Shaping the new organization
Vodafone and Ziggo merged into one company in 2017. Because we wanted to combine the best of both worlds for our customers. Since then, our customers are experiencing the benefits of the best fixed and mobile services under the same roof. The employees of the two companies became colleagues and are now working together to make a success of the new company.
Change doesn’t just happen. In many cases, a merger of this size is not successful. For that reason we spend a lot of time on the integration of the two companies. In 2017 we started with an experienced Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and in 2018, we created the key components of the new VodafoneZiggo organization.
New organization design
One of the first decisions was to create a functional organization design, so that responsibilities within VodafoneZiggo would be clear from the very beginning. The 10-person SLT works closely with the Senior Management Team (SMT), a group of 65 experienced directors and senior managers working in 9 business units. Together, the SLT and SMT are charged with the day-to-day management of 7,400 internal and 3,000 external employees. The SLT reports to the Supervisory Board consisting of representatives from both parent companies and independent members.
In 2018 the focus for the organization design was on 3 aspects:
Merging business units
All organizations that merge, are confronted with duplicate business units and duplicate positions. In 2018 we integrated as many of these units and positions as possible. Most employees involved changed jobs within the company, as a result of which the number of people leaving VodafoneZiggo due to the merger was relatively low. Since the start of the joint venture, 450 people with an open-ended contract have left the company.
Harmonization of terms of employment
An important aspect of creating one organization is having a package of employment conditions that applies to all employees. A first step was the realization of a new, sustainable mobility policy. We also cooperated closely with the participation councils and the union to arrive at an adequate package of employment conditions in 2018. We reached a negotiated result towards the end of 2018, a milestone for our organization. In 2019, we will continue this cooperation with a view to the details and implementation of the collective agreement and company schemes.
Mobility policy encourages use of public transport
The integration of Vodafone and Ziggo offered the opportunity to create a modern mobility policy based on the guiding principles 'flexible', 'smart' and 'sustainable'. When integrating the two Utrecht offices and the Amsterdam office at Oosterdok, we opted for a central location at the Utrecht Stationsplein. We want to make the commute as efficient and convenient as possible for the talents we are recruiting from all parts of the Netherlands. To encourage the use of public transport, we not only focused on a public transport oriented policy, but also gave most employees the opportunity to choose a first-class rail pass, including free private travel if one opted for ‘Full Public Transport’. Employees save a lot of time in this way as they can now work mobile during travel. Moreover, they now have the option to choose public transport over their car more often. Employees had a choice between various options. More than 51% of our employees took the option ‘Full Public Transport’, with first-class travel on all Dutch Railways (NS) sections. 4% opted for the NS Business Card Pass, a second-class season ticket between the office and place of residence, in combination with an allowance for parking costs at a train station. Lease cars are not provided anymore, unless it is important for the role, like for our sales organization.
To make a success of the VodafoneZiggo organization, close cooperation between teams and employees is crucially important. The focus has to stay on the customer at all times and teams need to operate at a certain speed to maintain our leading position in the market. For that reason we initiated agile working in several departments this year. To cooperate successfully, we believe it’s important that colleagues are often physically together in one room. This doesn’t mean we are working less flexibly and mobile as such, but that we are striving for the best balance between agile and flexible working.
Agile working: better results in less time
Like many other organizations, VodafoneZiggo decided to adopt agile working as well. Small multidisciplinary teams work very closely together to deliver concrete products in a short turnaround time. In this way, it’s possible to achieve results in a short period of time and realize continuous improvements. It also makes our organization increasingly flexible and faster in adapting and refining our products and service experience. Which is essential if we want to remain a key player in our industry. The members of our agile teams have several 'agile studios' at their disposal in our new central head office, to work together on projects. Apart from speed, flexibility and efficiency, fun is also a key part of the agile way of working, which fits in well with our goal of ‘enjoyment and progress with every connection’ for our employees. By now we have 43 agile teams. In addition, 1,400 employees learned about agile working in so-called Agile Awareness and Super Demo sessions.
Since agile working differs from the traditional working methods, we will restructure the organization where needed. In 2019, we will map out the areas of VodafoneZiggo where agile working contributes most towards the strategy and our goals, and where traditional methods are the preferred way.
In 2018 we merged our offices in Eindhoven, relocated office activities from Helmond to Nijmegen and closed down our office in Heerhugowaard. In addition, we merged our Amsterdam office and two of our Utrecht offices into the new Central Office.
Central Office: nearby for everyone
The new central head office of VodafoneZiggo officially opened on 1 October 2018. The key starting points for the new office were being close to our customers, at a central location in the Netherlands, close to public transport and in an inspiring location. In this we succeeded. Our office is located above the main entrance of the completely renovated shopping centre Hoog Catharijne in Utrecht, with 30 million passers-by each year. The building is within a stone’s throw of the central station and nearby pick-up points for trains, busses, taxis and other forms of transportation. In this way, we are not only close to our customers, but we also offer an inspiring working environment for our employees ánd a revolutionary mobility policy for commuter traffic.
The central office consists of five floors, has 15,000 square metres floor space and offers room to over 1,600 employees. They have more than a hundred meeting rooms, an espresso bar and two restaurants at their disposal. Previously they worked at three different locations throughout the country.
We have designed the new central office according to the latest insights and technologies with regard to collaborative working. Employees are fully mobile and can work wherever they choose to. There is an ideal workplace for each kind of activity. It can consist of a room for a brainstorm session, meeting or customer visit, but also a silent spot where a colleague can prepare for a presentation, or a studio for an agile team. Naturally, employees also have the opportunity to work from home or any other suitable location.