As many as 13 Fortenova Group companies received the Certiﬁcate Employer Partner (CEP) for the year 2022, which is awarded for excellence in human resources management.
Out of the total number, five companies – Konzum, Pik Vrbovec, Jamnica, mStart and Fortenova grupa d.d. – successfully completed the recertification process, while eight companies participated in the certification process for the first time – Mercator-Serbia, Mg Mivela, Roto dinamic, Zvijezda, Dijamant, Belje, Pik Vinkovci and Vupik.
The Certificate Employer Partner is an unbiased acknowledgement by experts from the European HR community verifying the highest quality of management in seven key areas of human resources. Thereby the practices in Croatia are compared to global trends, thus improving the standards in human resources management and promoting examples of excellence in HR. The certification process assesses and awards points to topics such as selection, competence development, leadership, work performance, involvement and satisfaction, career and succession, rewarding etc. at all organisational levels.
“When so many different companies from one Group receive an external professional acknowledgement that the standards they apply in their operations are at the highest level, regardless of their respective area of operations, this is a legitimate reason to be proud and a proof that our internal bonds are getting ever stronger. However, due to the situation on the labour market that employers on all markets have been faced with since several years, this certification has a particular weight as it brings a great positive reverberation and recognition. Having satisfied and motivated employees and encouraging work environments, as well as creating and maintaining those partnership relations is what constitutes one of the key competitive advantages for employers today. This also means having a positive impact on a number of processes in our regional environment, which is the fundamental prerequisite for long-term sustainability” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors on the occasion of the Certificate Employer Partner presentation ceremony.
“This is a truly valuable acknowledgement for all our initiatives taken so far in the area of human resources development at Fortenova Group companies and to all teams working on it with great commitment. Besides showing that the companies’ operations are on the right track and that the employees’ impact on the organisations’ growth is continuously being strengthened, those acknowledgements are also a significant motivation for us to continue being a good practice example for other companies in the region by placing employees in the focus of our operations” – said Gordana Fabris, Director of Human Resources at Fortenova Group.
“It has been a pleasure to follow Fortenova Group over the last three years since the first company from the Group got involved in the quality assessment of human resources management according to the regionally recognised Employer Partner methodology. We are particularly pleased to see that the number of companies from Fortenova Group that hold the Certificate Employer Partner has significantly grown. The thirteen Certificate holders have a headcount of more than 26 500 employees and thereby not only have an impact on the Croatian and the region’s economies, but also affect the quality of many work environments. We know from our consulting experience how challenging it is for companies of that size and diversification to introduce new HR processes and implement changes. Fortenova Group companies particularly stand out in terms of the quality of their recruitment processes, onboarding for new employees and employee development through internal academies with impressive tradition. We look forward to future successes of Fortenova Group companies which will certainly not fail to happen given the great investments in people, which are their main value” – said Lara Šubić Šuše, Employer Partner Project Manager.
With the end of November Fortenova Group has completed the launch of a new educational cycle in all three programmes of the DRIVE Beyond Excellence project, designed to improve the knowledge and skills of its employees in the long term.
Only a fortnight after 98 students of the first generation successfully completed their education, another generation of Accelerate programme students have started their work today. It comprises 73 students from 17 operating companies and Fortenova grupa d.d. Their education focuses on acquiring a number of new competencies and knowledge in various operational areas, and the programme has been developed with Selectio Group, Croatia’s leading HR consultancy company.
Through nine modules the students will gain insight into knowledge from the areas of finance, supply chain management, sales, customer relations or comprehensive project management, with particular focus on strengthening team leadership skills, recognizing specific traits in team members and encouraging their creativity, agility and inclination to thinking outside the box.
The education is intended to strengthen the students’ managerial skills, as well as to drive the transfer of acquired knowledge, thus strengthening the overall level of employee competence and efficiency and contributing to the atmosphere of togetherness, collaboration and sharing fostered by Fortenova Group in its working environments.
“I believe that we are all proud to end the year with new beginnings in our internal education programmes, featuring an impressive number of students in both generations. In the context of everything else that we have done at the company in parallel, we can truly be content with our overall achievements. Not only have we improved our financial strength, as confirmed by our operating results from quarter to quarter, but in parallel we have also developed internal processes and a systematic support to our key resource, which has brought us to the point that today we have a respectable talent pool and teams that can cope with even the most challenging tasks”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s CEO on the occasion of the Accelerate programme kick-off.
“Two generations of group programmes for the development of our employees’ skills as part of the DRIVE Beyond Excellence project have involved more than 450 employees from all our companies. The first generations have successfully completed their education, and the feedback from the students in all three programmes regarding the content quality and overall concept is truly excellent. This is why we are very happy with the development of the DRIVE Beyond Excellence project and the benefits that it has brought in strengthening the Group’s overall human potential and the work environment in general” – said Gordana Fabris, Fortenova Group’s Director of Human Resources.
