Whirlpool’s people management strategy is designed to develop employees, recognizing their performance, and valuing diversity, in order to create a friendly work environment to engage and retain talents.
In 2014, Whirlpool signed a pledge of “10 Company’s Commitments Promoting LGBT Rights”, an initiative developed since 2013, through its participation in a forum composed of companies. The Guide with the Commitments was sponsored by the ILO (International Labor Organization), UNAIDS and UNDP (United Nations Development Program) aimed at promoting actions that value practices and attitude towards promotion of LGBT rights.
Below are Company’s employees profile and initiatives towards development and recognition.
From the total number of employees, only 137 were hired under term employment contract (interns and apprentices). The remaining employees were under at-will employment contract. Concerning working hours, only 36 employees apprentices were part-time and, the remaining employees, were full-time.
With regard to inclusion of minorities, Whirlpool staff included 624 people with disabilities (3.9% of total number) and 793 black people (4.9% of total number).G4-LA3
Among the employees that took parental leaves, retention rate one year or more after the leave was 82.4% in 2013 — of a total of 779 employees — and 81.7% in 2014 — of a total of 815 employees.
Whirlpool offers training and education programs for employees in all levels of operations, with the purpose of stimulating professional development — thus having human capital necessary to seek efficiency and innovation improvements.
Below are the Company’s main programs:
Purpose: Leadership alignment with the Company’s strategy and values.
Public: executive officers, managers, chiefs/specialists, manufacturing supervisors, trainees and former trainee analysts.
Units in Brazil: Administrative Center, São Paulo, Rio Claro, Joinville, and Manaus. Units abroad: United States — Miami, Argentina, and Colombia.
Purpose: To have discussions led by senior leaders based on theoretical material from Harvard University.
Public: managers, chiefs/specialists, and former trainee analysts.
Units in Brazil: Administrative Center, São Paulo, Rio Claro, and Manaus.
Purpose: To train hourly employees based on Strategic Competences.
Public: factories’ hourly workers and facilitators.
Units in Brazil: Rio Claro, Joinville and Manaus.
Purpose: To train employees on SGI requirements and procedures.
Public: factories’ hourly workers.
Units in Brazil: São Paulo, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Rio Claro, Joinville and Manaus.
Purpose: To provide education for employees and improve their career development potential.
Public: factories’ hourly workers.
Units in Brazil: Joinville
Launched in 2013, it offers four educational fronts — Whirlpool Academy, Business Academy, Functional Academy, and Leadership Academy — with the purpose of preparing employees to obtain excellent results in their current positions and potential future.
In addition to training programs, all Whirlpool employees are submitted to performance and potential evaluation. Evaluations processes for hourly employees and administrative employees are different, as follows:
Whirlpool continuously monitor, through internal and external surveys, employee engagement and satisfaction. This is essencial to strengthen their motivation, thus ensuring good business development. Based on survey results, improvements plans are formulated to each unit.
Administrative employees answer the global employee engagement survey, operational employees also take part in the Workplace Environment Survey.
The Company also carries out the Culture and Values Project, aimed at disseminating its vision, mission and values among employees. The project organizes workshops to ensure that all employees are aligned with the Company’s commitments to sustainability, such as the promotion of human rights, diversity and inclusion, ethics and respect. Between 2013 and 2014, a total of 386 managers were trained in on-site workshops, and 637 employees did online training modules in 2014.
Promoting employees’ health and safety is priority in Whirlpool’s operations and is crucial to maintain skilled and engaged employees and to manage business risks.
Given the great importance of this aspect, the Company adopts globally accepted rigorous engineering and control standards and monitors monthly health and safety indicators, with the active participation of the CEO and vice presidents of the Company.
Whirlpool develops training programs and promotes the adoption of the best practices of occupational health and safety in all operations, underlined by a preventative culture which is known and put into practice by all employees. Management systems comply with and are certified by the standard systems ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management). These committees helped to consistently reduce the number of occupational accidents.
To guide the Company’s operations on these topics, Whirlpool has 14 formal safety and health committees composed of 2,197 employees.
In five years, the Company reduced 75% of injury rate and 88% of the number of days away from work case, closing 2014 with an injury rate with and without days away at 0.32. Days away rate also had an expressive fall of 86%, coming to 1.24.
Absenteeism rate totaled 3.79 in 2013 and 4.38 in 2014, including only the manufacturing units and also the hours away from work because of maternity/paternity, family deaths and scolarship.
