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Novus International
Valuing Our Role
Part: 01
Valuing Partnerships
Part: 02
Valuing People, Passion & Purpose
Part: 03
Valuing Governance & Transparency
Part: 04

How Does Novus Inspire Employees with Purpose?

Organizing for Customers

The pace of change at Novus remains fast and all- encompassing as we continue to adapt to new models in our marketplace and opportunities to advance our mission. No small part of this is aligning our organizational structure to ensure we are serving our customers in the best way possible. Throughout 2012, we continued to realign at a global level and this required some shifting of staff and work force reduction in certain locations as we build teams in places where they are most critically needed. In 2012, we regretted to have to release 72 employees, including 32 in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., our employee team has increased and we hired additional staff to support growing needs in our Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa regions as well as in Latin America.

At the end of 2012, our total employee headcount was 834, just slightly higher than the 829 employees reported in 2011. We clearly are showing a globalization trend in line with our business growth. Sixty-three percent of our employees are located outside of the U.S., as compared to 2007, when fewer than half were outside the U.S.

The Novus Management System (NMS) continues to provide our organization with a stable structure and serves as our anchor in times of organizational change, together with our mission and core values.

The Novus Management System

NMS has been a consistent management framework at Novus for the past 20 years, linking people and their contribution to business goals. It is based on “requisite” principles, which are management principles developed through research conducted in 15 countries over a period of many years. Dr. Elliott Jaques, the originator of Requisite Organization, defined requisite as “required by the natural order of things.” In the Requisite Organization, managers make decisions on the basis of research-proven principles that enable employees to work effectively toward a common goal based on common values, standards and procedures. For more about the way Novus applies the Requisite Organization principles, please visit the website of the Global Organization Design Society (http://globalro.org) in which the Novus leadership shares their views on how such principles are effective in shaping a robust organizational framework at Novus and inspiring employees to deliver their best performance. Novus often supports customers and partners in developing sustainable organizations.

Partnering with Our People

Cyndy Donato Insights from Cyndy Donato VP and Chief People Officer

“In April of 2012, when I joined Novus, the first thing I did was travel and listen. The feedback from employees was clear. They wanted more partnership from the Human Resources team to support talent development and career paths within the organization. As I traveled to our global locations and listened to employees, there was clearly a lot of passion to do more and develop our people more. Our people wanted visibility of openings in the organization and accessibility to jobs as they become available. Actually, this fits with our approach of developing our people from within. The feedback from employees was an indication of the fact that we can do this better. We realized we need to get really good at working with mobility as well as developing people in each of our locations and this includes development moves as well as promotions. The new assignments that people have taken on are not just about promotions. We promoted 32 people in 2012 and created more space for development moves, including eight international assignments. Following ‘the listening road-show’ in early 2012, we clarified our short-to medium-term priorities which are: working more effectively with the Novus Management System, developing talent and engaging people globally in our wellness platform.

A key piece of this is the NMS and developing managerial leadership practice, strengthening the connections in management relationships, coaching and development. We did this by using our most fundamental tool, the PREP process – People and Role Evaluation Planning. 2012 was probably the most comprehensive PREP process that we ever had. We took it all the way down the organization, to all employees for the first time ever, holding over 100 meetings globally between May and October 2012, culminating in a thorough understanding of succession gaps and talent investment requirements. Reactions from managers and employees were positive – they saw this as supporting careers and individual development.

We have to ensure that we, as an HR function, are partners in our overall business growth and we have to continue to help the organization develop its ability to partner. By partnering better internally in the business and helping to create more proactive managers with greater accountability for engaging and developing people, we actually free up more time and capability for partnership with our customers.”

Learning and Talent

Maria Burt Insights from Maria Burt Director, Global HR, Learning and Talent

“An important focus for me this past year has been embedding our NMS, which is the infrastructure that helps us develop leadership, engagement and accountability.”

“The NMS defines the way we work and, especially in times of change, we need to make sure that all of our teams are competent in using and working within this system. I think this is what helps us to be a sustainable organization. In fact, I have become a bit of an NMS guru. I conducted several workshops around the globe with tailored content, using case studies from Novus to help people to relate more effectively to the materials. We translated our training materials into three languages – Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish – to make them more accessible to our global teams. I also started to develop the Human Resources regional leads around the world as local trainers so that they can maintain the training in their own regions. We hope to complete this global rollout by 2014.”

Reward and Recognition

Novus offers an attractive range of family-friendly benefits for all employees. Compensation and benefits around the world are tailored to local norms and industry benchmarks, but generally exceed minimum levels required by local law. Typically, this includes competitive salary, merit increases, annual incentives, medical insurance, health and wellness benefits and in some countries, Novus offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides experienced counselors to assist employees in dealing with personal or family issues which may be a cause of stress. In addition, Novus acknowledges and rewards employees who have delivered outstanding performance or contribution beyond expectations, with financial and recognition awards at different levels.

Safety at Work

Steve Hacker Insights from Steve Hacker Manager, EHS&S

“Every employee should be able to count on a safe working environment and the best proof of this in practice is our ongoing safety performance, which continues to be better than industry averages. The latest data available from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website shows that the recordable injury rate for all sectors across the U.S. in 2011 was 3.8. This is the number of incidents per 100 full-time employees, which is the accepted way of reporting safety performance. In 2011, we reported an injury rate of 0.48 across our global operations and in 2012, our global rate improved to 0.36 (0.65 in the U.S.). Good safety performance is not a matter of chance. I believe these results testify to the ongoing cumulative effect of our investment in safety practices, awareness and training.

