A key factor in our success is our cohesive and professional team, which is capable of accomplishing the Group’s objectives. We are committed to attracting and identifying top professionals, providing for their needs, investing in their development, and fostering their commitment.
HR Policy and Procedures determine key principles, areas, approaches, and methods that are crucial to building HR management systems for all of our businesses. The Bank’s HR management department works closely with HR managers and executives from our subsidiaries to ensure proper implementation of the main principles and provision of necessary support in all HR-related matters.
We recognise the importance of observing employee rights, and are committed to implementing socially responsible business practices. Our Employee Rights Policy establishes priorities and establishes control procedures to provide equal opportunities and prevent discrimination and/or harassment.
In order to improve the working environment and effectively address grievances or other employee-related issues, we conduct regular employee satisfaction surveys. Above all, employee feedback is used to improve our customer focus orientation and client service approach.
Sustained development of the Group’s businesses requires strengthening the teams of our subsidiaries, both by using the Group’s own significant internal resources for staff development and rotation, and by attracting external candidates. Our recruitment policy and relevant control procedures ensure an unbiased hiring process that provides equal opportunities for all candidates.
According to the HR Policy, internal candidates have priority when applying for vacant positions, especially for top and middle management vacancies. Thus, in 2014, 146 Group employees were promoted to managerial positions.
In order to attract young talent, we actively partner with leading Georgian business schools and universities, participate in job fairs, and run extensive internship programmes aimed at developing young professionals. In 2012, Bank of Georgia established a new format for its traditional internship programme. It attracts promising graduates and provides them with the opportunity to participate in a major professional training and leadership development programme. Interns are coached directly by Bank executives to help them on their path to gaining their first management positions in the near future. In 2014, the number of young professionals (under 30 years old) increased by 19% compared to 2013, and currently represents 36% of the total headcount.
Training and development
To manage our employees in a way that best supports our business strategy, we seek to help our employees contribute to business performance through personal and professional development.
Following our aspiration to develop strong leaders, we have developed an extensive leadership development programme. We provide a standard Induction Training course for employees appointed to managerial positions. This programme covers a wide range of topics including corporate values, strategy and objectives, organisational structure, HR management policies, history of the Group, and specific courses to develop communication, presentation, management, and leadership skills, among others. Selected mid- and senior-level employees are given the opportunity to receive external training at well-known institutions abroad.
The Group’s corporate learning system comprises a wide range of internal and external training sessions designed specifically to meet the needs of front and back office employees at the Group’s subsidiaries including banking, healthcare, insurance, and real estate development. In 2014, Bank of Georgia launched a Leadership Development online programme for senior managers and certain key employees. The programme is provided by a UK company, and aims to support the individual development of participants’ leadership capabilities.
Each of the Group’s businesses has developed an extensive training programme for front office employees. This is to provide them with relevant skills such as effective communication and building strong and valued client relationships. For example, the Bank’s Mentoring programme is part of a front-office training process. Every new employee is provided with regular advice, guidance, and practical instructions from an appointed mentor who later participates in the employee’s performance appraisal. Through this programme, we aim to provide individual support to our employees in achieving their professional results and improving their personal effectiveness.
EVEX (formerly MFC) provides additional training to employees that work in the specialised field of healthcare. Following the Training-of-Trainers programme for nurses in the Imereti region, launched in 2013, 40 professional nurses began conducting training for personnel of EVEX’s hospital network in other regions in January 2014. EVEX also established a unique training centre in the Kutaisi region that will enhance the professional knowledge and skills of local medical personnel.
Occupational health and safety
Ensuring safety in the workplace and providing healthy working conditions are among the Group’s fundamental HR management principles. The Group is particularly attentive to preventive measures, such as conducting regular staff training and medical check-ups, certifying workplaces, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The Group’s real estate development business is associated with high health and safety risks for contractors on sites. In order to minimise such risks, m2 Real Estate established a Health and Safety Policy and management procedures ensuring implementation of health and safety measures at all worksites. The policy contains a range of precautions that seek to prevent any accidents related to the Company’s contractors or injuries to community members, as well as property damage and incidents caused by equipment failure.
In order to enhance the awareness of employees and contractors regarding health and safety risks associated with the construction process, the company conducts regular training and educational seminars. In 2014 and 2013, the number of health and safety training hours came to approximately 1,008 and 500, respectively. In addition, the Company publishes brochures and booklets with warnings and special rules to be followed when working on-site. Respective control procedures include quarterly audits by external health and safety consultants and internal monthly inspections of m2 Real Estate worksites. In addition, m2 Real Estate has a comprehensive reporting procedure for health and safety concerns. In 2014 and 2013, no work-related fatalities or injury incidents occurred at the Company’s construction sites.
With regard to emergency preparedness and responses, m2 Real Estate has established an Emergency Management Plan. It outlines possible scenarios during emergency situations and determines specific strategies for the Company’s employees, contractors, and visitors on how to act in a crisis situation.