As part of the DRIVE Beyond Exellence programme of improving the knowledge and skills of its employees, Fortenova Group has together with the COTRUGLI Business School started another education cycle through the Navigate Programme.
The second generation of students comprises 22 employees from 14 operating companies and Fortenova grupa d.d., most of them from the Food and Retail Divisions. Over 14 months of the education designed for Fortenova Group’s managers they will primarily strengthen their leadership skills, and working on a concrete operational project under the supervision of Fortenova Group’s Executive Directors they will consider improvements in their respective companies and acquire new, practical organisational knowledge. All of that will additionally affect the mobilization of their teams and organisations, as well as the realization of goals within Fortenova Group’s strategy.
„The systematic consolidation of Fortenova Group’s operations has been accompanied by the systematic support to the development of our key resource – our talents. That approach has reaped significant results because apart from having become one of the most desirable employers in the region in only four years of operations, we have also developed three own tailor-made education programmes with more than 250 of our employees having attended them in the first generation. Over the course of this month another nearly 200 collegues from across the Group shall start with new education cycles and hence over a period of two years almost 400 employees will undergo the internal education. Already the first generations have confirmed that investing in the expansion of knowledge and the personal growth and development of our talents also means that the Group’s potential in realizing its business objectives gets stronger. I am sure that the the contribution of the second generation of students in all DRIVE Beyond Excellence programmes will be equally strong and visible”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s CEO and Member of the Board of Directors, on the occasion of kicking off the second cycle of the Navigate programme.
„We are exceptionally pleased to be Fortenova Group’s education partner already for the second year and to continue contributing to the improvement of the professional competencies of Group employees through the “Drive Beyond Excellence – Navigate” programme, all with a view to achieving the set strategic goals, as well as to the not less important personal development.
As the leading business school in Southeast Europe we have always pointed out the importance of lifelong education and look forward to making our contribution to the personal, civic, social and business perspectives. I am convinced that the attendees of the programme will be important links in the development of their organisation and contribute to the competitiveness of the Croatian economy by personal example”, said Zoran Đorđević, Partner and Academic Director at the COTRUGLI Business School.
The first generation of 90 students from 17 Fortenova Group companies received their degrees on 15th November at the Konzum Academy for the successful completion of the Accelerate Programme. The degree-awarding ceremony marked the end of their one-and-a-half-year long journey of developing and improving their professional competencies and strengthening their managerial skills.
The Accelerate Programme is one of two group programmes in Fortenova Group’s DRIVE Beyond Excellence project that offers students the possibility to acquire new knowledge in the areas of finance, supply chain management, sales, customer relations or comprehensive project management through eight modules.
Given that the students that qualified for the programme were recognized for their development and career advancement potential through assuming more responsible managerial positions at Fortenova Group and its operating companies, particular emphasis was placed on strengthening their skills in team leading and recognizing specific traits in team members and on encouraging their creativity, agility and inclination to thinking outside the box.
Investment in the professional development and realization of potentials of its employees contributes to the overall business success of the Group, which has developed the Accelerate Programme with Selectio Group.
Congratulations to all our colleagues from Konzum, Tisak, Konzum BH, Mercator Slovenia, Mercator Serbia, Mercator BH, Mercator Montenegro, PIK Vrbovec, Jamnica, Sarajevski kiseljak, Roto dinamic, Zvijezda, Dijamant, Belje, Vupik, mStart and Fortenova grupa d.d.!
Fortenova grupa d.d. and its operating companies Jamnica, Konzum, PIK Vrbovec and mStart have received the Employer Partner Certificate (Certifikat Poslodavac Partner – CPP), awarded by Selectio group. With this Certificate the experts of SELECTIO Group have since more than 15 years been comparing local HR practices with global trends, thus improving the standards in human resources management and promoting practices that set a model of excellence in HR.
In the HR analysis carried out at all levels of the organisation, Fortenova Group and its operating companies have scored excellent results, and the certificate has acknowledged the highest management quality in five key areas of human resources – Strategy, Recruiting and Selection, Performance Management, Training and Development and Relation to Employees.
“As many as five Croatian Fortenova Group members – Fortenova grupa, Jamnica, Konzum, mStart and PIK Vrbovec – have met all the criteria of the Employer Partner Certificate and constitute a true example of successful HR management that has continuously developed in all areas. The companies have conducted various internal compliance, climate and satisfaction surveys, and hence the Feedback 360 analysis has confirmed that the managers comply with organisational values and key competencies. Recruitment and selection activities are at premium level, while onboarding processes have stood out in terms of innovative practices and approach. Internal communication at all levels of the organisation is commendable and makes sure that the teams are well informed and it is interesting to note that some practices are a role model of excellence even at global level” – said Martina Kessler, Head of Organizational Development Solutions from SELECTIO Group.
