We are real traders

More than 58,000 employees make a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the ALDI North Group. They are entitled to be proud of working for the ALDI North Group.

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Fair and appreciative

The diversity and variety of employees enriches the the ALDI North Group, which remunerates its employees with fair pay in accordance with their performance, takes responsibility for their health and supports them in getting the work-life balance right between career, leisure and family.

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Open career paths

All employees should have the opportunity to use their abilities and skills to create success for everyone. Career paths in the ALDI North Group are open and offer diverse opportunities for development.

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Wir sind echte Kaufleute

We are real traders

Employees

Our employees are the platform for our success

ALDI is the “original” among the discounters: simple, responsible and reliable. And more than 58,000 employees makes a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the ALDI North Group.

Simple structures with clear responsibilities define our work. Our operations are geared to performance while also making open and respectful dealings with employees a top priority in an approach based on partnership. This respect for our employees is firmly established in the leadership principles “real traders” as well as in our Corporate Responsibility (CR)-Policy and it is a vital element of human resource management.

The ALDI North Group and its employees will continue on their trajectory of success in the future. An enabler for this is recruitment of the most talented employees, retaining the loyalty of employees over the long term and continuing to strengthen their identification with the company. They are entitled take pride in working for the ALDI North Group.

Flexibility thanks to decentralised organisation

Responsibility for human resources topics is established at local level in all companies in the ALDI North Group. Each of the companies develops its own personnel measures. The common platform is the mission statement and the derived leadership principles. This organisational structure enables measures to be matched with specific features of local employment markets.

Fair and appreciative

Fair and appreciative

Performance is respected by our company

The employees of the ALDI North Group are remunerated with fair pay in accordance with their performance. Of course, women and men working for the ALDI North Group receive the same compensation for doing the same job. In Germany and Spain, the level of compensation for the payscale employees is based on the regional collective bargaining agreements governing payscale in the retail trade. Furthermore,  the regional companies in Germany have reached agreements with the individual works councils on attractive benefits for the employees that exceed those agreed in the payscale agreement, including bonuses, allowances, travel money, capital-forming benefits and a full 13th month’s salary. Employees in Portugal and Spain also receive elements in excess of those agreed in the payscale agreement such as bonuses and allowances. The salaries of the executive employees in most countries where the ALDI North Group is operating are also well above the sector average. In the Netherlands, the compensation above the payscale agreement for employees in sales is defined in a guideline. At ALDI Denmark, the collective bargaining agreement for employees includes a minimum wage, fixed hourly overtime payments and additional days of holiday. Independently of the obligations agreed under the collective bargaining agreement, the local employees in sales have the opportunity to receive individual allowances and sales bonuses. The compensation of all employees in Belgium is in accordance with a salary tariff that exceeds the average sector wage.

Proportion of employees which is covered by the collective bargaining agreements on the reference date 31 December (in percent)

2015
ALDI North Group1 99.3

1 The proportion of employees was calculated excluding Poland because no collective bargaining agreements have been concluded there.

Since May 2014, the regional companies at virtually all German locations have been gradually introducing an electronic time-recording system. This provides more transparency and fairness for structuring working hours and pay. A new compensation model is also being introduced with the time-recording system which provides the employees with many advantages. For example, the weekly working hours for store administrators were reduced by several hours for the same salary. In addition, the training compensation was increased. As many as 20,000 employees in Germany have already been integrated in the new working-hours and compensation system (status 12/2015). In the Netherlands, a corresponding electronic time-recording system is also being introduced in 2016; a similar introduction is also being planned in France.

We are a fair employer

People from more than 112 nations work in the nine European countries where the ALDI North Group is represented. The diversity and variety of employees enriches daily work. All the employees in all countries have the same opportunities irrespective of gender, age, religion or belief, sexual identity, origin or physical disability. We therefore reject any form of discrimination. The proportion of female employees in management positions is around 24 percent in the ALDI North Group. Women are represented with more than 27 percent in lower management and with more than 21 percent in upper management positions.

Proportion of female employees in management positions on the reference date 31 December (in percent)

2015
Belgium/Luxembourg1 24.9
Denmark 20.2
Germany 24.6
France 17.5
Netherlands 15.1
Poland 38.6
Portugal 43.2
Spain 34.8
ALDI North Group 23.8

1 ALDI Belgium and ALDI Luxembourg are legally independent companies (see “About this Report“).

Number of employees by field of work and gender on the reference date 31 December (headcount)

 2014 2015
ALDI North Group ALDI North Group of which female1
Sale 43,182 46,708 36,146
Warehouse 4,400 4,604 1,183
Vehicle fleet 2,494 2,490 39
Office 1,970 2,215 1,950
Upper management 576 577 122
Lower management 1,146 1,043 284
Other2 525 542 33

1 A breakdown by gender is only possible from 2015.
2 This category also includes employees released for the works council and maintenance staff.

