The awards were presented by HRH Princess Anne, at a ceremony held at St James’s Palace in London on 30 October 2019.
Veolia explained that it had identified that the verbal and physical abuse of its employees by members of the public was a significant issue. Consequently, it designed the Respect at Work training programme, which was completed by around 3,500 employees.
The programme was developed by Veolia to help its operative workforce who are out working with the general public on a daily basis.
Implemented by Veolia’s dedicated People Development team the programme included the use of a training bus which was deployed across the UK in order to maximise reach across its operational sites.
The work was supported by a project team with representatives from HR, QHS and Communications. Veolia noted that it had received an unprecedented positive feedback rate of 99% from those who answered a survey about the benefits of the training, with 97% saying they had learned a new skill.
The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise employers whose training and development programmes have had a direct impact on business performance and “show compelling, irrefutable evidence of how training has directly influenced business results”.
Commenting on the award, Gavin Graveson, executive vice-president of Veolia UK & Ireland, commented: “This award is a huge achievement and it shows the commitment Veolia has not only to learning and people development, but for the wellbeing of employees too.
“The need for employees to be given the knowledge and training… to protect themselves from… abuse by members of the public is very important”
“With safety as the first strategic objective of our safety culture, the need for employees to be given the knowledge and training required to protect themselves from incidents of abuse by members of the public is very important.”
Echoing this was Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group, who said: “The work that HR and L&D teams do to train, upskill and reskill teams is critical; helping individuals to reach their potential and find meaningful employment, while supporting businesses in developing the skills for success, and ultimately producing the productive workforce we so urgently need.
“The organisations we recognise today all provide compelling evidence that tangibly proves the value that comes from investing in people.”