Our 2012 rate is actually made up of just three minor accidents. We treated these seriously and established corrective actions in all three cases. However, with safety, a preventive approach is no less important than post- incident correction. An important aspect of prevention is tracking near-misses. We have improved our recording of near-miss data and we recorded four near-misses in 2012, all minor, but each representing an opportunity to review safe practices and re-educate employees.

This year, we also introduced our Safety Toolbox. This is a series of short briefings on different safety aspects at work and at home, posted on our intranet system. Managers are alerted when new briefings are added to the Toolbox and they update employees.

Another safety step forward in 2012 was our compliance with the American Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program, designed to help businesses and other organizations become prepared for disasters and emergencies. Ready Rating members have access to a range of resources for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations and protect lives and property. In order to comply with this program, we improved our emergency response plan, conducted a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment, held a seminar for employees on preparedness for disasters and conducted drills to determine the readiness of our employees and facilities for earthquake and tornado incidents. We achieved a score of 95 out of 123 on this program by self-evaluation in 2012 and continue to look for ways to further improve.”

The Novus Health and Wellness Program

At Novus, as an organization whose core activities are rooted in health and nutrition, we are committed to the well-being of our employees which we believe is essential for the sustainability of our business. We constantly strive to find new and better ways to help all employees in the Novus team and their families become healthier, gain a greater sense of well-being and be more productive in work and in life. We believe this is our fundamental responsibility as an employer. It also provides benefit to our business, as employees become more motivated and more effective, both at work and at home, and this offers wider benefits to society as well.

Novus launched its health and wellness program when the organization moved into our Platinum LEED Certified headquarters in St. Charles, MO, in 2008. The facility features multiple windows and skylights that provide an outdoor view and natural light to employee workspaces as well as a fitness center that offers employees free fitness classes and personal training. In addition, Novus offers employees a range of health-related benefits as a part of their standard employment package. One of the highlights is our provision of wholesome, healthy lunches at no charge each day. Menus for the Novus café are planned by a licensed nutritionist and are low fat, low sodium and portion controlled. Other benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, use of sports facilities, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the opportunity for employees and their families to participate in various health-related activities. The more employees participate, the more they benefit by earning “wellness dollars” to spend on healthy activities of their choice. The LiveWell Program is available to all Novus employees in the form of an online portal for employees to track key health biometrics such as weight, calorie intake and exercise, stay informed of activities and register participation. LiveWell provides monthly newsletters with well-being news, tips and interesting health facts.

  • Since 2011, Novus maintains a No Smoking Anywhere policy
  • Novus is an American Heart Association GOLD Fit-Friendly Company
Insights from Tracy Brazelton Executive Director-Metro St. Louis, American Heart Association

“The American Heart Association is a strong supporter of comprehensive health promotion and worksite wellness programs. We understand and promote the importance of moving the U.S. population toward healthier behavior. By creating a wellness environment, companies can help lower healthcare costs and protect their most important resource — their employees. Research shows that for every one dollar invested in worksite wellness, companies can receive up to three dollars in return. The American Heart Association has the tools to help companies create a culture of wellness through our healthy living initiative called My Heart. My Life. The initiative helps spread the message about healthy living and is designed to get people moving more and eating better on and off the clock.”

Judith Thelwell Insights from Judith Thelwell Senior Manager, Benefits

“I am proud to work for a company that does so much to help employees take care of themselves and their families and improve their own well-being. Over the past few years, the Novus LiveWell program has grown in scope and over 700 employees now use the program actively.

New Global Health Committee: Last year we formed a global Health Committee, with volunteer members from Novus operations in eight countries, who now are helping direct our global health awareness program and encourage participation by all employees. Each location selects what works best for them. Our colleagues in Spain held a ten-week yoga course for employees.

Global Health Challenge for Novus Employees: One of the fun health events of the year was our Shape-Up Challenge which ran for two months in 2012. Almost 70 colleagues participated from all over the world, providing support to each other, as each took on a specific personal health challenge. I was part of a team with employees in Mexico. Our team met every week by teleconference and we created a supportive partnership which really helped us advance our goals. Participants completed an online workshop, logged activities and earned points for progress made. I didn’t win the challenge, but I won in other ways: better health awareness and getting to know my colleagues in other countries.

Onsite Opportunity for Employees to Invest in Their Health: Throughout the year, as is customary, we held other events, such as blood drives, walking activities, exercise classes and lectures. We also held a health fair at the Novus campus in St. Charles in which over 100 employees participated, receiving flu vaccines and full health screenings. Employees had the opportunity to learn more and receive recommendations to reduce health risks.”

Insights from Andy Critchell Master Data Coordinator

“I am 35 years old and I have been with Novus for two years. Since I started working for Novus, I have made a very dramatic and effective change in my personal health. I have lost around 150 pounds and taken up several sports activities. I attribute a large portion of my success to the programs and facilities that Novus provides. I enjoy a free, healthy lunch just about every day, use the gym facility with a personal trainer and participate in group exercise class twice a week. I use the online wellness program to track my food intake and physical activity. I also have a gym membership which is covered by my wellness dollars from the Novus program.

The truth is just after I joined Novus, I was diagnosed with diabetes. I started taking medication and had to test my blood sugar twice a day. I was advised by my doctor to lose weight. I have been able to do this with the help of all the Novus facilities, and now, my doctor is very pleased with my progress and has taken me off medication. You can’t imagine how all this has changed me for the better, both in my work and my personal life. I will carry this with me for as long as I’m alive.”

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