The directors of the group are responsible for relationships with our suppliers. Our way of working can be summarised in a few simple principles:
• We work with a medium or long term vision.
• We are transparent with our suppliers, and tell them clearly what we expect of them.
• Price is not the only criterion of supplier selection.
• We pay close attention to their long-term existence, the quality of the products and services they propose, their transparency, commercial policies and reactivity. We visit production sites ourselves which allows us to check that our suppliers’ employees are well treated.
The future value of the group is in the hands of the management and their people in each of the subsidiaries.
No director, manager or supervisor is alone in Thermador Groupe. Each can exchange with his or her peers within inter-subsidiary workgroups. This is particularly true in the area of human resources, and the sharing of good practices seems to us a very effective method to help everyone grow and ensure overall cohesion.
Sharing good practices in the HR field
However, there is no HR group. Within each of the group’s companies, each subsidiary CEO and each local manager must assume full responsibility for their teams.
It all starts with recruitment, a complex art that we approach with humility and simplicity. Our conclusion is that collegial decisions seem the most reliable.
The induction of new people within the subsidiaries requires structured training and time. We think that it takes a new employee one year to acquire minimum independence and efﬁciency. This explains why it is impossible to suddenly adjust staff structure to changes in the marketplace. We need to anticipate and act with conﬁdence.
Throughout people’s careers, we try to allow everybody to develop their talents according to their own merits and capabilities. We cultivate virtues of exemplarity, transparency, respect and a fair share of proﬁts from our work.
The choice of proximity with our employees
Our management teams are clearly responsible for the quality of the labour relations in our companies, and we promote care, conviviality, simplicity and serenity. To this end, our minimalist organisational structure, limited to four hierarchical levels, promotes proximity between managers and all employees of the group.
Very short reporting chains
However, this proximity is no longer sufﬁcient to gather all ideas, comments, suggestions and sources of discontentment from the men and women who work in each of our subsidiaries. It is for this reason that in 2017 we decided to send them a questionnaire entitled ‘Employee survey on the quality of life at work’. They obviously bought into this new form of expression, given that the response rate was 94%!
This we think helps us to gather behind us staff who are implicated, conﬁdent, efﬁcient and generally loyal.
When a departure seems inevitable, we attempt to be as fair and digniﬁed as possible, and to maintain good relations with those who leave us.
Focus on exemplary behaviour and transparency
All this allows us to be very demanding at every level of the company, and indeed requires us to be so for the beneﬁt of the group.
With the acquisition of 8 companies and one business since 2015, we now face the challenge of opening up to other corporate cultures whilst progressively disseminating our key values. Those values must continue over time and represent the cornerstone of our group.
Fundamental training and continuous training allow people to adapt more quickly to the world in which they live and to company changes and operations; the company is the ﬁrst to beneﬁt from the practical use of knowledge, know-how and behaviour. Thus, promoting training to upskill the company’s employees is a key factor of long-term success (adaptation, competitiveness, efﬁcacy, etc.).
Our "training budget" represented in 2019 2.67% of the payroll.
Seminars for the sales team, training for local managers, personal development courses, language training, safety training… we regularly call on outside agencies to maintain and develop the levels of our teams.
We have a huge pool of knowledge internally about our professions, which is passed on by our experts to new arrivals. This is done via chalk-and-talk, practical work, accompaniment, and bespoke written formats.
Inter-subsidiary training sessions are also held, particularly for teams working in export.
Finally, Jetly, Sferaco and Thermador have developed training modules for customers in dedicated training rooms, and are ofﬁcially recognised as a training organisation.
The annual review is a precious moment of exchange to identify expectations in terms of training and upskilling. 87% of employees were able to spend time with their direct supervisor during an annual assessment. This generally takes place during the ﬁrst quarter. We do not require managers to ﬁll in standard forms or follow a formalised method.
We allow them to manage their teams according to their appreciations and note that some of them prefer permanent dialogue rather than a formal annual interview. Furthermore, and in compliance with the law, all employees were able to express themselves during a professional interview in the course of the last three years.
