Common values promote dedication among employees

Having the right people in the right place is one of the essential factors in ICA Gruppen’s ability to achieve its goals and good profitability. To succeed in this, it is important to be able to attract and retain dedicated and talented employees. In 2013 a major initiative regarding common values was carried out as well as continued investments in professional development and good health.

ICA Gruppen is a major employer with a total of around 30,000 employees, mainly located in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries. Converted to full time staff, this is equivalent to 21,782 annual employees. This does not include the store personnel in the retailer owned ICA stores in Sweden because they are employed by the individual ICA retailers.

Common values and culture

In the ICA Group’s strategy, having dedicated employees is a central and long-term theme. One of the most important priorities in 2013 was to work on ICA Gruppen’s values. The idea was to create common values that will be guiding principles for employees in their work and support the company in achieving its goals. In autumn 2013 three key values were defined: simplicity, entrepreneurship and commitment.

The process of implementing the values throughout the organisation will begin in 2014. One of the methods to be used will be a values game where all ICA Gruppen employees will help to interpret, create and develop the behaviours, attitudes and activities that will support the common values.

In addition to the values, there are four cornerstones for ICA Gruppen’s efforts to build a Group-wide corporate culture: leadership, competence, diversity and ICA Gruppen as a workplace and an employer brand.

Clear leadership helps talents develop

Clear leadership is one of the cornerstones for creating good relationships between individuals and groups so that ICA Gruppen’s employees can develop in their professional roles.

A successful leader within ICA Gruppen needs to manage both strategic and operational issues as well as interaction among people to create good relationships between individuals and groups, so that ICA Gruppen’s employees can develop in their professional roles.

Professional development ensures a supply of talent

Professional development is key to ICA Gruppen’s growth. The Group operates in sectors that need both core competencies and constant knowledge development. The focus is on achieving clarity on standards and definitions of work roles and competence requirements.

Since ICA Gruppen’s goal is for 70% of recruitment to take place internally, it is important for employees to constantly develop their skills. ICA School has been training employees within ICA in Sweden since 1955. Today ICA School has more than fifty open courses for individual professional development. In addition to new skills, the course participants get an entirely new network of colleagues to share ideas with in the future. ICA School also tailors courses as needed.

ICA School also has a number of academies to make it easier for employees to plan their own development journey with their supervisor and to ensure a supply of talent. The academies have generalists as well as specialists and leaders in a variety of areas, such as sourcing and logistics.

An important element in professional development is performance reviews. The goal is for all employees to engage in a continuous dialogue with their immediate superior and to have at least one performance review a year. According to the results of ICA Gruppen’s employee survey, SpICAp 2013, 70% have had a performance review in the past twelve months.

Employee survey reveals improvement opportunities

The SpICAp survey has been conducted annually since 2012. It mainly focuses on three areas: commitment, well-being and leadership. Its purpose is to identify potential areas for improvement. The results in 2013 revealed improvement opportunities relating to the quality of performance reviews, and work on this has started.

Diversity through partnership

An active approach to diversity makes ICA Gruppen more attractive as an employer. Everyone – regardless of gender, ethnic background, functional disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or other belief system – should have the same chance of being recruited and developing in their work role.

We condemn sexual harassment and discrimination in any form. ICA Gruppen has had a special diversity manager working with the Group’s diversity initiative since 2010.

The goal of ICA’s Swedish project with the name “We can do more” (Vi kan mer), a collaboration partnership with Samhall and Glada Hudik Theatre, was to create 500 to 1,000 ICA jobs for people with functional disabilities by 2012. By the end of the project in 2012, more than 1,200 people with functional disabilities were working at the Swedish ICA stores. The recruitment process continued at the stores after the end of the project. The collaboration with Glada Hudik Theatre has also continued. Rehearsals were under way in 2013 for a new production which will premiere in February 2014.

Rimi Baltic has been working to integrate employees with functional disabilities for several years. Today, Rimi Baltic in Estonia has 67 (52) employees with functional disabilities working in its stores. Rimi Baltic in Latvia employs 126 (103) people with functional disabilities, which is 3% (2) of the company’s total headcount. Rimi Baltic in Lithuania is working in close cooperation with an association for people with functional disabilities to increase integration in its workplaces. Today 119 (94) employees with functional disabilities are employed in the company, which is more than 4% (4) of the total number of employees.

Employer brand important in recruitment

ICA Gruppen aims to provide an attractive workplace for both current and future employees. It is therefore important to establish ICA Gruppen as a strong employer brand – both internally and externally. The Group works actively to attract new talent but also encourages internal rotation. Talented and dedicated employees are ICA’s key to success. The aim is to be a workplace where people can develop together. ICA Gruppen wants to attract, develop and retain employees who are passionate about ICA’s customers, vision and values. ICA Gruppen intends to offer a work environment that encourages creativity and initiative. Simply put, ICA will be a place where people want to work, contribute and develop; a workplace where people can grow.