Proportion of employees by age groups on the reference date 31 December (in percent)

Employees by age groups

Proportion of employees with disabilities on the reference date 31 December (in percent)

2014 2015
Proportion of employees with disabilities 1.8 1.7

Ensuring health and wellbeing in the workplace

The employees at the ALDI North Group are motivated and committed in their work every day, and they make a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the group of companies. The companies in the ALDI North Group take responsibility for their health and safety in the workplace – an important issue human resource management. Our stores have light and spacious premises, which create a good working atmosphere. The companies in the ALDI North Group regularly carry out inspections at workplaces in order to identify potential hazards at an early stage. The focus is on the areas with increased risk of accident, such as logistics and sales. The main concern in sales relates to ensuring that employees can work without injuring their backs when they are restocking shelves and freezer cabinets. One example of a measure taken many years ago was the introduction of maximum weights for boxes throughout the ALDI North Group. The sale of goods directly from pallets also saves time and reduces the physical burden on employees. Accidents in warehouses involving electric forklift trucks or employees freezing in the cold storage facilities must be avoided. ALDI Netherlands, ALDI Portugal and ALDI Spain also work closely together with external specialists in occupational health & safety in order to ensure compliance with the requirements under employment law in the stores, distribution centres and to some extent in the administrative facilities.

Sick leave with continued payment of wage (in percent)

2014 2015
Belgium/Luxembourg1 4.3 4.5
Denmark 4.3 4.1
Germany 3.8 3.8
France 5.6 5.5
Netherlands 3.8 4.1
Poland 2.9 2.6
Portugal2 n/a n/a
Spain 1.2 2.9
ALDI North Group 3.7 3.9

1 ALDI Belgium and ALDI Luxembourg are legally independent companies (see “About this Report“).
2 No paid sick leave in Portugal (n/a = not applicable).

Grievance system at ALDI Netherlands

Since 2015, employees in the Netherlands have had access to a clearly regulated grievance system. This system gives them the security that they will be supported objectively and confidentially if the need arises. ALDI Netherlands has been working on this system with an external ombudsman and an external grievance committee. Any employee can seek help from the ombudsman and receive anonymous advice in cases such as sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination. Either a mediator is appointed to solve the problem or a formal procedure is introduced through the grievance committee. The ombudsman has to keep the matter confidential unless the circumstances are exceptional – for example in cases of serious risk to health. The grievance system at ALDI Netherlands sends a clear message of zero tolerance against any form of discrimination to the entire workforce.

Spain: action plans against harassment and for equal rights

Since 2009, an action plan has been in place in the Spanish companies which comes into force if there are any signs of harassment. The plan guarantees that the situation will be clarified or remedied within 24 hours. An external mediator is used in order to guarantee neutrality. In 2009, we also introduced a further action plan in the Spanish companies which is intended to safeguard equal rights. We use this plan to regularly review our employee structure in order to ensure equal opportunities and equal treatment.

Work-life balance between career and family

We provide support for our employees and help them get the work-life balance right between career, leisure time and family. A number of measures are in place to facilitate this including lots of opportunities for part-time jobs, particularly in the stores. When working out duty rosters, the working hours are arranged to take maximum account of the employees’ interests. Irrespective of full-time or part-time jobs, we place the same requirements on our employees, also in relation to avoidance of unequal treatment. We have agreed with the works councils in Germany that overtime hours will only be worked if they are necessary for operational reasons due to unforeseen circumstances. Emails should not be processed outside working hours.

Number of employees by employment type and gender on the reference date 31 December (headcount)

  2014

2015

Full-time Part-time Full-time of which female1 Part-time of which female1
Belgium/Luxembourg2 1,997 4,119 2,021 877 4,235 3,575
Denmark 1,059 926 1,048 468 989 583
Germany 7,646 21,922 7,267 3,125 24,162 19,396
France 4,794 2,153 5,184 2,504 2,236 2,029
Netherlands 1,645 4,214 1,639 324 4,652 3,569
Poland 272 599 473 337 687 665
Portugal 161 323 230 94 383 322
Spain 1,033 1,430 1,220 611 1,753 1,278
ALDI North Group 18,607 35,686 19,082 8,340 39,097 31,417

1 A breakdown by gender is only possible from 2015.
2 ALDI Belgium and ALDI Luxembourg are legally independent companies (see “About this Report“).

Trust-based cooperation with the works councils

Since the 1970s, an elected employee representative organisation has been in place at the ALDI North Group in Germany directly when a new company is established. Each of the 35 regional companies is represented by its own works council with an average of twelve members. Overall, there are more than 420 works council members at the ALDI North Group in Germany, 77 of which are on permanent leave in order to carry out their duties.