In 2014, for the fifth consecutive year, neither occupational fatalities nor occupational illnesses were recorded.*Health and safety rates comply with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). **Includes LAR International information, which includes, in addition to Brazil, Latin America’s countries in which the Company operates, and the Miami unit in the United States.
The relationship between Whirlpool and its suppliers is based on trust and the pursuit of mutual development, both stuck to the same principles to ensure the quality and sustainability in the Company’s entire product chain.
In Brazil, Whirlpool has around 500 direct suppliers (whose materials are directly used in product manufacturing) and about 3,000 suppliers of indirect materials and services.
Whirlpool Corporation Supplier Code of Conduct establishes rules for supplier relationship and management. All suppliers must agree with this code before being hired and annually for contracts renewal.
Among the commitments required by the Code are the respect to human rights, labor relations, health and safety, environmental protection, and ethics through anti-corruption initiatives. For more information on the Code, go to https://suppliers.whirlpool.com/pub/Suppliercodeofcoduct.html
In addition, Whirlpool developed a Suppliers Excellence Program to share good practices and stimulate sustainability management in the entire supply chain. Between 2013 and 2014, around 90% of direct suppliers (measured based on total purchase amount) were audited within the scope of the program. Below are the main initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and excellence in supply chain.
In 2013, the first cycle of Whirlpool’s Cadeia do Aço (Steel Chain) Program was concluded. It aims at conducting audits in suppliers and subcontractors in the steel production chain, basic raw material for home appliances, including suppliers of coal and iron ore, with the purpose of verifying how these suppliers are complying with environmental and social responsibility requirements, such as the respect to human rights and indigenous people, and the rejection of slave and child labor.
Since 2009, when it began, 13 companies were submitted to first audit (in 2011) and second audit (in 2013), which did not reveal serious irregularities, but appointed improvement opportunities in the compliance of legal requirements. In 2013, an event was conducted to certify the participants of the project, with the presence of the Company’s senior management, its audited suppliers and subcontractors, government agencies and the press.
Since 2012, the Company has also promoted the Whirlpool Supply Chain Sustainability Award, which, in addition to recognizing the companies with the best sustainability initiatives, intends to increasingly develop supply chain, engaging partners to the topic, thus intensifying their contribution to the sustainable development.
Whirlpool’s suppliers eligible to participate in the Award are those that provide raw material, services or parts which were audited and were classified under the Grow category. Case studies were evaluated by an internal committee formed by specialists, which are scored based on their alignment with Whirlpool’s strategic sustainability pillars.
In 2013, a total of 38 companies competed for the Award, presenting 55 case studies aligned with Whirlpool’s sustainability pillars. The award ceremony was carried out in the Supplier’s Day, in November, with eight winners and one supplier of the year, which had the opportunity to present its case study.
Whirlpool and its companies are not allowed to make contributions or donations to political parties or candidates, as per provision of the by-laws, in order to ensure independency with regard to possible political interests.
The relationship between Whirlpool and the governments of where it operates is based on enforcement of law, the code of ethics and the Whirlpool Leadership Model — document that establishes the role of Whirlpool as one of the leaders in the development of public policies and solutions for the industry as a whole.
With this in mind, the Company has representatives in the Associação Nacional de Fabricantes de Produtos Eletroeletrônicos (Eletros) [Brazilian Association of Manufacturers of Electronics], leading and stimulating discussions among companies in the home appliance industry and, through the Association, taking to the government and other stakeholders proposals for public policies for the industry development.
Between 2013 and 2014, Whirlpool contributed to the discussion of the following aspects:
To prepare the model submitted to the Government, Whirlpool worked directly at the Associação Brasileira de Reciclagem de Eletroeletrônicos e Eletrodomésticos (ABREE) [Brazilian Association for Recycling of Electroelectronics and Homeappliances], which was grounded in 2011 as a result of the Company’s effort to establish an effective operation for the industry’s reverse logistics. With this purpose, ABREE has made electroelectronics logistics reverse campaigns in important cities in Brazil (São José dos Campos and Niterói in 2013 and Jundiaí, Porto Alegre and Fortaleza in 2014). This knowledge has guided ABREE’s operational strategy and have been used as an important base for the discussions with the government over the sectorial agreement. Such information on this topic which is still rare in Brazil is already being presented in congresses and seminars in Brazil and abroad.
Programa Brasileiro de Etiquetagem (PBE) [Brazilian Labeling Program] – The Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia (Inmetro) [National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology], with the participation of Eletros, has developed increasingly rigorous criteria to classify the performance of home appliances, in order to raise the level of energy efficiency of Brazilian products. By promoting this process, Whirlpool endorses that the highest the energy efficiency of products, the lowest the taxes, so that the products can be more accessible to different consumer markets.
