We have embedded strong succession planning and talent review processes into the fabric of our business management practices. In 2015 we refreshed our approach, focusing on the positions and people deemed most critical to driving our 'Events First'. 58% of our business critical positions have identified ready replacements. This succession planning process will be embedded into our quarterly business processes.
In 2015, members of the current Business Leader's Programme (BLP) led the global roll-out of continuous improvement tools across the organsiation, training employees how to use and apply the tools to increase business effectiveness. These tools included the five Whys, Kaizen, Rapid Prototying and Value-Stream Mapping. This initiative is not only about using the tools of continuous improvement, it is also about instilling a mindset and a culture of continuous improvement in the organisation so that it becomes the way employees naturally address business challenges and opportunities.
We are building the skills to deliver growth and a pre-eminent position in the industry. As deeper customer insights help shape our events of the future, we continue to assess and invest in the emerging skills needed within UBM. Three priority themes were identified in 2015: Sales Excellence, Marketing Excellence and Leadership Development. These areas saw the biggest training investments with 65% of our training budget targeted here, as they are expected to deliver most value in drining 'Events First' .
We offer a wide range of flexible working policies which help employees balance the demands of work with their personal lives and responsibilities. These policies include working from home, flexible hours, sabbatical leave, enhanced parental leave, part-time working, job sharing and a compressed working week.
We recognise the specific needs of individuals and, in particular, ensure that appropriate adjustments are made to enable us to employ disabled people. Should employees become disabled during employment we make every effort, through appropriate training or other adjustments, to accommodate their disability and enable them to continue their career with us.
As part of the Events First strategy, during 2015 we conducted a review of our variable pay arrangements. This culminated in revisions being made to annual bonus plans for key global leadership positions to support the strategy and also provide a demonstrable link to Company growth and performance.
In 2016, we will further refine these prinicples across all elements of variable pay, to ensure that sustainable long-term growth and Company performance is rewarded.
International Exchange Programme
Many of our businesses participate in an International Exchange Programme where an employee can elect to spend several weeks living and working in another business unit or culture to broaden their skills, share their knowledge with a local team and foster greater collaboration.
Given the nature of our business and our global reach, we believe that the principal human rights issues affecting our business relate to non-discrimination, fair employment practices and the right to privacy. We support the principles of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and have adopted a formal policy on Human Rights.