„It is not without reason that our human resources strategy is a strong support to all important processes at Fortenova Group. Whatever we do internally is also reflected on our environment and given that Fortenova Group employs around 50000 people across the region, we largely also determine the way in which the region functions. This also implies the reverberation of our employee relationship in the entire Group, which is based on building a desirable and encouraging work environment where our colleagues will be content and motivated. With this approach we as a company spread the sense of security and optimism and actually indirectly contribute to bringing the negative demographic and migration trends that we have been faced with to a halt” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, at the Employer Partner Certificate awarding ceremony.
Quality HR management is reflected in the partnership relations between the employer and the employee and has over the last years constituted a crucial competitive advantage of contemporary organisations. In 2020 Fortenova Group had received the Excellence in Challenges acknowledgement, thus having proved its top-notch management of the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the successful completion of the certification process Fortenova grupa d.d. and its operating subsidiaries have joined the company of more than 100 corporations in Croatia that use the Employer Partner Certificate methodology to measure their success in managing human resources and to develop and improve HR practices.
“Since the very beginning of its operations Fortenova Group has been focused on its employees, on creating a quality work environment as well as on improving the rewarding system. This has all contributed to the excellent results achieved in this certification, and the fact that the certificate has been awarded to as many as five of our companies has affirmed the excellence that we strive for as a Group. The Certificate also imposes a responsibility to additionally improve the high level of partnership achieved with our employees in the forthcoming period” – said Gordana Fabris, Director of Human Resources at Fortenova Group.
Fortenova grupa d.d. has received the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer”, awarded for the fourth year in a row by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth to companies with best quality solutions in achieving a friendly atmosphere towards employees and their families, particularly taking into account the adjustment of the employers to employees’ families over the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2018, when it was awarded for the first time, this acknowledgement has established itself as an important public commendation to those employers whose relation to their employees stands witness to their socially responsible approach and also shows a diversity of solutions for creating a friendly and encouraging environment for employees and their families.
“At the company we have focused on our employees with children, by providing parents with certain benefits in those moments of life that are important to them. At the same time we are focused on the idea of projecting optimism, as we believe that the optimism that we build within our company also affects the broader society. Viewed in the context of the declining population, we think that what is missing in our society is optimism. It is important for us to support family life as well as optimism, because we believe that it is possible to create personal wealth, values and business success in our region and that people can feel good here” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer, on the occasion of the award presentation.
Gordana Fabris, Fortenova Group’s Director of Human Resources, noted that the wide array of benefits at Fortenova Group ranged from employee health care by way of covering additional health insurance costs, thru a number of measures supporting parenthood – flexible working hours and four-hour workdays for parents of children with special needs, the possibility of gradual return to work following maternity or parental leave, use of days off for the child’s first day at school or kindergarten – up to subsidized sporting activities for its employees.
“Fortenova Group’s commitment to building a community that places the focus on family values has been recognized by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth, which has awarded us the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer” for the year 2021. We are exceptionally proud of this valuable recognition, which is also an encouragement to keep focusing on the welfare of our employees even more” – Gordana Fabris said.
The programme was developed in collaboration with experts from LQ Group as the third comprehensive education programme within the long-term project of improving the knowledge and skills of Fortenova Group employees
On 14th September 2021 Fortenova Group commenced the implementation of the Discover programme – the third group programme within the DRIVE Beyond Excellence long-term project developed by Fortenova Group with a view to improving the knowledge and skills of its employees.
Following the start of the education of the first generation of participants of the Navigate and Accelerate programmes, another 139 Fortenova Group employees from the Retail, Food and Agriculture divisions, as well Fortenova grupa d.d. and mStart, have embarked on the Discover programme.
The education is focused on acquiring new knowledge and competencies in different operational areas, and the programme has been developed together with the experts from LQ Group. Over the following months the attendees will have the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills in different business areas, with particular emphasize on the competencies that are important to be developed in order to be able to successfully cope with day-to-day business challenges and tasks.
The education is intended to improve the managerial skills of Fortenova Group employees as well as to transfer the acquired knowledge further in order to enhance the overall level of employee competencies and efficiencies and contribute to the atmosphere of togetherness, collaboration and sharing fostered by Fortenova Group.
Over the period of only a few months Fortenova Group has developed three comprehensive education programmes, with over 250 employees from all our companies currently taking part.
