like the way we treat people were very move a flat organisation with early without fair with people I would say with the most generous employer in the world but we do look after people that we will that's that's more keeps people and and I guess finally and you know this is the present in yer also to pass code what's in the future for the ball grammys people well we've got a lot of exciting new products coming through a legate that at motivated people people who tend to work in this industry are excited by I cars so showing the new product to early on maybe we take generally take them to Sweden we shall what's in the pipeline for the next few years to keep them motivated so that they don't know what the future holds for you

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