Personnel policy



Customers and suppliers

〉 Suppliers


We visit our production sites ourselves, and check that our suppliers’ employees are well treated.

 

〉 Personnel

 

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 work groups. 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.

For all that, there is no “group Human Resources Director”. Within each company of the group, each subsidiary CEO and each manager bears full responsibility for the employees under their command.

It all starts with the recruitment, a complex art that we approach with humility and simplicity. Our conclusion is that collegial decisions seem the most reliable.


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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.

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.

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 relationships with those who leave us.

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 6 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.




Training and management of skills

The increasing complexity of our world, and the increasing discrepancy between each individual’s initial background and the requirements of day-to-day business and the speed of change of knowledge means that we have to update and constantly increase knowledge in every area.

Our training budget accounted for 2.37% of our wage bill in 2017.


External training

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.

Internal training

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 recognised as a training organisation.

Individual interviews

72% 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.




Quality of life at work

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 officebased sales staff offices, where they take telephone calls from our customers, are also equipped with acoustic partitions.


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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. 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 the two most recent warehouses (Sferaco and Sectoriel),
  • Choosing to be owner of all our handling equipment, which is regularly serviced to ensure safe driving for all our logistics teams,
  • 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..

The group contributes financially to employees’ meals, at a nearby inter-company restaurant, with a subsidiary of €3.47 per meal. This means that everybody can enjoy a balanced meal at a very small cost. For those who prefer to bring their own lunch, kitchens are available in each building.


 

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 company (Optim Resources) and guarantees the anonymity of participants.

The questionnaire came in the form of 46 statements on which each employee had to take a position. The results were sent to the executive committee, to the subsidiary management teams and to the employees themselves. Subsidiary by subsidiary, specific action plans are now being put in place to capitalise on our strengths and progress on points of contention.

We are planning to repeat this exercise every two years so as to measure the impact of decisions taken.




Information

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.”


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Induction booklet


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.

 

The Gazette

 

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.




Labour relations

Eleven of our subsidiaries employ over ten people, and just two of them employs over fifty. Within these subsidiaries, five employees hold staff representative positions. One of our recently-acquired subsidiaries has a works committee which employs two people.

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…


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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.

It’s simply a question of dialogue and transparency

In April 2016, the Annual General Meeting appointed an employee to the Board upon a suggestion from the Board of Directors. She subsequently took part in all the board meetings, including when directors’ earnings were on the agenda.

In 2017, the employee survey on the quality of life at work encouraged employees to express themselves on a multitude of subjects (cf. previous page).




Respect, fairness, ethics

Respect for the private lives of our employees

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-Quentin-Fallavier 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 2017 in the group was 31,239 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.


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Equal treatment


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.

Since the outset, power has been harmoniously distributed between men and women: women occupy 42% of group Board member positions and 34% of subsidiary managers are women.

 

〉 IT Charter

 

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 exchange charter

 

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. All employees must therefore sign a stock exchange charter specifying their duty of confidentiality and outlining the processes for buying and selling Thermador Groupe shares.

 

Good conduct code

 

In 2017 we adopted the ‘Middlenext’ group conduct code, now available on the Thermador Groupe website, as well as the United Nations anti-corruption convention.

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Salaries and profit sharing


Thermador Groupe's savings scheme:

In January,  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 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 euros 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, the 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 employee having paid €1,000 into his account per year since 2001 will have amassed a net capital of €150,000 by December 31,
2017.

In September 2016, we organised an election by electronic voting, which elicited the participation of 88.6% of employees of the subsidiaries and Thermador Groupe.

After the vote, one man and one woman were designated by their peers to represent employees on the Thermador Groupe mutual fund (FCPE) supervisory board.

At the end of 2017, the company savings plan (PEE) owned 109,914 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.

FIXED COMPONENT

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.

VARIABLE COMPONENT

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.


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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 5% to 27% of overall earnings. The average for the group is 19% 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 blocking mechanism, and are therefore immediately available.

On our trading accounts, the wage bill represents around 10.5% of turnover (cf. table, page 52).

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 and €291,000 per year (12 months’ presence).

For equivalent positions, men and women with the same training and similar experience earn the same amount.





Head count

On 31/12/2017 , the group had 433 employees on permanent contracts and 6 employees on fixed term contracts. 

 

Distribution per subsidiary: see general information.

Average age in the group : 42 years.
Average years' service : 10 years.
98,6 % of permanent contracts. 
All information concerning arrivals and departures, days of absence, temporary workers, disabled workers and sponsorship, are available on page 43 of the 2017 annual report.