With respect to target groups for future recruitment, the focus is mostly on young people, university students and young professionals. In 2014 the target group will be young people. ICA Gruppen – the Group and the stores – has around 25,000 employees under the age of 25 and the aim is to develop these individuals so they will remain within the Group and the stores.

The turnover rate for employees is generally higher in Norway and the Baltic countries, since these operations include store employees. Rimi Baltic generally has a high turnover of staff, around 50% in stores, which affects the entire industry in the Baltic states. The reasons for this include the fact that it is seen as a low status job with low wage levels. It is also affected by poor leadership. Efforts to improve this situation, mainly with respect to leadership, are under way within Rimi Baltic.

Preventative measures for good health and work environment

Developing the employees is one of the Group’s strategic goals and this makes health an important issue for the long term. People who feel good on a daily basis perform better and can contribute to ICA’s continued development as a company. ICA Gruppen wants to give all of its employees the opportunity for a sustainable career.

Preventive wellness gives the ICA Group’s leaders tools to work effectively with their teams. It also creates a dialogue with the employees on what they can do to improve their own health and well-being. To position ICA Gruppen as a healthy company, we encourage early rehabilitation and prevention of disease and accidents.

One step in this process is Hållbar hälsa, a sustainable health strategy programme for ICA Gruppen’s Swedish operations. In October the Hälsoportalen, a health portal, was launched in Sweden where a wide range of ICA-wide wellness activities will be gathered in one place. In 2013 a test took place where the employees got to participate in the various sporting events in En Svensk Klassiker (the Swedish Classic circuit). The outcome was very good and ICA has therefore decided to offer the ICA Classic circuit to all employees of ICA Sweden.

Sick-leave within the ICA Group remains quite stable. ICA Norway has the highest absenteeism. ICA has been working intensively to turn the negative financial results around in Norway, and this affects the work environment.

ICA Gruppen works hard on preventing accidents and creating a safe work environment. Work has been ongoing in Sweden during the year to develop a web-based incident management system. The system will facilitate reporting and management of incidents to support ICA’s efforts to offer an even more secure and safe workplace. The system was launched in February 2014.

In Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries store employees receive training in fire safety, first aid and how to prevent robberies and avoid threatening situations. Preventative measures are emphasised, such as neighbourhood watch activities in cooperation with other retailers, the authorities, municipalities and schools.

ICA Sweden is working in a number of ways to support ICA retailers. All employees have the opportunity to enrol in an interactive online Store Safety course free of charge. In addition, ICA Gruppen recommends that all stores implement a 13-point programme to prevent threats, violence and robberies. ICA Sweden has also conducted safety audits to prevent damage and, through partners, offers follow-up after robberies, fire and burglary. The ICA Security Centre, a coordination centre in Sweden, offers resources and crisis support around the clock if an ICA store falls victim to a crime.

In 2013 there were 24 (23) robberies in total in Swedish ICA stores.

Community engagement during work hours

Social responsibility is important to ICA Gruppen and the Group offers employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours through an internal volunteer portal. The volunteering is focused on children, youth and women and takes place in cooperation with various non-profit organisations including the Red Cross.

There is a similar initiative in the Baltic countries, where employees can work in teams to assist in various volunteering projects.


Number of annual employees*      
  2013 2012 2011
Sweden 9,460 9,237 8,568
Norway 3,902 4,667 5,450
Finland 74 74 76
Baltic countries 8,248 8,078 7,776
Hong Kong 98 76 73
Total 21,782 22,132 21,943
*Number of annual employees as if ICA AB had been part of ICA Gruppen since 2011.
Employee turnover, ICA*, %      
  2013 2012 2011
ICA AB 13 7 10
ICA Bank 6 4 7
ICA Real Estate 16 7 17
ICA Sweden 9 10 12
ICA Norway 26 25 18
Rimi Baltic 52 52 46
ICA 34 31 27
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.

Sick leave, ICA*, %      
  2013 2012 2011
ICA AB 2.5 2.1 2
ICA Bank 3 3 3.4
ICA Real Estate 3 1.3 2.6
ICA Sweden 5 5.2 5
ICA Norway 7.9 7.3 6.2
Rimi Baltic 4.7 4.8 4.3
ICA 5.3 4.9 4.9
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.
Number of store robberies      
  2013 2012 2011
ICA Sweden 24 23 32
ICA Norway 1 4 3
Rimi Baltic 0 0 0

Employment by type, region and gender, ICA*, number
  Male Female Total
  Permanent  4,685 4,590 9,275
  Temporary 710 1,395 2,105
  Consultants     647
  Permanent 2,729 3,830 6,559
  Temporary 71 43 114
  Consultants     27
  Permanent 1,401 8,222 9,623
  Temporary 68 402 470
Total ICA       
  Permanent 8,815 16,642 25,457
  Temporary 849 1,840 2,689
  Consultants     1,144
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.
Gender distribution, management level, ICA*,%
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.

Employees by age group, ICA*, %
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.
Gender distribution total, ICA*,%
*Includes all companies within ICA Gruppen, except for portfolio companies.