Skip to main content


Vodafone employed approximately 72,000 people worldwide during the 2008 financial year, with a goal to recruit, develop and retain the most talented, motivated people that are well aligned with the Vodafone brand essence. The Group aims to do this by providing a productive and safe working environment, treating people with respect and offering attractive performance based incentives and opportunities.


Being passionate and energetic

Rock Solid

Being reliable and following through on promises


Continually striving for improvement and challenging the status quo

Vodafone’s global people strategy was embedded during the 2008 financial year and aims to increase employee engagement by setting out a framework that enables Vodafone to be clear about the employee experience the Group wants to create. This enables Vodafone to engage employees to deliver to customers and to increase business performance.

Additionally, during the 2008 financial year, the Group further embedded the Vodafone brand essence, “Red, Rock Solid, Restless”, which communicates a common way of behaving that is designed to enhance business performance and customer orientation. This has been reinforced at the local level through workshops that encourage teams to apply the Vodafone values to their specific work concentrating on improving the experience of their customers. In addition, human resources (“HR”) processes such as induction and training have been developed to explicitly provide people with a deeper understanding of how to demonstrate the behaviours in their daily work.

Training and development

99%+ of managers globally received training in the total communications strategy, products and marketplace

Allocation of Group’s 72,000 employees by activity (%)
image showing allocation of Group’s 72,000 employees by activity
1 Administration – 51.7%
2 Selling and distribution – 30.5%
3 Operations – 17.8%

Training and development programmes help employees to develop their skills and experience and to reach their full potential, benefiting themselves and the Company.

During the 2008 financial year, the Group delivered a training programme to build total communications awareness and capabilities within the Group’s employees. The training was designed to equip employees to understand the Group’s new total communications strategy, the competitive landscape, key technologies and resources and Vodafone’s products and services. Over 4,500 managers across the Group (more than 99% of the managerial population) completed 36,000 hours of dedicated total communications training. Feedback on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive. During the coming financial year, the Group will ensure all employees receive the same training via an online learning tool and that awareness is maintained through monthly webinars (web seminars), a daily blog and a wiki site (a collaborative website where content can be edited by anyone who has access to it).

Vodafone operates a global Performance Dialogue process for every employee. The process ensures that employees can make a clear connection between their goals and the business objectives. Each individual’s performance is discussed with their manager and career development goals are set. 93% of managers completed the Performance Dialogue process in the 2007 calendar year and 83% of employees approved development goals with their manager.

People Survey

In October 2007, Vodafone carried out its third global People Survey and had an 83% response rate globally, with 50,548 people giving their views on 68 questions. Vodafone India was not included in the survey as it had only been acquired in May 2007. For the first time, the Manager Index was also introduced to the People Survey, a subset of questions focused on the experience a manager creates for their team. A strong set of results were achieved with a number of key strengths and improvements:

  • Employee engagement was high at a steady 71 out of 100 in the 2007 People Survey, compared to 73 out of 100 in the 2005 People Survey and 70 out of 100 in the April 2007 Pulse Survey (Pulse surveys are smaller surveys carried out in between People Surveys).
  • The first Manager Index scored 69 out of 100 globally, with individual questions showing that managers are growing stronger in coaching, (which scored 8 points higher when compared to the 2005 People Survey), feedback, (which scored 10 points higher when compared to the 2005 People Survey) and recognition, (which scored 7 points higher when compared to the April 2007 Pulse Survey).
  • Leadership continued its strong trend upwards, with confidence in the strategy strengthening further. Confidence in operating company senior management increased by 8 points, and trust and confidence in the function/business/department increased by 8 points in the six months since the April 2007 Pulse Survey.
  • Employees are feeling more cared for, with wellbeing questions showing considerable improvement. 57% of employees rated their operating company favourably on taking a genuine interest in the wellbeing of its people (+15 points on 2005 People Survey and +5 points on April 2007 Pulse Survey). 70% of employees rated their manager favourably on supporting them to achieve a work-life balance, which is +13 points on the high performing norm (externally benchmarked best in class companies who have excellent engagement coupled with strong financial performance).

Vodafone is focused on continual improvement and values the feedback that the People Survey provides. Specifically in response to employee feedback from last year, the Global Change Framework was developed, a practical set of guidelines with training to help employees effectively manage change within the business.

The Group plans to carry out another full global survey in November 2008. Targets have been set by each operating company and Group functions to ensure that Vodafone continues to drive engagement across the business.