In 2014, in partnership with Instituto Euvaldo Lodi (IEL)/Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico Tecnológico (CNPQ)[National Council for the Scientific and Technological Development], Whirlpool promoted the dissemination of the Innovating Talents program, which aims at increasing the number of professionals trained in innovation activities in the corporate industry. The Company is the second most active organization in Brazil in the program, with the approval of 42 projects and 51 scholarships up to the end of 2014.
It also maintains constant partnerships with government agencies focused on innovation: Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP) [Financing of Studies and Projects], the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Fundações de Amparo à Pesquisa (FAPEs) [Research Support Foundations], the CNPQ [National Council for Technological and Scientific Development], and Serviço Nacional da Indústria (SENAI) [National Service for Industrial Training].
Whirlpool focuses its social investments on the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment. For that reason, it created in 2002 the Instituto Consulado da Mulher (Women’s Consulate Institute), a public interest social organization sponsored by the Company and associated with Consul brand.
Consulado supports low-income entrepreneurial women with little formal education that live in vulnerable communities located in the outskirts of large cities or the countryside in all regions of Brazil. Through an advisory process focused on income generation, knowledge and resources are deployed in order to contribute to improved quality of life.
In 2014, Instituto Consulado da Mulher received the Ruth Cardoso Medal — granted by the São Paulo State Council for Female Conditions to projects aimed at empowering women — and was recognized by the Santa Catarina State Legislature as an active organization in the pursuit of the Millenium Development Goals, mainly the number 3, which is “to promote gender equality and empower women.” To read more, participate and support Instituto Consulado da Mulher, please access the website: www.consuladodamulher.org.br.
Since it was founded in 2002, the Instituto Consulado da Mulher has already benefitted more than 33,000 people, 95% of them being women. In 2013 and 2014, Whirlpool* invested R$8.0 million, which were used to empower women, in more than 100 popular projects each year. Together, these small businesses generated revenue of R$13.2 million and benefited more than 6,500 people.
These figures mean that each R$1.00 invested by Whirlpool in the Instituto Consulado da Mulher generates R$1.70 for the economy of benefited communities.
Advised social projects are located in 17 Brazilian states. In the regions where Whirlpool has factories, Consulado’s technical team acts directly with the projects. In other places, the same methodology is used by partner social organizations, which provide advisory to the projects in the cities where Consulado does not have its own team.* Investments made by Whirlpool S.A.
|Instituto Consulado da Mulher in figures|
|Year||Number of projects||Total revenue (Millions of R$)||People generating income||Direct and indirect beneficiaries*|
Institute’s methodology is certified as social technology by Fundação Banco do Brasil and UNESCO, and in 2012 was structured in a basic advisory guide for popular and solidarity projects. To get information on the methodology, go to http://goo.gl/yQDTxA (only in portuguese)
Instituto Consulado da Mulher is also part of World Bank’s Jobs Knowledge Platform, which recognizes social projects of excellence in the whole world. For further information, go to http://goo.gl/SKOGJF.
In 2014, the highlight was the launch of the book Mulheres que Fazem História (Women that Make History), developed by the institute in partnership with Brazil’s Museum of the Person, that tells the stories of 30 benefited women entrepreneurs. The book is available at http://goo.gl/AtqY6z (only in portuguese)
In 2014, Whirlpool consolidated its Volunteer Project, which aims at offering corporate actions that promote social and environmental development, having its employees as volunteers.
Trainees lead the Project for two years — in addition to their regular activities —, forming a multifunctional committee that defines the Project’s governance and priorities, as well as global initiatives aligned with Company’s vision.
The first initiatives were the blood donation campaign in São Paulo, with the participation of 60 volunteers, and the donor of 90 Christmas hampers to old aged support institutes.
For 2015, the Project will focus on three pillars: good education for everyone, improvements on life standards, and environmental sustainability.
Through its brands, Whirlpool serves millions of Latin American customers of diverse profiles, needs and expectations. But the purpose is the same for each of them: to offer quality products that satisfy all consumers and promote their quality of life and good moments.
This guides the business and its structure from the innovation process to create more efficient products with the lowest environmental impact and the best features, including selection of suppliers and manufacturing in factories, until after-sales service, which is essential to maintain customer satisfaction.