Our directors and managers are constantly attentive to their teams’ feedback to improve working conditions. Most of the ofﬁces in our subsidiaries are now equipped with acoustic ceilings. We are looking to combine the advantages of open ofﬁces, which promote good communication between people, and of controlled sound levels so that everybody can concentrate on their work. A large proportion of our ofﬁce-based sales staff ofﬁces, where they take telephone calls from our customers, are also equipped with acoustic partitions.
On a permanent basis, each warehouse manager is accredited to take immediate decisions to guarantee the safety of teams working in the warehouse. In our profession, it is undoubtedly here that we run the greatest risks of accidents. We pay particular attention to the strict respect of instructions, to ﬂooring quality to limit noise, vibration and dust, to cleanliness, to the condition of fork lift trucks, and to lighting levels inside the warehouses. This results in practical decisions such as:
• choosing LED technology lighting in 5 warehouses representing 48% of warehouse space.
• handling equipment with lifting platforms selected to allow our warehousemen/order-preparers to access high picking racks in total safely,
• equipping our elevated handling equipment with cameras,
• training all our logistics teams in safe driving and gestures and postures.
With the publication of 6 new arduous working risk factors on July 1, 2016, we have conducted arduous working studies covering each logistics team task. Repetitive movements have been analysed internally by our teams, using the services in certain cases of the medical services’ ergonomics expert. Hence the investments mentioned in the 2016 annual report.
In 2017 each subsidiary took the initiative to submit a questionnaire entitled “Employee survey on the quality of life at work”. They obviously bought into this new form of expression, given that the response rate was 94%! The exercise was carried out by an inter-subsidiary steering committee and a specialised agency (Optim Resources) and guarantees the anonymity of participants.
In total transparency, the results of the employee survey were presented at a general meeting in our subsidiaries. Workgroups were set up to tackle the progress points raised during the survey and to draw up an action plan per subsidiary.
Our subsidiaries FGinox and Sodeco Valves also carried out employee surveys in 2018.
We are planning to repeat this exercise every three years so as to measure the impact of decisions taken.
In response to employee requests, the subsidiaries have introduced more initiatives to allow them to wind down during breaks; relaxation rooms, table football, table tennis, boule strips, qi gong, Pilates, body balance and yoga, picnic areas, the loan of sun loungers, etc.
Our subsidiary Jetly has a sports hall open to all Saint-Quentin-Fallavier subsidiaries. A coach is on hand to provide lessons, and 64 employees are already registered.
A FESTIVE, SPORTY VIBE
On Sunday, October 6, 2019, 82 people joined the Run in Lyon wearing Thermador Groupe colours. With 3 marathons, 28 semi-marathons and 51 10k runners, the second edition of Run in Lyon organised by construction market subsidiaries took place in perfect weather conditions with a festive, sporty vibe, bringing together employees, suppliers and customers.
As Guy Vincent wrote in an editorial of our “in-house gazette”, “You have the right and the duty to know and understand the policy, objectives and strategy of the subsidiary you work for, and more generally, that of the whole of Thermador Groupe.”
The integration of new recruits is facilitated by an induction booklet describing the major milestones in the history and organisation of the group, and all practical details as to working times, inter-company canteen, transport, etc.
Six or seven times a year, the gazette informs employees (and their families) of family events: weddings, births, deaths, and addressing general topics such as works doctor, policy concerning shareholders, changes to the company Savings Plan (PEE)...
INFORMATION DOCUMENTS DESIGNED FOR SHAREHOLDERS
Annual report, letters to shareholders, are given to all members of staff.
Fourteen of our subsidiaries employ over eleven people, and three of them employ over ﬁfty. Within these subsidiaries, eight employees hold staff representative positions. Within each subsidiary, a monthly information and dialogue meeting takes place bringing together all personnel.
The management team presents and comments on the current situation: turnover, margin, costs and results, and answers employees’ questions. If turnover is down, sales people are called in; if there is stock-out, the purchasing department is questioned; if costs increase, we look for and analyse the reasons why; if proﬁts are down, everyone will be thinking about their end-of-year bonuses…
In the bigger subsidiaries, departmental meetings are also held to allow people to have their say. Experience tells us that it is difﬁcult for some people to express themselves in big groups. The role of managers and supervisors is crucial in this respect, in ensuring that questions and remarks are brought to the surface to provide collective answers.
