bat sustainability report 2007 - People and culture

We will work to ensure we have the right people in the right environment to deliver our vision 
Our business relies on attracting the best people

What is the issue?

Like many global businesses, we are competing to recruit and retain the best people. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that an individual’s career choices are determined as much by perceptions of how well a current or prospective employer’s values accord with personal beliefs and aspirations, as by more tangible considerations such as remuneration, career progression and job security.

We also have to overcome some negative perceptions and assumptions that can be attached to a tobacco business. By having a culture that meets employees’ needs at all levels, we will be able to continue delivering our business strategy.

Finding solutions to these issues forms two key areas of our human resources strategy:

  • Ensuring we have a sustainable talent pipeline – ‘the right people’;
  • Ensuring we have a workplace culture that allows people to thrive – ‘the right environment’.

Why is it important?

The continued development of our business relies on our attracting, developing and retaining the best people. We recognise the competitive advantage derived from the quality and motivation of our people and the business benefit of allowing them to fulfil their potential. Although this is not an issue specific to us, being an international business means that retaining local knowledge and developing diverse expertise is especially critical.

What are we doing about it?

  • We aim to have succession pools at business unit level with at least one local successor ready in the short term for each senior position and two local successors ready in the longer term;
  • We aim to have a 70/30 ratio of local to expatriate senior management team members at business unit level, not as a ‘quota’, but because we place a high value on local experience and diversity in our workplace;
  • We aim at least to match the employee opinion scores of the upper quartile of a comparator group of FMCG companies;
  • We aim to increase the proportion of women in senior management positions;
  • We aim to identify what would differentiate us from other major companies as an attractive career proposition; 
  • We will trial a new set of human capital metrics that aim to highlight the important contribution that our people make to our business success;
  • We will continue aiming to ensure that the human rights of our employees and those within our sphere of influence are protected;
  • We have a long-term aspiration of a global Lost Workday Case Incident Rate in the region of 0.1-0.2.
© 2008 British American Tobacco