Rooted in the principles of universal human rights, Rexel's HR policy recognizes the value of human capital and career development for all of its employees. These two pillars are also key drivers of the Group's sustainable performance and are based on skills development, workplace safety and wellbeing, social dialogue, equal opportunity, inclusion and diversity.
06. MOTIVATED TEAMS THAT MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
A decentralized organization
Rexel’s human resources policies rely on decentralized management. Through close contact with the field and with local specifics, this organization increases flexibility, employee autonomy and agility in decision-making. It helps to create balance between the roadmap established by the Group’s human resources department and its deployment by the HR teams in Rexel’s various countries of operation, which benefit simultaneously from the expertise of the Group’s central functions.
To strengthen the performance of these policies and measure their effectiveness, Rexel has implemented several programs including an online training platform (Rexel Academy), an information system dedicated to human resources (SuccessFactors), a digital job board, performance management and recognition tools and regular surveys, which measure employee engagement in particular.
In 2020, Rexel’s human resources policies were modified in response to the health context of the Covid-19 pandemic: development of specific communication rituals, increased digitization of HR tools and processes and adaptation of working methods, especially remote working.
“Rexel's 24,000 employees play a key role in the company's success. They strive each and every day to meet customer expectations. They embody the Group's strategic vision and bring its digital transformation to life.”
Over 24,000employees, including 14,500 in Europe, 7,000 in North America and 2,500 in Asia Pacific.
Attracting and retaining talent
Rexel’s capacity to identify candidates whose skills are in accordance with the Group’s strategic priorities is essential and requires active talent management. The Group constantly reviews and improves its organization and its processes in order to anticipate tomorrow’s needs.
To support the transformation of its business, Rexel relies in particular on its Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and on an ambitious recruitment and communication strategy designed to strengthen its attractiveness.
The promises of the EVP embody collective energy and permeate all of Rexel’s RH policies and commitments. Each subsidiary applies them at the local level.
87%Employee engagement rate, with 90% of employees feeling proud to work for their company (Pulse Survey, June 2021).
Quality of working life, a lever for employee engagement
Employee engagement is a priority for Rexel. Many initiatives have been implemented locally and Group-wide with the goal of balancing workplace wellbeing with employee performance, such as the right to disconnect, promotion of physical fitness and stress management. Within the unique context of the health crisis, especially with respect to remote working, particular attention has been paid to psychosocial risks and maintaining contact with employees while strengthening management and communication rituals.
In Australia for example, training programs designed to fight anxiety and depression have been offered to employees. In France, a psychological support hotline has been set up for headquarter employees. In Belgium, information on work-related stress is frequently shared. In the UK, an application has been provided for all employees to share advice about better day-to-day management.
Rexel's 6 values
Rexel support its customers, across the globe, to optimize the performance of their activities by offering efficient, innovative, and sustainable electrical solutions. To carry out this mission, Rexel employees rely on a shared identity, built around six key values.
DELIVER THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
JOIN FORCES FOR SUCCESS
ENJOY MAKING A DIFFERENCE
ENGAGE PEOPLE TO DEVELOP
TRUST EACH OTHER
3 questions for Laurence Galand, VP People Engagement & Group Headquarters Human Resources Director
Team spirit lies at the heart of Rexel's DNA...
In order to go faster and further, the Group places great value on the power of teamwork. This enables every employee to surpass themselves. Managers have a key role to play in instilling this collective mindset. It requires not only an awareness of individual responsibility and significant employee autonomy, but also a culture of regular feedback. At Rexel, we are convinced that everyone can have a real impact. It's part of our DNA. The success of this approach depends on trust, in ourselves of course, but especially in each other. To meet the challenges of tomorrow, collaborative momentum will make all the difference; I am sure of it.
In this pandemic period, do Rexel's core values provide direction for the Group?
The Group's six values help to create a common language, strong cohesion around a strong identity. They define the way we work, our approach in our jobs. They are completed by our Employee Value Proposition, which is made up of five promises: “think ahead”, “work with a great team”, “make a personal impact”, “learn from the best” and “earn the career you want”. These five promises drive employee engagement. They embody the collective energy that propels Rexel forward. From them, the Group draws its singularity, which also comes to life in every country where Rexel operates. Diversity in all its forms is also a priority. Beyond its societal importance, diversity is a lever for employee performance, pride and wellbeing. We are continuing our efforts to make our commitments tangible. Our processes and our objectives are thus moving toward more diversity and inclusion on a daily basis.
How will Rexel meet tomorrow's challenges?
We are fortunate to be in one of tomorrow's key sectors: energy. Faced with climate change and the acceleration of the energy transition, this is a real advantage. We have another advantage as well: our employees are autonomous and true participants in Rexel's transformation. The collective bond, the strength of sharing, clear objectives, challenges to be met: this is what drives our organization, what provides the energy it needs to improve its performance. And Rexel has plenty of it.
Promoting workplace health and safety
A responsible, effective and coherent safety policy has been in place since 2015 throughout the Group’s countries. In order to strengthen responsible practices and culture, the Group frequently expands and completes standing procedures and rules in order to promote a common framework for all of its entities.
To create a common safety language, Rexel has implemented safety standards that make it possible to establish a comprehensive approach and promote safe and responsible practices and behaviors. The standards focus on the main risks to which Rexel is exposed by virtue of its activity and are the subject of employee awareness-raising campaigns.