“We believe that providing the conditions for personal and professional growth and development is the strongest lever in striving to strengthen the Group’s overall human resources and the best response to all our business challenges. The Drive Beyond Excellence education is a long-term, systematic model supporting the professional and personal development of Fortenova Group employees in order for them to make a contribution to the operating results and to generating new values for the company, as well as to creating the atmosphere of one of the most desirable employers on the territories of the region where Fortenova Group operates” – said Gordana Fabris, Fortenova Group’s Director of Human Resources, at the promotion of the Discover education programme.
For the second year in a row, Fortenova Group is among the 20 best employers in Croatia, according to the results of the survey Employer of the First Choice, conducted by the MojPosao portal for the 17th year in a row. Fortenova Group was on this list for the first time only a year and a half since its inception, and this year it has further confirmed its place on the list of the best employers. The survey was conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, and 20,000 respondents participated.
Gordana Fabris, Director of Human Resources at Fortenova Group, emphasized on that occasion: “We are proud of this result. This research shows that despite the fact that we are a very young company that is simultaneously transforming and developing a new corporate culture, for the second year in a row we are also one of the most desirable employers. From the very beginning of its operations, Fortenova Group has always focused on the importance of employees, creating a quality work environment and improving reward conditions, all of which have contributed to our excellent results within this research. Today, Fortenova Group is the largest employer in the region with more than 50,000 employees. This represents a great responsibility for us in the upcoming period, in accordance with our values of excellence, to continuously work to be an even better and more desirable employer and improve all segments of human resource management … “
The aim of this research is to find out which employers on the Croatian labor market are the most attractive to the general public. The research is anonymous, based solely on respondents’ perceptions of companies and their free choice. It is in fact the respondents who ‘create’ the list of employers they would most like to work for, and reveal the reasons why these employers are considered the ‘most desirable’. In addition to Fortenova Group, this year’s list also includes other large Croatian companies such as dm-drogerie markt, Lidl, Müller store Zagreb, Rimac Automobili, Atlantic Grupa, HEP, Kaufland Croatia, PLIVA Croatia, INA, Infobip, Hrvatski Telekom, BIPA , Valamar, Zagreb Holding, Pevex, Coca-Cola HBC Croatia, Jadran – Galenski Laboratorij, Ericsson Nikola Tesla and A1 Croatia. The results of the research show that, unlike last year, when harmonious relations in the workplace were the most important factor in evaluating the degree of attractiveness of a particular employer, this year the most “crucial” votes went to job security (40%). Harmonious relations in the workplace (for 39% of respondents this is a crucial reason for attractiveness) are ranked second, while in third place, just like last year, is the social responsibility of the employer (36%).
As part of the improvement programme for the knowledge and skills of its employees entitled DRIVE Beyond Excellence, in partnership with the experts from the COTRUGLI Business School Fortenova Group has developed the Navigate programme, intended to strengthen the professional competencies of Fortenova Group employees in order for them to also significantly contribute to meeting Fortenova Group’s strategic goals by investing in their own development and to deal with new business challenges with ease.
The first generation of Navigate programme attendees comprises 35 employees of Fortenova Group and its operating companies. Over the course of the 14 months of the education programme they will go through seven thematic units providing them with the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills, ponder possible improvements at their respective companies, acquire new, practical organizational knowledge and through all of that additionally mobilize their teams and organizations. An integral part of the programme is also a concrete project from Fortenova Group’s operations, where the students will work under the sponsorship of one of Fortenova Group’s Executive Directors.
In order to adjust the entire programme as much as possible to the Fortenova Group environment and the projects taking place at the operating companies, the content of the DRIVE programme for future attendees will be designed based on the feedback, proposals and ideas of the attendees from previous generations. Therefore the students of the first DRIVE programme generation will also be ambassadors of sorts for the programme.
On the occasion of the DRIVE Beyond Excellence education programme kick-off Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, said: “It is our wish to be not only the largest, but also the most desirable employer in the region and hence we consider this significant investment in the expansion of our employees’ knowledge, that we have just started, to be one of the key elements in achieving that goal. I personally believe that building a systematic support that will provide talents with the possibility of personal growth and development is also of particular importance in the perception of the company as employer and in accomplishing all our business objectives. A structured approach to improving human resources will create new values for the Group and contribute to creating togetherness, which is extremely important for Fortenova Group to meet its ambitious business goals.”
“Being the educational partner in this significant project is a particular pleasure for us and we are looking forward to realizing all the objectives set. The trust placed in us motivates us, in accordance with the School’s mission, to encourage students to pursue a continuous development in order to set an example and introduce positive changes and thus contribute to the development of their organization and the society as a whole” – said Zoran Đorđević, Partner and Programme Director of COTRUGLI Business School.