Our approach


At the end of 2008, Rolls-Royce employed 38,900 permanent staff in over 50 countries.

The long life cycle of the Group’s products makes it imperative that we have a skilled workforce that is committed to delivering excellence to customers over the long term. To achieve this, we aim to create an inclusive working environment that attracts and retains the best people, enhances their flexibility, capability and motivation, and encourages them to be involved, resulting in improving performance.

Engaging employees
In 2005, we formed a Global Council to improve consultation and employee engagement. This meets twice a year and involves over 40 employee representatives or delegates from around the world with senior management from each business and function. In addition, an executive committee of eight elected delegates meets regularly throughout the year to support regular dialogue and timely consultation between council meetings. In 2008, full council meetings were held in Berlin (Germany) and Derby (UK).

In 2008, we conducted the annual Corporate Storyboard, an interactive Group-wide briefing on corporate direction and performance. Delivered face-to-face to all employees globally, the storyboard ensures all employees across the business have a good understanding of the Group’s key objectives and the individual contribution each can make. The initiative builds on the success of the first Strategy Storyboard, which was widely welcomed by our employees.

During 2008, our Employee Engagement Survey was redesigned and incorporated into a two-year rolling global engagement programme. This will improve our ability to test, identify necessary actions and better understand employees’ level of engagement across the organisation and will be vital in signalling the areas to focus on to improve engagement within the organisation. The new survey was launched in January 2009.

Rolls-Royce provides competitive pay and benefits in all its locations and actively encourages share ownership by offering ShareSave plans to all employees. Our employees have currently committed around £105 million to these plans. In the UK, statutory arrangements enable employees to receive part of their annual bonus in shares and to make monthly share purchases from their salary.

Encouraging diversity
The Group is committed to developing a diverse workforce and equal opportunities for all. This includes encouraging more women and people from minority backgrounds to pursue engineering careers. During 2008, we recruited graduates for our worldwide graduate programme from 32 nationalities and apprentices in the UK and Germany for our apprentice programme from nine nationalities. Our global governance framework for diversity includes a senior executive Global Diversity Steering Group that provides leadership and shapes strategic direction.

In Asia we continue to make good progress in attracting the highest quality leadership talent. Several key management roles in Asia have provided the opportunity to recruit new senior local management. As the demand signal for early career high potential talent strengthens in the region, we have also engaged with several universities in China, India and Singapore to encourage students to apply for our graduate recruitment and development programme.

Launched in 2006, our UK Women’s Network continues to grow, focusing on personal and professional skills development as well as providing support through networking and mentoring frameworks.

Our policy is to provide, wherever possible, employment training and development opportunities for disabled people. We are committed to supporting employees who become disabled during employment and to helping disabled employees make the best possible use of their skills and potential.

Learning and development
2008 was a year of transformation for Learning and Development. A new global Centre of Excellence, staffed by experienced professionals, supports businesses with the identification of strategic training priorities together with the design and procurement of new development initiatives.

The implementation of ‘My Learning’, a global customised Learning Management System, enables us to define behavioural and technical competencies by role and align learning and development to competency profiles resulting in a more focused, speedier and personalised training service.

We continue to develop our delivery of face-to-face and online learning for our employees. During 2008, we have provided 3,400 days of leadership training, 39,000 hours of online learning and 4,600 days of engineering systems training. We continue to deliver global programmes such as business ethics training, delivered to 1,200 senior leaders in 2008, and the Corporate Storyboard rollout to employees using trained facilitators.

Resourcing and deployment
The creation of a new global Centre of Excellence for Resourcing and Deployment consolidates our approach to strategic workforce planning, recruitment and performance management and the development of employee capability.

We pursue professional depth and capability across all of our functions and the Centre of Excellence spreads best practice globally, primarily through development cell activity.

Development cells are regular forums held with senior leadership teams through which we manage our leadership succession and individual career development. Discussions are directly aligned to the development of resourcing plans which identify the need for managerial, MBA, graduate and apprentice resourcing requirements.

During 2008, we recruited 141 graduates and 233 apprentices and technicians worldwide and an additional 278 students were employed on short-term training projects in the UK and North America. We remain in the upper quartile of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers’ survey and have moved to first position for engineering companies. Over 400 employees have benefited from financial support and time off work to attend further education programmes at local colleges and universities, and we provided £460,000 to finance this type of learning. Overall we have invested £30 million in the education, training and professional development of employees during the year.

Heath and wellbeing
The Group is committed to promoting best practice in occupational health and now provides professional expertise through highly regarded out sourced providers. The primary objective of the Group’s occupational health strategy remains a culture of prevention rather than cure.

The strategy maintains four key areas of focus:

  • screening and surveillance;
  • rehabilitation;
  • health promotion; and
  • education.

We have demonstrated good progress against our screening and surveillance targets. These are detailed in our report ‘Responsible Operations', published in April 2007 which is available on the Group’s website at www.rolls-royce.com.

791 employees in our operations functions completed the Health Risk assessment pilot programme. The greatest return from this tool was encouraging the majority who were at low risk to maintain their health and wellbeing.

An ‘Owners Handbook’ health manual produced in conjunction with the Men’s Health Forum was issued to all employees in 2007 and 2008. This covered all aspects of general lifestyle and wellbeing for both men and women.

A ‘Know your body metrics’ health promotion campaign was rolled out in 2007 and carried on into 2008 to raise awareness and understanding of cardiovascular risk factors. Over 3,000 employees have been screened at travelling wellness booths. This has been our most successful campaign to date during which 14 per cent were referred onward as the result of cholesterol levels and five per cent for glucose levels.

An anonymous online questionnaire found that the ‘Owners Handbook’ and the ‘Know your body metrics’ booklet were rated as ‘good to excellent’ by more than 80 per cent of respondents. Some 45 per cent said they had made beneficial lifestyle changes as a result of the information.

A pilot programme in one of our business units is taking place with the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health based on the successful Australian programme entitled ‘beyond blue’, designed to help managers to identify depression in the workplace by involving them in a series of management training and awareness sessions. A health promotion campaign on sleep and fatigue was also undertaken in the autumn of 2008.

Employee engagement Poster

Employee engagement

Global Council meeting

Global Council

Three employees in Asia

Attracting employees in Asia

Close-up of man concentrating on work

Encouraging diversity

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Employee engagement
The Group is committed to a programme of surveys to monitor and improve engagement with employees.

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Close Global Council

Global Council
Our Global Council meets twice a year and includes employee representatives from around the world.

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Close Attracting employees in Asia

Attracting employees in Asia
We continue to make good progress in attracting employees in Asia.

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Close Encouraging diversity

Encouraging diversity
Rolls-Royce is committed to developing a diverse workforce.

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