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Our people

Our people are vital to the implementation of our business strategy. Shell recruits, trains and rewards employees to build business capabilities. This ensures our businesses are well resourced and enhances employee performance and engagement levels.

We have 92,000 employees in more than 70 countries, with just under 40% in countries outside of Europe or North America. To execute our strategy and growth plans for the future, we recruited around 1,200 graduates and around 3,200 experienced professionals in 2013. The majority of each came from technical disciplines. More than 30% of our graduate recruits came from universities outside Europe and the Americas. We employ skill-pool managers to ensure robust resourcing and succession planning for our critical positions and to create development opportunities for our employees. Our salaries reflect market conditions in the country where employees are based and the high level of skill and experience needed. We regularly review comparative remuneration for men and women in selected countries. Shell manages the effects on people of business changes as consistently as possible. Affected employees are treated respectfully and transparently and will be supported in searching for alternative employment as appropriate by country law and policy. We provide flexible working practices wherever necessary and reasonably possible. Our employees are encouraged to take part in social responsibility projects and employee interest networks.

Employee communication and involvement

Two-way dialogue between management and employees is embedded in our work practices, and we strive to maintain healthy employee relations. Dialogue can take place directly and, where appropriate, through employee councils or trade unions. On a quarterly basis, senior management briefs employees on Shell’s operational and financial results through various channels. The Shell People Survey is one of the principal tools used to measure employee views on a range of topics including employee engagement and the degree of affiliation and commitment to Shell. The average employee engagement score increased by 3% in 2013 to 80% favourable; the unfavourable score was 4%. Since 2010, there has been a 9% increase in employees scoring employee engagement favourably.

We have multiple channels in place for employees to report, confidentially and anonymously, breaches of the Shell General Business Principles or our Code of Conduct, or other concerns. These include a global telephone helpline and a dedicated website in addition to local channels.

Diversity and inclusion

We have a culture that embraces diversity and fosters inclusion. By embedding these principles in our operations, we have a better understanding of the needs of our varied customers, partners and stakeholders throughout the world and can benefit from a wider talent pool. We provide equal opportunity in recruitment, career development, promotion, training and reward for all employees regardless of colour, ethnicity or physical ability. Where possible, we make reasonable adjustments in job design and provide appropriate training for employees who declare a disability.

We actively monitor representation of women and local nationals in senior leadership positions, and have talent-development processes to support us in delivering more diverse representation. The proportion of women in senior leadership positions was 17.2%, compared with 16.2% in 2012.

In 32% of the countries where Shell subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates are based, local nationals filled more than half of the senior leadership positions, compared with 42% of countries in 2012. From 2014, we will no longer apply this metric, as it does not reflect expatriation of local nationals for talent development purposes. Instead, we will start using a revised metric that better represents our activities in this respect.

Senior leaders actively engage in diversity and inclusion networks, internally and externally, and we have numerous active employee interest networks representing different communities within the organisation. Our annual Shell People Survey also measures employees’ views on the inclusiveness of their workplace. In 2013, 70% felt positive about this, up 1% from 2012; 11% felt negatively about inclusion in the workplace, down 1% from 2012.

Training and development

We continue to invest in developing the skills of our employees and joint venture partners. In 2013, we invested over $304 million in training and development. Our focus is on building technical capability and safety-critical competencies and skills. In 2013, we provided more than 795,000 training days for employees and some of our joint-venture partners. This included training more than 4,000 people in leadership skills.

External voluntary codes

The Shell General Business Principles and Code of Conduct guide the business activities of Shell companies. We also support a number of external voluntary codes. These include the United Nations’ (UN) Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Code of conduct violations

Shell employees and contractors working for Shell must abide by our Code of Conduct. In 2013, 181 violations of the Code of Conduct were reported (209 in 2012; 226 in 2011). As a result, we dismissed or terminated the contracts of 63 employees and contractors (93 in 2012; 78 in 2011).