Our ﬂat organisation charts promote good circulation of information. The key is dialogue and transparency.
In April 2016, the Annual General Meeting appointed an employee to the Board upon a suggestion from the Board of Directors.
From being just 178 employees on a single site in 2004, Thermador Groupe now employs almost 600 people dotted around 9 sites. This new scale implies using new internal communications tools.
Our collaborative platform has been live since September 2019 for all Saint-Quentin-Fallavier employees and for FGinox, Mecafer/Domac and Sodeco. The employee directory offers new functionalities such as contact details and photo updating and employee search functions.
Respect for the private lives of our employees
They are invited to respect working times and not go beyond them. For those who are paid by the day, we check that they do not exceed the working time authorised by law and that they do not misuse remote connections.
Our office-based teams comply with the working patterns of their customers who contact them during office hours by telephone, fax and email for advice, deadlines, price proposals, equipment choices, after-sales service and orders. Our logistics team starts very early in the morning to prepare the early pickups for our transport partners. Working time is fixed at 37 hours per week in Saint-QuentinFallavier and 39 hours a week in Valence, i.e. within the framework of the 35-hour week law, 2 or 4 hours a week are considered as overtime.
The number of overtime hours worked in 2018 in the group was 40,349 hours accounted for primarily by the 2 or 4 extra hours mentioned above.
All part-time positions in the company are chosen by employees who opt for that format.
As a reminder, at the time of recruitment or during salary reviews, only skill, experience, interpersonal relations, efficiency, creative capacity, discernment, sense of synthesis and commitment are taken into account. On the basis of these criteria, and irrespective of sex, ethnic origin or any other discriminating criteria, employees of Thermador Groupe or its subsidiaries receive similar fixed salaries for directly comparable positions within each company.
Our employees must sign an IT charter which specifies the rights and duties of each individual in the use of the company’s IT tools.
STOCK MARKET CHARTER AND RESPECT OF ‘MARKET ABUSE REGULATION
In keeping with our policy of transparency, each employee of Thermador Groupe or its subsidiaries, whatever their level of responsibility, has occasional or permanent access to classified information. Consequently, all employees signed a stock market charter detailing their duty of confidentiality and the conditions governing Thermador Groupe share sales and purchases, in line with European ‘market abuse regulations’. The charter is also presented in the form of a graph to make it easier to understand.
GOOD CONDUCT CODE
In 2017, we adopted the ‘Middlenext’ good conduct code – available on the Thermador Groupe website – as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
|In January 2001, we set up a Company Savings Plan, open to all employees of the subsidiaries and 95% invested in Thermador Groupe shares.
Until 2012 the top-up was 100% of the amount put in by the employee, with a cap of €1,000.
In 2013 and in 2014, the company top-up was 150% with a cap of €1,500. In 2015, the top-up was 150% with a minimum of €300 and a cap of €1,500.
In 2016, the company top-up was 300% for the first €100 invested, and 150% for the tranche from €101 to €1,000, i.e. a maximum of €1,650. An exceptional operation allowed all employees to share 10,774 shares at a 30% discount.
In 2017 and 2018, the company top-up was 300% for the ﬁrst €100 invested, and 150% for the tranche from €101 to €1,000, i.e. a maximum of €1,650.
In 2019, employees put in €1,051,000 and the group topped up €677,000. 430 employees signed up (out of 503).
At the end of 2019, the company savings plan (PEE) owned 250,000 Thermador Groupe shares.
Earnings and individual bonuses are calculated at subsidiary level, as are salaries. The sharing of information and good practices between subsidiary executives ensures coherency.
In the group’s longstanding subsidiaries, the ﬁxed component of earnings is paid over 13 months (half in June and the other half in November). Salaries are revised annually, taking into account each individual’s development in their function and the cost of living. We pay particular attention to the lower salaries, which are much higher than average for our sector.
At FGinox, Sodeco Valves and Domac, the ﬁxed component of earnings is paid over 12 months.
