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Novus International
About Novus
Part: 01
Part: 02
Part: 03
About this Report
Part: 04

What Does Novus Do to Inspire Employees?

At Novus, we are committed to a values-based culture in which sustainability priorities are clearly communicated and innovation is rewarded. Additionally, work at Novus is structured with clear accountabilities, enabling every employee to work towards clear expectations with needed resources. We invest in a nurturing working environment and health, wellness and personal development are priorities. We are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. We value individuals from all backgrounds based on all dimensions of diversity.

A Clear, Replicable Organization Design

The Novus Management System (NMS) has been a consistent management framework at Novus for the past twenty years, linking people and their contribution to business goals. It is based on "requisite" principles, which are management principles developed through research conducted in 15 countries over a period of many years. Dr. Elliott Jaques, the originator of Requisite Organization, defined requisite as "required by the natural order of things." In the Requisite Organization, managers make decisions on the basis of research-proven principles that enable employees to work effectively toward a common goal based on common values, standards and procedures. For more about the way Novus applies the Requisite Organization principles, please visit the website of the Global Organization Design Society (http://globalro.org) in which the Novus leadership shares their views on how such principles are effective in shaping a robust organizational framework at Novus and inspiring employees to deliver their best performance. This system sparked interest from Novus business partners and in 2011, during the three-day events to celebrate Novus's 20th Anniversary, a full day workshop, attended by 36 customers representing 19 countries, was conducted by Novus. Novus managers explained how 20 years of consistently managing the business using the same Human Capital Management program has delivered consistent business benefits, using projects from Australia and South Africa to illustrate the process. As a result of the workshop, several Novus customers have been interested in Requisite Organizations and Novus is providing support. Novus is happy to support its customers in developing sustainable organizations.

"Novus looks at skills, knowledge and behavior and what people value. It's a multi-level approach. The different levels of management review performance at midyear and again at year end. Opportunities to enhance personal development are discussed. Training hours are recorded using our online system and are audited. 100% of Novus employees had some form of training in the Novus Management System in 2011."

Tricia Beal
Chief of Staff

For more about the Requisite Organization principles in general, please see: www.requisite.org.

Developing the Novus Workforce

Novus continued to grow its workforce in 2011, reaching a total of 829 employees worldwide, an increase of 16% over 2010's workforce of 716 and 2.5 times more than the Novus workforce in 2007. Growth has been most significant in Asia Pacific, in line with Novus's development strategy in emerging economies in China, India and neighboring countries, as well as in EAME with strong expansion in Africa and a new Research Facility in Spain. In 2011, all but two employees were employed on a full-time basis. The following table shows Novus's total employees in all offices, manufacturing, sales and research locations during the past five years.

Almost all Novus employees are hired on a permanent contract basis, while a small number of employees are employed on a renewable or interim project contract basis. In 2011, 91% (772 employees) were hired on permanent contracts, which means they were hired for an indeterminate period, to enable management flexibility and manpower control. The remaining Novus employees in 2011 (9%) were employed on the basis of fixed-term or renewable contracts, which cover a specific time period.

Total Employees at Year End,
December 31, 2011

NB. Total employee numbers are comparable to Novus data from prior years and do not include 28 U.S. based employees of ESM Technologies, a partially owned subsidiary of Novus Nutrition Brands, LLC. ESM employee numbers will be combined in Novus's next report.

Towards a Growing, Stable Workforce

In 2011, employee turnover at Novus increased to 18.6% (from 13.97% in 2010). This remains the consequence of rapid business expansion and changing roles within the Novus global organization. The highest rate of turnover was in the U.S. (23%), primarily due to planned restructuring of manpower in order to prepare for the expansion of Novus in strategic economies and the move of part of the U.S. Novus research facility to Spain. Efforts are in place to consolidate the organization and ensure increased workforce stability in coming years, although continued growth will remain a feature of the Novus organization for the foreseeable future and continued turnover will be expected.