In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group’s subsidiaries adopted a series of measures known as “Zero Covid at Rexel”, whose aim was the systematic protection of employees, customers and to a broader extent all of Rexel’s partners. These measures focus in particular on compliance with social distancing measures, providing personal protective equipment and adopting the right behaviors in general.
Drawing on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group has updated its standards, including psychosocial risks in particular.
Furthermore, other initiatives in the area of workplace health and safety have continued. Certain countries have been committed to obtaining the ISO 45001 workplace health and safety certification. For example, the subsidiaries in Finland, the UK, Austria and Spain have implemented this health and safety risk management method.
Rexel is currently deploying a Health/Safety campaign based on the notion of the “near miss”. It focuses on real life situations in which an accident was avoided thanks to good employee reflexes and/or an alert being given in time. This Group-wide campaign aims to raise team awareness of the reflexes to adopt in order to avoid an accident, and to remind everyone of the safety rules to apply at work every day.
Social dialogue concerns Rexel’s strategic evolution, its activities and its policy in terms of employment, training, hygiene and safety. The Group promotes social dialogue and guarantees the principles of free expression and union representation, notably via its Ethics Guide, which has been shared with all of its employees. For example, 14,231 employees were represented by the European Works Council as of December 31, 2020.
93.6%of employees trained (254,406 hours of training) in 2020.90%of employees trained in business ethics by the end of 2020.
Strengthening employee employability
The women and men of Rexel have developed very specific skills, especially in order to provide a differentiating customer experience. This expertise is enriched by regularly acquiring and refreshing their skills, which requires the development of a culture of knowledge and experience sharing as well as a personalized training program provided by the Group.
Rexel relies heavily on its online training platform, the Rexel Academy, available in 24 countries. This platform offers various programs to develop professional and product competencies, foster personal development and, ultimately, employee employability. In 2020, more than 810 new modules were deployed, especially via e-learning.
The training programs are commensurate with the job level, competencies required, career/growth perspectives, local requirements and personal and collective goals. Certain modules are designed by specialists — category managers or pricing experts for example — in order to better meet the needs of trainees. A special commitment has been made to provide business ethics training for employees who are the most exposed, whether that means fighting corruption, respecting the rules of competition law or personal data protection. Finally, with energy transition at the heart of its growth strategy, Rexel plans to soon offer training for all of its employees in this area.
“In order to retain key talents, the Group has strengthened its leadership training programs, thanks in particular to the Group Advanced Leadership program. Over the course of a nine-month cycle, using a system of blended learning, this program combines in-person training and e-learning. It is completed by external coaching and professional development sessions.”
1stRexel is recognized as a 2022 Diversity Leader and takes first place in the wholesale trade sector in a study conducted by the Financial Times and the Statista Institute on diversity and inclusion within companies.27%of women have been included in the Group Advanced Leadership program since its launch in 2018. This program is designed to provide employees with the tools and keys for success in order to build their visibility and their leadership.
Diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity
Diversity is a societal issue as well as a lever for improving performance. Rexel has been committed for the past several years to ensuring equal treatment of men and women in comparable situations and in every area: recruitment, salary, career, training, etc.
In 2019, Rexel France and the Group’s headquarters made commitments through male-female professional equality agreements, which are still in place or have recently been renewed. These agreements provide concrete measures designed to increase the proportion of female employees, to facilitate the advancement of their professional careers, to favor their access to management roles, to strengthen awareness of diversity topics, inclusion and parenthood and to take this factor into consideration so as to correct any possible unbalance in salary and to plan for the adapted conditions necessary in case of pregnancy. Professional diversity is encouraged during the recruitment process as well as during career guidance for young people.
According to the criteria of the French “Professional future and gender pay equality” law, the Group’s headquarters and its French subsidiary obtained the respective scores of 90 and 89 out of 100 on the gender quality index in 2020.
The index is evaluated according to 4 or 5 of the following criteria:
-the wage gap between women and men
-the gap in individual pay increases
-the gap in promotions (only for companies of over 250 employees)
-the number of employees given a raise upon their return from maternity leave
-gender parity in the 10 highest salaries
Furthermore, over 50 female employees of Rexel France are involved in the activities of the association Capital Filles, whose mission is to strengthen the autonomy and confidence of young women from priority neighborhoods in rural zones, and to accompany them in their choice of career and discovery of the workplace. In 2021, Rexel’s headquarters also joined this initiative.
Rexel’s Board of Directors, which has been equally balanced in terms of gender since 2020, has set diversity and inclusion goals. For example, Rexel has committed to reaching 30% women among its Senior Executives in 2025 (19% in 2020).
Wire: connecting, inspiring and empowering
A major initiative within the Group, the Wire network (for “Women in Rexel”) aims to promote diversity and facilitate the inclusion of women in the company. The first Wire community was created by the Group’s American subsidiary. The second annual session of Women in Rexel was held remotely in September 2020, with more than 1,000 participants. This conference caught the interest of various regional entities, which have begun to organize their own groups.
This initiative has been added to the objectives of “Wire for Leaders”, Rexel’s global program aimed at female leaders in the Group’s various entities. It is composed of women who are part of local management teams or have an influential role in the subsidiaries. “Wire for Leaders” organizes opportunities for interaction and inspiration through initiatives implemented in other companies. For example, on July 7, 2021, the group welcomed Gérald Karsenti, Chairman of SAP France, the French subsidiary of the German business software giant, who shared his thoughts on diversity and its impact on company performance.
Recently, Anne Mottet, Livestock Development Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations participated in Wire meetings during which she presented her vision of leadership and diversity and inclusion challenges within organizations.