DEVELOPING OUR TALENT
Recruiting and maintaining the right team of talent is critical in a highly competitive global industry such as ours. While each of our brands offers its own unique development programs, Lead the VF Way is a company-wide initiative that offers management and leadership development experiences for three distinct levels of leaders across VF: executives and senior leaders; mid-level leaders at the brand and corporate levels; and entry-level leaders.
VF has about 37,200 hourly employees, 10,700 non-exempt and 11,000 exempt employees. 2,000 of those are senior leaders, defined as associates who hold positions at the director level and higher. Since Lead the VF Way’s inception in 2010, we have trained roughly 25 percent of this group in various programs. Through courses, training and coaching, Lead the VF Way promotes professional growth and strengthens our leadership pipeline. Just a few examples of the dozens of Lead the VF Way programs offered include:
- VF Leadership Institute – This long-running, case-driven problem solving session allows our senior leaders to work in teams to address real VF challenges. It is routinely taught by other VF executives, including our CEO and CFO. The program provides coaching to develop critical financial and managerial skills as well as presentation skills needed to influence a room full of other business leaders.
- VF Executive Acumen – This program is designed to help mid-level associates develop strong financial skills. It also introduces broader business skills to support VF’s focus on financial growth, efficiency and quality.
- Supply Chain University – We convene our top global talent from across our supply chain for a week-long intensive program each year. This focused curriculum tackles real VF opportunities in our supply chain and challenges the participants to work across their functions and regions to develop solutions. The program culminates in a presentation to VF’s senior-most leadership.
- Asia STAR Award – Each year, our associates in Asia are eligible for the Asia STAR Award, which recognizes associates and/or teams for their efforts in business results and performance. In 2014, innovation and sustainability were added to the award program. The individuals or teams are nominated by their peers, and winners are recognized at the annual employee dinner party each February.
VF ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAM
VF’s Global Ethics and Compliance Program ensures that our associates fully understand VF’s expectations for ethical business conduct, have the necessary resources to make the right decisions and feel empowered to report questionable or unethical behavior without fear of retaliation. VF’s Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary provides oversight of our program, and VF’s Senior Director of Global Ethics and Compliance manages the program’s day-to-day operations. Our Ethics and Compliance Leadership Council, comprised of members of VF’s Operating Committee and other leaders, is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the program.
The foundation of our Ethics and Compliance Program is our Code of Business Conduct, which sets forth business policies and principles for all directors, officers and associates of VF. In 2014 we refreshed the Code by adding Q&A examples, links to VF’s policies, definitions of key terms and new topics such as Global Trade Compliance. The Code, which is available in 22 languages, is based on ethical principles that we have followed throughout our 110 year history and is designed to help our associates continue to conduct business with the highest ethical standards.
GLOBAL ANTI-CORRUPTION PROGRAM
In 2013, VF conducted a global assessment of corruption-related risks across the company. Specifically, we evaluated the existence of the following factors as they related to then-existing anti-corruption measures:
- Leadership engagement
- Oversight, autonomy and resources
- Clear policies and procedures
- Training, communication and advice
- Reporting and investigation procedures and
- Periodic monitoring, auditing and assessment of our anti-corruption efforts.
As a result of the assessment, we developed our Global Anti-Corruption Program to promote compliance with anti-corruption laws and ensure the existence of robust practices in the areas listed above. We designed our program to provide broad guidance to our general associate population and provide more specific guidance to those associates who are most likely to encounter challenging situations based on geographic location, role responsibilities or other relevant factors. Training and communication address topics such as bribery, kickbacks, gifts and entertainment, conflicts of interests, interactions with government officials, use of third-party intermediaries, charitable contributions, accurate record keeping and methods for reporting misconduct. In addition, associates world-wide have access to our Ethics Helpline and web reporting tool, which are available in multiple languages and are administered by a third-party independent service provider. Our global investigation protocol helps to ensure that we address each reported issue promptly, consistently and on a confidential basis.
In 2013 and 2014, we provided anti-corruption training to 94 percent of the target associate population identified as meeting the criteria for receiving facilitator-led anti-corruption training. The training sessions were conducted across the globe in several languages and in multiple countries including India, Bangladesh, China and Mexico.
Leadership engagement is also key to the success of our Global Anti-Corruption Program. Therefore,all members of our Operating Committee along with other Coalition leaders have completed comprehensive facilitator-led anti-corruption training. In 2014, we launched our enhanced online Code of Business Conduct training, which includes a module on VF’s anti-corruption policies and procedures.
MAINTAINING WORKPLACE SAFETY
Whether it be in an office, distribution center, factory or retail store, VF is adamant about ensuring the safety of our associates in the work place. Our Ideal Plant Model (IPM) and Ideal Office Model (IOM) are the bedrock of workplace safety at VF. The IPM, which sets forth criteria that are used to objectively grade safety performance in certain key areas, was developed in 1993 to ensure safe, clean and comfortable working environments for all of our associates. All of the factories we own and operate are subject to the requirements set forth in VF’s IPM. The IPM goes beyond local requirements to bring best-in-class standards to VF facilities across the world. Each VF office, distribution center and owned manufacturing facility follows the IPM and/or IOM.
We continually update and enhance our safety standards based upon new legal requirements and best practices. For example, in 2011 VF eliminated sandblasting of our jeanswear products – a process linked to the respiratory disease silicosis – to further ensure the health and safety of all associates.