Employees by Contract Type at December 31, 2011

Recruiting for Agriculture

As Novus's business expands, Novus continues to recruit additional employees with a passion for agriculture. However, around the world, careers in agriculture have been declining due to the migration of populations to the cities and a greater availability of technological roles. Perceptions of agriculture tend to be less attractive to young people. Therefore, in addition to recruiting for specific positions, Novus makes a focused effort to raise awareness of the exciting challenges that agricultural careers offer and opens up routes to roles in the agribusiness in many and varied ways, placing emphasis on our contribution to global sustainability and the meaningful work we enjoy.

Attracting Youth to Agriculture

In the summer of 2011, the Novus Sales Division in the U.S. developed an internship specifically focused on youth development for agricultural awareness and careers. The intern, Jill Griffin, was a rising sophomore from Purdue University. Jill's objective for the summer was to reach out to youth to encourage them to consider careers in agriculture. Her focus audience was 4-H Youth Development Programs and Future Farmers of America (FFA) clubs, primarily in Indiana.

Jill developed an attractive brochure aimed at middleschool age children, explaining the options and rewards of a career in agriculture. The brochure was well received and issued on request to career fairs around the country. She also managed a display booth for Novus at the National FFA Convention in October 2011 which attracted over 51,000 participants. As a result of this internship, a comprehensive list of youth educators and extension specialists in Indiana was developed to assist future outreach, and several events were scheduled at which Novus would have an opportunity to reach out to youth. The program will continue and expand in 2012.

Missouri Colleges Fund — Science in Action Day

In April 2011, Novus held its third annual Science in Action Day. This event provided an opportunity for college students from across the state of Missouri to gain valuable insight into different science-based careers. The students were recipients of science scholarships through the Missouri Colleges Fund scholarship program. Through the Missouri Colleges Fund, Novus funds scholarships for students at 16 universities across the state of Missouri each year. The 2011 scholars toured Novus headquarters and participated in panel discussions with science professionals representing a wide range of careers showcasing science applications.

It is Novus policy to hire locally, relying on individuals with local experience and deep understanding of both agricultural practices and local culture and customs to enable responsiveness tailored to customers in each market with its unique characteristics. During 2011, all but one of Novus's senior managers in all regions were nationals of their country of work (local hires). This is an increase over 2010, when 84% of managers were locally hired. We believe this gives Novus a strong advantage in local markets while contributing to the economic development of the regions. Senior managers are defined as CEO direct reports, divisional and functional leaders employed on a full-time basis.

Developing the Talent Pipeline for Veterinary Students

Novus is currently working towards implementing a Veterinary Student Preceptorship with the University of Missouri. Veterinary students will have the opportunity to rotate through the R&D and business divisions at Novus and will gain exposure to nutrition and supplementation for all species of animals. This new partnership with the University of Missouri springs from our larger program to support the talent pipeline for sustainable best practices in agriculture.

Supporting the John Brown Scholars Program

The John Brown Scholars Program was initiated in 1983 by John E. Brown, a prominent St. Louis agribusinessman. The program allows 16 qualified upperclassmen in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) to spend a week in January visiting with St. Louis agribusiness firms. In January 2011, Novus was proud to host four John Brown Scholars. For more information about the John Brown Scholars Program, please see: http://cafnr.missouri.edu/ academics/brown-scholars.php.

Upholding Employee Rights in the Workplace

Novus observes International Labor Conventions which demand freedom of association and prohibit forced or child labor and discrimination. All Novus plants conform to these requirements.

No Novus employees are required or forced to work for Novus or any of its subsidiaries. To the extent any employee desires to leave the employ of Novus, she or he is free to do so subject to the terms of her or his employment agreement and any other applicable legal or statutory requirements. The Novus Management System identifies several channels for employees to raise questions or concerns about their employment, including through managers, Human Resources, or through the Novus Integrity System Hotline.

Novus's operations do not pose significant risks for child labor and most plants do not have large numbers of employees. Most of the roles in each location require skill and experience and are not appropriate for children. All applicants for employment go through a well-developed system for interviewing and hiring, so that Novus can ensure that each candidate is eligible for employment in accordance with all applicable laws, including those laws that prohibit child labor.