Since the beginning, Thermador Groupe subsidiaries’ proﬁts have been shared with employees. Even before statutory proﬁt sharing, we introduced our own brand of proﬁt sharing in Thermador, the ﬁrst company created in the group’s history. This virtuous practice spread to the other subsidiaries subsequently.
Sharing proﬁts come with the results of the year’s work, during which the management teams present the operating accounts of each subsidiary on a monthly basis.
Everybody can understand how the annual result is put together, and what mass of proﬁt sharing will be distributed.
The distribution of that mass is decided by the management team, and takes into account each individual’s performance as fairly as possible.
In each subsidiary, the proﬁt sharing amount therefore depends on proﬁt, which means there are major differences between the companies of the group. It varies from 6 to 29% of overall earnings. The average for the group is 17% of gross annual salary.
For Jetly, Sferaco and FGinox annual bonuses and proﬁt sharing are paid in February of the following year.
For the other subsidiaries, bonuses appear on the December pay slip. They are not subject to any conditions, and are therefore immediately available.
On our trading accounts, the wage bill represents around 11.5% of turnover (cf. table, page 108).
We have always been very transparent on the subject of salaries. In each subsidiary, once a year, we post up all the monthly and annual salaries, including those, of course, of managers. This has the great advantage of limiting the spread of rumours, and means that we all have to show great coherence in decision-making in this area. We are striving to share this good practice with the companies that we have acquired since 2015, whilst leaving them time to prepare for this major cultural change.
The range of gross salaries in Thermador Groupe is between €21,000 to €308,000 per year (12 months’ presence).
For equivalent positions, men and women with the same training and similar experience earn the same amount.
At the time of recruitment or during salary reviews, only skill, experience, interpersonal relations, efﬁciency, creative capacity, discernment, sense of synthesis and commitment are taken into account. On the basis of these criteria, and irrespective of sex, ethnic origin or any other discriminating criteria, employees of Thermador Groupe or its subsidiaries receive similar ﬁxed salaries for directly comparable positions within each company.
Also, the vast majority of them can check, given that a salary transparency policy has been in place in all our subsidiaries since Thermador was founded in 1968. This virtuous practice means that each decision-maker thinks carefully before any recruitment or salary increase. Of the companies having joined us recently, Mecafer adopted the same practice at the beginning of 2018. Taking the necessary time to convince managers and employees of its advantages, we fully intend to progressively introduce it at Sodeco, FGinox and Sanidom/Rousseau and Distrilabo.
Since the outset, power has been fairly divided between men and women: women occupy 45% of seats on the Board and 35% of management positions in the subsidiaries, and accounted for 35% of the audience in the auditorium during the ‘challenges and projects’ meeting attended by 94 people on February 1, 2019.
2019 GENDER EQUALITY INDEX WITHIN THERMADOR GROUPE SUBSIDIARIES
As part of the September 5, 2018 law on the ‘Freedom to choose your career’, and in compliance with the decree of January 8, 2019 seeking to erase earnings differentials between men and women, Thermador Groupe and its subsidiaries have calculated their gender equality index.
This index, out of 100 points, is calculated on the basis of five indicators:
• The earnings differential between men and women.
• The individual pay increase rate differential between men and women.
• The promotion rate differential between men and women.
• The portion of employees having benefited from an increase within the year of returning from maternity leave.
• The number of employees of the under-represented gender amongst the ten employees having received the highest salaries.
The score of 36/40 obtained on the earnings discrepancy between men and women for compatible socio-professional categories and age group reflects our earnings policies based on skills and not gender.
We get a poor score of 5/15 on the promotion rate discrepancy between men and women, which does not reflect reality. For all socio-professional categories, 6.25% of women were promoted compared to 10.35% of men. The non-representativity of women in the ‘supervisor’ socio-professional category means that we cannot take those promotions into account.
We get a score of 0/15 on the number of women amongst the 10 biggest earners at Thermador Groupe. Out of the 20 biggest earners however, there are 6 women.
Our staff are at the heart of our value chain.
On december 31, 2019 the group had 503* employees, 157 women and 346 men. Of those 503* employees, 493 were on permanent contracts and 10 on ﬁxed term contracts.
*Staff at 31/12/2019 : excluding Rousseau/Distrilabo.