Our aim is to work openly and consensually with the works councils. The latest example of this consensus: In 2016, the distribution centre in Essen is being closed due to its urgent need for renovation. The new ALDI Campus administrative centre will be realised at the same site. The employees at the distribution centre were offered equivalent employment opportunities within the group of companies. The jobs for the employees in sales are retained in full at unchanged conditions.

There are also works councils in all the regional companies in the Netherlands. They are always made up of employees from the stores, the distribution centre and the administration. The 8 to 14 members have fewer working hours so that they are able to carry out their regular duties as members of the works council and go to the meeting with the managing directors of the regional company that takes place up to every quarter of a year.

In Belgium, a works council meeting takes place in each regional company every month. Representatives of the employer and the employees from the stores, distribution centres and administration take part in these meetings. The employee representatives are selected by the employees. They have protection against dismissal and they are released from their duties in order to take part in meetings of the works council and training sessions, to visit stores and to participate in appraisal interviews.

In Denmark, the companies agree on conditions for employees with two unions. This communication is always constructive and has led to improved cooperation between the unions and ALDI Denmark.

Loyalty to the company

Above-average employee loyalty has been a traditional feature at the ALDI North Group on a sector comparison. Many employees have already been working at the ALDI North Group for more than ten years. However, the average length of service varies between different countries depending on when they entered the market and the market structure: from three years in Portugal to twelve years in Belgium/Luxembourg. The companies in the ALDI North Group offer their employees secure working conditions and long-term career development perspectives – increasingly important arguments in competition for the most talented employees. The company strives to achieve long-term working relationships already when appointing new employees. Most of the contracts for employees are permanent and for an indefinite period. The proportion of employees’ contracts for an indefinite period is around 84 percent throughout the ALDI North Group. Agency workers are only used to a limited extent (Germany: 0.01 percent, throughout the ALDI North Group: 0.4 percent).

Average length of service with the company (in years)

2014 2015
Belgium/Luxembourg1 11 12
Denmark 4 4
Germany 10 10
France 6 6
Netherlands 10 10
Poland 4 3
Portugal 3 3
Spain 4 3
ALDI North Group 7 6

1 ALDI Belgium and ALDI Luxembourg are legally independent companies (see “About this Report“).

Proportion of employees by employment contract and gender on the reference date 31 December (in percent)

2015
temporary of which female permanent of which female
Belgium/Luxembourg1 9.6 64.3 90.4 68.2
Denmark 1.5 65.5 98.5 51.9
Germany 15.5 67.1 84.5 72.1
France 10.8 62.8 89.2 64.3
Netherlands 32.8 59.7 67.2 63.6
Poland 61.1 86.6 38.9 85.0
Portugal 58.0 69.9 42.0 69.1
Spain 4.9 51.4 95.1 63.3
ALDI North Group 16.5 66.3 83.5 68.7

1 ALDI Belgium and ALDI Luxembourg are legally independent companies (see “About this Report“).

Information forms the platform for responsible action

The employees of the ALDI North Group make a key contribution to the success of the group of companies with their knowledge and responsible approach. Managers therefore have a duty to inform their employees promptly about the latest developments in the company and to provide any explanations required as background information. In Germany, the Netherlands and Spain employees are kept informed individually on a personal level and they also receive regular newsletters, for example outlining relevant changes in the product range, IT upgrading or the topic of CR. In Belgium and France, they receive a monthly newsletter on issues relating to CR and quality. The range of topics varies from the certification of coffee, cocoa and tea, to commitment to social standards in textile production. In March 2016, ALDI Portugal also introduced a CR Newsletter providing information for employees on a regular basis.

Managers are role models

Being a manager at the ALDI North Group entails putting your commercial talent to the test every day, making decisions confidently, motivating employees, and of course ensuring that customers are satisfied. Apart from having social skills and specialist expertise, we therefore expect managers to give direction to the employees in their teams, to respect their staff and to motivate them, as well as ensuring that they are appropriately qualified. Today, their role model is therefore even more demanding than ever before. In 2014, the ALDI North Group developed leadership principles which highlight the values of simplicity, responsibility and reliability, as well as focusing on recognition, openness and trust.

Developing employees is a management function

A trusting working environment and cooperation based on partnership are particularly important at the ALDI North Group. All the employees have the opportunity to contribute their skills towards joint success. The managers therefore support the career development of employees and work together with them to define their goals.

In Denmark, Germany and Spain, the managers regularly assess the performance of employees under their responsibility. From the level of the store administrator, the assessment is carried out annually on the basis of defined criteria.