All Novus plants are visited periodically and, in many cases, audited by Novus's qualified personnel or by agencies certifying the facilities meet certain industry standards. During the course of these visits over the past two years, all Novus plants were assessed for risks of child and forced labor and found to bear no significant risk which would warrant additional action on the part of Novus.

Novus respects the right of employees to collective bargaining and complies with all relevant legislation in this respect in all countries in which Novus does business. In practice, few employees elect to become affiliated with employee representation organizations, demonstrating trust in Novus's open and direct work culture based on ethical and equitable business practices. In 2010, 94 Novus employees were represented in collective bargaining agreements, which is 13.13% of Novus's global workforce. This number increased in 2011, to 226 employees (29.7% of the global workforce) due to acquisitions, which included two production facilities in Mexico and Spain, where employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements. Novus respects the rights of these employees to maintain their representation.

Novus is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment, respecting the rights of all employees, including those maintaining indigenous rights. Novus is an equal opportunity employer, committed to the hiring, advancement and fair treatment of individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnicity, disability or veteran status, or any other protected status designated by federal, state or local law in all countries in which Novus does business.

Ensuring Employee Health and Safety

Novus places continuous attention to strict safety practices in the workplace. During 2011, we were able to confirm a modest improvement in our safety performance, which overall compared very favorably to industry averages. In 2011, there were four cases of minor work-related injuries (the same as in 2010) which resulted in a total of 25 days lost time (24 in 2010), representing Injury Rate of 0.48 cases per 100 employees (0.56 in 2010), and a Lost Day Rate of 3.02 days per 100 employees (calculated using standard employee hourly rates of 40 hours, 50 weeks), an improvement over 2010 which recorded 3.35 days. There were no fatalities in any of Novus's operations in 2011 and no instances of specific occupational diseases relating to work in Novus facilities. However, in addition to the Novus employee lost time injuries mentioned above, there was, regrettably, one contractor injury in Spain resulting from a burn which led to an additional 34 days lost work time.

2011 Novus Employee Accidents and Lost Time by Region

2011 Novus Employee Accidents and Lost Time by Region

All injury data is calculated using OSHA guidelines for Novus direct employees and lost days include the first full day away from work due to injury.

Improving Safety Frameworks

During 2011, several advances to improve Novus safety frameworks in all parts of the company's operations were progressed. These include:

  • Improvements in safety awareness and communications through a new Environment, Health, Safety and Security intranet page available for all employees globally, as well as production of site safety brochures for visitors to several Novus sites. Employee letters of notification were developed in Spanish for employees at the new Novus plant in Cordoba, Mexico to communicate their individual exposure concentration to hazardous materials and ensure appropriate precautions are in line with safety procedures.
  • Development of new and updated policies and procedures, such as a new Incident Investigation procedure, and procedures relating to "Emergency Action/Fire Protection," "Fire Protection," "Hot Work," "Electrical Safety," and "Machine Guarding." A new biosafety manual was also developed.
  • Adoption of new activities such as participation in the Red Cross Ready Rating Program, a nationwide program in the U.S. designed to help business organizations prepare for an emergency. At the same time, the program aids the Red Cross in identifying available resources in the event of an emergency.
  • Improvements to work facilities and safety arrangements such as updated primary and secondary emergency exits and improvement in fall protection at certain Novus plants.
  • Employee training for Novus HQ employees over and above basic mandatory safety training in safe working such as office ergonomics, classroom and hands-on fire extinguisher training to fight an actual fire.

In addition, seven internal voluntary EHS audits were conducted in Novus's manufacturing and research facilities around the world and other joint venture locations. Since the international audit protocols are based on the specific country and state in which a facility operates, some opportunities for improvement were identified where a location was not aware of the local regulation. These were of minor importance and corrective actions were taken.

Making Employee Wellness a Top Priority

The Rewards of Good Health

As a company whose core activities are rooted in health and wellness, Novus makes it a priority to offer its employees tools and programs to care for themselves and their families and maintain good health and wellbeing. We view this as one of the basic building blocks of a sustainable business. Workplace health and well-being issues cost the global economy trillions of dollars, much of which is preventable, and productivity losses through lack of attention to health and well-being are estimated at five times greater than the cost of care to any business. At Novus, we are committed to the well-being of our employees as well as to a maintaining a sustainable and productive organization.

