Create an inclusive and healthy workplace

A diverse workforce and inclusive company culture are key factors for global success. How do we create a culture where associates of all backgrounds feel inspired to be the best they can be?

Why does it matter?

A safe work environment is fundamental, but the workplace should also offer opportunities for development and for a healthy life, as well as a true spirit of inclusiveness and diversity. Investing in health and inclusion programs increases morale and job satisfaction, creativity and innovation.

What we are doing

Our brands strive to create workplaces that reflect the diversity of their communities, and contributes to the health and well-being of all associates. This is an environment where each person feels valued and inspired to develop to their full potential. It is an ambition that matches our values and helps us remain innovative and competitive.

A healthy workplace

Healthy living programs for associates aim to make healthier choices easy: providing free fruit in a number of offices, educational programs on nutrition and weight loss, and smoke-free campuses are only a few of our initiatives. Ahold Delhaize brands support wellness at work in many other ways, including flexible working hours, work-from-home arrangements, maternity/paternity leave policies, and support for sport and physical activity through fitness facilities and partnerships. Healthy and aware associates can support customers in making healthier decisions in our stores, so the benefits stretch far beyond our own company. Many  associates are also inspired to participate in local community-support health initiatives, making us a better neighbor.

An inclusive workplace

With more than 369,000 employees in 11 countries, associates in our brands reflect the local communities they serve and the people they do business with. In 2017, we turned Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) from an HR concept into a tangible business goal. Our Global Diversity and Inclusion Network created a global framework to serve as a compass for our brands to use locally. This framework includes four key focus areas: 

  • Inclusive Workplace: Create a high-performing and inclusive work culture by promoting ownership and accountability for diversity at all levels in the organization.
  • Workforce Diversity: Attract, develop, engage and retain a diverse workforce that reflects our diverse customers.
  • Diversity Competency: Develop the necessary knowledge, understanding and capabilities to leverage diversity in individuals and teams, so they can better serve our diverse customers.
  • Employer Brand, Business Impact and Partnerships: Engage the organization in diversity and inclusion efforts for business success; share best practices internally and externally; enhance our image and reputation as the benchmark in D&I.

Some of our key initiatives include Unconscious Bias trainings and award-winning Business Resource Groups that actively engage associates in network opportunities, provide support, and influence policies.

We measured associate perception of the inclusiveness and healthiness of their workplaces in our 2017 Associate Engagement Survey. Through the survey, we ask associates about the support they receive from Ahold Delhaize brands to have healthier lives and how Ahold Delhaize brands support a more inclusive workplace. Our businesses are committed to the principles of equal employment opportunities, freedom of association, and respecting legal rights to collective bargaining. In 2018, the global percentage of associates covered by collective bargaining agreements was 56%.

For more details and other measures we have in place please see our reporting page

Our focus

We will continue to expand our many initiatives to embed health and inclusion in our workplace. To help our associates be the best they can be, our businesses have started taking a more holistic and global approach to their well-being. In addition to healthier food opportunities and ambassadors, we are providing tools and training across all of our brands on how to recognize, minimize and handle stress. 

Our internal D&I efforts will focus on increasing awareness of the dimensions of diversity - ranging from age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, disabilities, generations, geographic location and many more components. As an international organization, we often face cultural differences and challenges, but we aim to ensure our values are reflected in our inclusive behavior towards, opportunities for, and support of all our associates, wherever they are.

Creating an inclusive and healthy workplace in practice

Below are some examples of what our brands are doing to create a healthy, inclusive and supportive work environment for associates of all backgrounds. 

Our efforts are aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10’s 2030 target to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, disabilities, generations or economic or other status.