The inclusion of employees in the decision-making process is a critical factor in companies. This step can foster a trusting relationship between employers and employees, and strengthen employee identification with the company in this way.
To permanently integrate sustainability into its company processes, REWE Group has developed an all-encompassing sustainability strategy that is made up of four main pillars: Green Products; Energy, Climate and the Environment; Employees; and Social Involvement. In addition, five areas of action have been defined for the pillar Employees: values and culture; training and professional growth; health and safety; job and phases of life; and diversity and equal opportunity.
Employee co-determination is a high priority at REWE Group. Statutory, collective-bargaining and company rules are implemented in a trusting relationship with employee representatives. Nearly all employees in the chain stores, logistics operation and administration are represented by works councils – an optimal structure for chain-store retailing. The works council and management maintain a trusting working relationship.
In addition, the combine-wide Guidelines for Sustainable Business Practices serve as a basis for action. They are based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The guidelines say: “We respect the right of employees to form free, independent employee organisations and to conduct free negotiations regarding wages and employee rights.”
Employee representatives, serving as elected representatives of works councils or supervisory boards, are involved in nearly all decisions taken by REWE Group. In observance of co-determination and other participation rights, employee committees are provided with information in a timely manner, their views on issues are heard and agreements are reached with them. REWE Group maintains a dynamic, close and trusting relationship with the works councils. Their representatives are members of a large number of company bodies, such as the IT and logistics committees. Company-related changes are jointly discussed at an early stage.
For employees whom REWE Group declares redundant, the company works with employee representatives to develop a redundancy programme when necessary. Such programmes frequently include qualification activities for the employee that are designed to help him or her find another position.