Novus offers employees a range of health-related benefits as a part of their standard employment package. These include health insurance, dental insurance, free healthy meals (U.S.), use of sports facilities, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the opportunity to participate in a range of health-related activities for employees and their families. Under the umbrella of the award-winning Novus Wellness Program, "Live Well," Novus maintains one of the most comprehensive corporate health and wellness offerings available.

Live Well was established in the U.S. in 2008 and has now reached transformational proportions. In 2011, following renewal of the Novus U.S. Healthcare Insurance Plan for employees, Novus was able to obtain a 6% decrease in the plan cost for 2012 versus 2011, due to low claim activity in 2011. This was a major achievement and the first time in Novus's history that healthcare costs did not increase in any given year. We believe this is a direct outcome of the fact that employees are paying more attention to preventive approaches to health.

Also in 2011, Novus was honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) as a Gold Fit- Friendly Company for promoting a culture of physical, nutritional and mental well-being. "Gold-level" recognition is for companies that fulfill criteria such as offering employees physical activity support, increasing healthy eating options at work, promoting a wellness culture, as well as implementing at least six physical activities, two nutrition activities and one culture activities as listed in the AHA program. For more details about the AHA program, please see: www.startwalkingnow.org.

Connecting Employees to Wellness

The Novus Live Well program is hosted by Well Advantage, an external service that hosts employees' personal opt-in health pages. External hosting guarantees employee confidence in the privacy of their personal information. Employee personal pages enable recording of personal information such as weight, biometric information, calorie tracking, tracking of success and enables employees to signup online for workshops, recipes, health information and more. All Novus employees, including new hires from day one, have access to the Novus online program and can choose to join. Over 75% of Novus employees currently use this service.

In addition to the external site, Novus maintains its own intranet site called Live Well, which offers additional information about Novus activities and opportunities to get involved. Over 200 employees use this site on a regular and frequent basis. For more information about Well Advantage, please see: www.welladvantage.com.

Healthy Rewards Incentives

Novus employees can take advantage of Live Well program incentives and gain financial rewards simply by taking a proactive approach to their own health and well-being. Employees use their personal Well Advantage page to record healthy behavior such as getting a check-up at the doctor, going to the dentist, having a mammogram, participating in the Novus blood drive, using the gym, drinking recommended amounts of water and much more. Each activity earns points and employees receive a gift cards worth up to $75 for points earned. During 2011, 50 employees earned enough points to receive a cash award and Novus paid out close to $3,000 to these employees.

Preventive Health Management for Employees

In addition to standard health insurance coverage for all employees, and in order to further incentivize employees to engage in personal preventive health management, the Novus Medical Coverage Plan includes an annual wellness reimbursement for employees. The reimbursement covers health-related activities of the employees and their families such as joining a gym, or the local YMCA, sports camps, voluntary vaccination programs or other healthy activities. Many employees utilize this reimbursement allocation. This program is available to employees in the U.S. at this time as medical health coverage and insurance programs differ from country to country and responses to healthcare needs outside the U.S. have been provided locally. During 2012-2013, Novus will examine the local needs in all countries of operation and review the possibility of a global program. For more information, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/implementation/topics/tobacco-use.html