Whirlpool manages its product portfolio based on the ongoing creation of innovative offers that exceeds customers expectations, providing them with special design, simplicity, convenience, durability, sustainability throughout the product’s life cycle and excellence in after-sales service.
Developed within these principles, around 340 products were launched in 2013 and 2014, more than three launches per week on average, for a total portfolio of 838 products in Brazil at the end of 2014.
Whirlpool has a Global Product Safety Policy applicable to all products, accessories and services in all regions, businesses and operations, in order to ensure consumer safety.
The guidelines of this policy assure, for example, that all the products developed, manufactured and sold meet all product safety standards applicable to the markets in which the Company operates, as well as the Company’s internal safety standards.
The compliance with the policy is evaluated through audits during development phases and failure simulation tests before the products are introduced in the market. Tests include product electromagnetic radiation, predictable misuse, forced failure, and evaluation of the product manual which includes, for example, information related to user safety, warning about the risks and describing the proper way to use the product.
Innovation culture brings Whirlpool a step ahead in the industry, with the launch of products that at the same time have unique features, stimulates consumers and improves their everyday lives, and have potential to generate value to shareholders.
Innovation is one of the core pillars for the business sustainability, given that 20% of the Company’s sales come from innovative products. For that reason, the Company systematically promotes innovation in products and processes through tools based on the design thinking methodology, which are structured in the Consumer Solution Process (CSP).
What ensure success in innovation are the focus on customer since the beginning of a solution development and the multidisciplinary actions of several Company’s areas during the process.
Methodologies support the product innovation process evaluation based on costs, ease in manufacturing and simplicity in analysis of failures and corrections.
In 2010, a tool began to be developed in partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP) named Design for Environment (DfE). The tool is aimed at evaluating the environmental performance of a sample of new products selected during the Project Development phases. Throughout recent years, the tool guided the projects into rational use of water and energy, recyclability and waste generation minimization. This tool considers product life cycle phases, including the production of raw material, use of product and its disposal, as shown in the examples below.
In 2014, Whirlpool launched products that provided its customers with natural resources consumption efficiency, mitigating environmental impacts:
The results obtained by Whirlpool’s operations, directly linked to innovation and management processes and aiming at a sustainable future, are detailed in the Chapter Building the future.
Whirlpool Latin America is the major manufacturer of home appliances in Brazil, with an installed base of more than 100 million products. The consumer is at the center of all Company’s processes, either in the development of new home appliances or in the after-sales service.
In 2014, Whirlpool began to consider and monitor new channels that register complaints, such as the Consumidor.gov.br, which aims at clearing up problems not solved by the traditional channels before the consumer register a claim in the State Consumer Protection and Defense Agency (Procon) or the Court. Being the first company in the industry to doing so, Whirlpool aims at expanding its relationship and contact with consumers, thus speeding up the resolution of possible problems and gaining customer satisfaction.
In 2014, the Company was the only large company that manufactures home appliances to be granted the Selo Ótimo (Seal of Great Company) of Reclame Aqui (Complain Here) website, raising two satisfaction levels within one year.
With the purpose of providing the customer with services of excellence, Whirlpool invests constantly in training for all customer service team, technicians and engineers, and in the frequent review of procedures. The recognitions achieved in 2014 are an evidence of this. The Company was granted the Companies that Respect Customers award from the Consumidor Moderno magazine, and ranked 20th in good customer service ranking according to survey conducted by the Instituto Brasileiro de Relacionamento com o Cliente (IBRC) [Brazilian Institute for Customer Relation] in partnership with Exame magazine, the third consecutive year that the Company improved its position in the ranking when compared to previous year.
Another proof of quality in Company’s customer service is the Sistema Nacional de Informações de Defesa do Consumidor (SINDEC) [Brazilian Consumer Protection Information System], an automated system that integrates processes and procedures related to consumer service in Procons, in order to provide a proper management tool. The number of Procon bases integrated into Sindec is growing constantly: in 2013 and 2014 it was 45% greater and every month new agencies include their information in the national data base. In this scenario, Whirlpool’s resolution rate was 64% in 2013 and 74% in 2014.
In 2013 and 2014, despite the increase in demand for services due to the hot summer and the high usage of some products, the Company recorded an improvement in performance indicators. During the period, the time to repair a product was reduced, and the percentage of complaints had a slight decrease between 2013 and 2014, even when the number of work orders increased 12%, assuring a positive year result.
Whirlpool also conducted the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, which measures the customer satisfaction with the service and the brands. This data is used only internally and helps the Company to have a real vision of services provided and, consequently, achieving consistency and excellence in its market.