At ALDI France, a staff meeting is held at least once a year. A meeting on training requirement and career development takes place every three years. In the companies of ALDI Spain, targets for different positions are defined once a year. The assessment is carried out on the basis of fixed criteria. Employees in the Netherlands are also assessed annually by their managers.

Open career paths

Open career paths

Realising personal career targets

The employees at the ALDI North Group have good opportunities for advancing their careers. Career paths are open and offer diverse opportunities for development.

Right from the start, employees are able to take responsibility. Successful economics graduates from a university or university of applied sciences join the company at the level of an area manager – this also applies to twin-track students with in-service training at the ALDI North Group. They first undergo a six-month induction period at a store. As an area manager they then take responsibility for five to seven stores and manage up to 70 employees. Experienced colleagues provide them with proactive support.

Even if they have not completed a university degree, retail clerks and retail assistants also have the opportunity to gather experience in store management in almost all countries. They are promoted to store administrator if they have appropriate aptitude. For example, selected store administrators in Germany are supported in obtaining the qualification as retail merchandiser. When they have obtained this qualification, they can advance to area manager and this is the pathway to all other management positions. If individuals have the appropriate skills, the company prefers to make promotions from its own ranks, so that many of today’s managers started their careers in stores or as apprentices at the ALDI North Group.

Apprentices at the ALDI North Group are among the best in the sector

Training is a key element in ensuring the future of the ALDI North Group. The regional companies in Germany have around 2,000 apprentices and they are one of the biggest training providers in the German retail trade. Throughout the ALDI North Group, the number of trainees was around 2,300 in 2015, with 74 percent of the trainees in Germany being employed in permanent positions.

In Germany, the trainees are always among the best in their cohort. As well as attending vocational school, they receive comprehensive training in a company training programme, the ALDI Apprentice Camp. Training systems or comparable offerings are also provided in other countries where the ALDI North Group is operating, for example in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Spain. The training at ALDI Denmark and Spain is carried out in cooperation with a business school. Our trainees there are taught together in a dedicated class. They also gain practical experience within the company and take part in internal training modules. The satisfaction and career development of the trainees is regularly reviewed. In the study year 2014/2015, ALDI Spain had the highest training rate in a sector comparison.

Number of apprentices and twin-track degree students on the reference date 31 December

The vocational training model based on the German pattern is not used in all countries and the data on the number of apprentices are therefore restricted to the countries of Denmark, Germany and France. The system used in the Netherlands and Spain is not currently included in recording the performance indicators because the vocational training models are not identical. In Germany, a twin-track degree course with in-service training is also offered.

2014 2015
Apprentices Twin-track students Apprentices Twin-track students
Denmark 54 53
Germany 2,330 117 2,014 92
France 187 241
Total 2,571 117 2,308 92

Regional companies in Germany also cooperate with 18 partner universities of applied sciences and vocational academies to offer a twin-track bachelor’s degree in the disciplines of IT and business studies. ALDI Portugal also provides a university place on a bachelor’s course for a twin-track degree at the Berlin School for Economics and Law. In Germany, the regional companies will expand their twin-track degree programme with a master’s course in 2016 in the subject “International Retail Management” at Bochum University of Applied Sciences. A practical induction to the position of area manager is also being implemented in parallel. The master’s degree is initially open to all our employees who have already completed a bachelor’s degree at the ALDI North Group. The programme will be extended to external applicants.

ALDI stores run by apprentices

ALDI stores run by apprentices

Practical experience and assumption of responsibility at an early stage are typical characteristics of apprenticeships at the ALDI North Group. Since 2014, the project “ALDI stores run by apprentices” has given apprentices in Germany an opportunity to prove themselves in responsible positions at our ALDI Apprentice Camps during the course of their training. Over a period of two weeks, a team from the third training year takes over the management and entire operation of an ALDI North Group store: from incoming goods and replenishment planning, through presentation, sales, human resources department, assisting customers to till operation. Apprentices follow a daily rotating programme which gives them an opportunity to work in all the positions available. Experienced trainers provide them with support.

The project is intended to give apprentices an early insight into career perspectives and promote their sense of responsibility and management awareness. The joint challenge also strengthens team spirit. Apprentices in Denmark are also given the opportunity to take over the management of a store for a week.

“The project gives apprentices the chance to apply their theoretical knowledge and thereby find their personal strengths”

Reinhard Giese, Managing Director of the company in Herten

Schoolchildren and students are able to gain their first insights into the company workflows at the companies in the ALDI North Group by engaging in a two-week or four-week internship in most of the companies in the ALDI North Group. Interns are treated fairly and their achievements are recognised. The ALDI North Group has reinforced this by recognising the principles of the Fair Company initiative.

reviewed contents 2015