Communications and involvement

Employee engagement remains a key driver for Vodafone. Effective employee communication and the need to create dialogue with its people is championed at Board level. Vodafone continues to use its own products and services to reach out to staff – the use of mobile technologies such as SMS, video clips and mobile intranet sites is commonplace, all assisting in sharing knowledge amongst employees, creating a sense of global community and demonstrating the flexibility of Vodafone’s products, allowing employees to become advocates of the brand.

Visibility and access to the Executive Committee helps create Vodafone’s open and honest communication culture. The Chief Executive and other members of the Executive Committee continue to host the Talkabout programme, which puts executives on tour to visit the Group’s operating companies. The Executive Committee uses these sessions to discuss the Group’s strategic goals, listen to employee views and provide an opportunity to discuss the issues that most matter to employees. It also allows an open exchange of views and suggestions on how Vodafone can best continue to serve its customers. Monthly messages from the Chief Executive, using a wiki platform and video-cast, provide another opportunity for the Vodafone employees to understand how the Group is progressing against its goals and to provide feedback direct to the Chief Executive.

Face to face communication, particularly with employees’ line managers, is a fundamental principle of good employee engagement and is critical for communicating change effectively. Performance and transnational change issues are also discussed with employee representatives from the European subsidiaries, who meet annually with members of the Executive Committee in the Vodafone European Employee Consultative Council.

Equal opportunities and diversity

Vodafone does not condone unfair treatment of any kind and operates an equal opportunities policy for all aspects of employment and advancement, regardless of race, nationality, sex, age, marital status, disability or religious or political belief. In practice, this means that the Group is able to select the best people available for positions on the basis of merit and capability, making the most effective use of the talents and experience of people in the business and providing them with the opportunity to develop and realise their potential.

In April 2008, Vodafone implemented a new strategy to improve gender diversity across the Group. This includes carrying out senior leadership training on diversity, and plans to build a more inclusive culture.

Vodafone is conscious of the difficulties experienced by people with disabilities. Every effort is made to ensure ready access to the Group’s facilities and services and a range of products have been developed for people with special needs. In addition, disabled people are assured of full and fair consideration for all vacancies for which they offer themselves as suitable candidates and efforts are made to meet their special needs, particularly in relation to access and mobility. Where possible, modifications to workplaces are made to provide access and, therefore, job opportunities for the disabled. Every effort is made to continue the employment of people who become disabled via the provision of additional facilities, job design and the provision of appropriate training.

Reward and recognition

To support the goal of building the best global team by attracting and retaining the best people, the Group’s aim is to provide competitive and fair rates of pay and benefits in each local market where we operate.

Within Vodafone, there are initiatives that reward our employees based on their contribution to the success of the business. In the 2009 financial year, the Group expects to continue to extend reward differentiation based on individual contribution, through the global reward programmes, including the Global Long Term Incentive Plan.

A variety of share plans are offered to incentivise and retain our employees and, in July 2007, all eligible employees across the Group were granted 320 shares under the All Shares plan.

Retirement benefits are provided to employees and vary depending on the conditions and practices in the countries concerned. These are provided through a variety of arrangements including defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.

Measurement of employees’ views of their reward, recognition and benefits is undertaken through the global People Survey. In the 2007 People Survey, the overall Vodafone Group employee response relating to reward and recognition had increased favourably.

Health, safety and wellbeing

The health, safety and wellbeing (“HS&W”) of the Group’s customers, employees and others who could be affected by its activities are of paramount importance to Vodafone and the Group applies rigorous standards to all its operations.

This year has seen a clear focus on execution of the global HS&W initiatives across the business. Work progressed on three key focus areas agreed with the Global HS&W Board and Group HR for the 2008 financial year. These included continued delivery of employee wellbeing initiatives as part of the Global People Strategy implementation, integration of HS&W into Group Supply Chain activities, particularly the Supplier Performance Management processes, and updating, communicating and implementing Vodafone’s policy on mobile phones and driving.

Improvement of Group wide governance continued with integration of serious incident reporting systems for network service providers and improved policy and processes for managing supplier terminals compliance.

Employment policies

The Group’s employment policies are consistent with the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation Core Conventions and are developed to reflect local legal, cultural and employment requirements. High standards are maintained wherever the Group operates, as Vodafone aims to ensure that the Group is recognised as an employer of choice. Employees at all levels and in all companies are encouraged to make the greatest possible contribution to the Group’s success. The Group considers its employee relations to be good.