Novus Becomes a Smoke-Free Company

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use affects productivity and absenteeism, increases use of disability leave, and increases overall health care costs among workers. Tobacco use costs an estimated $96.8 billion per year in lost productivity in the U.S. alone. In order to further support Novus's Live Well program and demonstrate a company-wide commitment to health and well-being, as of April 2011, Novus adopted a policy to become a global Tobacco-Free and Smoke- Free company. This policy prohibits smoking or the use of tobacco anywhere in Novus workplaces and premises around the world, including all production factories, warehouses, indoor facilities (private offices, meeting rooms, cafeterias, lunchrooms, employee lounges) and all outdoor areas. Similarly, smoking and the use of tobacco products also is prohibited in company vehicles (including those provided to employees for personal use), and in personal vehicles on Novus premises, such as in parking lots and driveways. The policy applies to all forms of smoking (cigarettes, cigars and pipes), as well as all forms of smokeless tobacco. In addition to smoking prevention, Novus also offers employees the possibility to take part in the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking® Online program. This program takes a structured approach to behavior change, offering a self-paced, seven-week online program with 24-hour access to learning modules and message boards. This program, costing $40 for an individual annual subscription, is offered to all employees at no charge. The Novus Tobacco and Smoke-Free policy has generally been welcomed by Novus employees, nonsmokers and smokers alike. Several employees have confirmed that this policy has helped them give up smoking. For more information about this program, please see: www.ffsonline.org.

"Keeping our healthcare costs as low as possible makes a positive contribution to the Novus bottom line. Equally as important, we know that this is the result of our employees staying healthy, feeling good and living well. This is a win-win all round."

Judith Thelwell
Senior Manager, HR Benefits, Live Well Program Manager

Health-Related Activities for Novus Employees

  • On-Site Flu Vaccinations
  • Missouri Research Park Blood Drive
  • 2011 Global Walking & Movement Challenge
  • Run for the Farms

Live Well Newsletters

In order to maintain and provide relevant, topical and useful information about health and well-being- related activities and engage employees on a regular basis, Novus issues a monthly Live Well newsletter, edited by the Novus Live Well Human Resources team.

Run for the Farms in St. Charles County.
Run for the Farms in St. Charles County.

"'Fat & Furious' was the largest team put together for the Novus Global Walking and Movement challenge. The members of the team were from various departments including marketing, communications and HR. Our team was full of competitive people who kept each other challenged to go further than normal. This was a great way to encourage employees to be healthy with the support of their colleagues."

Doug Cornwell
Pork Marketing Specialist

Investing in Employee Training and Development

As a knowledge-based company, Novus recognizes that its long-term sustainable success rests with its ability to attract, develop and retain employees in a wide range of mission-critical roles. All employees are provided with supportive feedback about their performance in development conversations with their managers twice each year, and learning and development goals are articulated for each employee in line with their unique needs. Novus provides employees with a wide range of options to receive formal training in specific professional areas or in management skills, engage in selflearning using the extensive Novus Online Learning System or participate in lectures designed to broaden understanding and knowledge of core issues related to Novus's business.

Rewarding Performance

Novus offers a competitive range of family-friendly benefits for all employees. Rewards are performance-based, helping to foster an increased sense of ownership among employees. Compensation and benefits around the world are tailored to local norms and industry benchmarks, but generally include benefits that exceed local minimum levels required by law. Typically, this will include competitive salary, merit bonuses, medical insurance and more. In some countries, Novus offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides experienced counselors to assist employees in dealing with personal or family issues which may be a cause of stress.

In addition, Novus employees are passionate about their work in support of the Novus mission and often work beyond expectation and role boundaries, making an extraordinary contribution to delivering excellence at many levels. Novus acknowledges and rewards these employees with both financial awards and significant internal or external recognition.

A Future Cadre of Leaders in Agriculture

Thirty-five Novus Interns in 2011:

During 2011, Novus invested in broadening and improving the existing Novus Intern Program, which had been operating at a low-key level for some years, in order to create a vibrant, structured program, which would both offer opportunities to local students interested in agriculture-based careers while supporting Novus's business objectives in a more focused way. Novus established a new, two-fold mission for the Novus Intern Program: (1) create an ongoing pipeline of potential talent as part of our People Strategy Management initiatives, and (2) deliver on our commitment to Novus's mission and vision by expanding knowledge and generating enrichment opportunities for stakeholders and communities.

Typically, the Novus Intern Program is a ten-week placement, although some positions may be extended. Positions are offered to university graduates and in some cases, Ph.D. level candidates also apply. In 2011, Novus engaged a total of 35 undergrad and MBA graduate interns (11 males, 24 females) in a range of roles throughout the Novus business, including seven roles in the field and others in Novus offices.

Novus compensates interns on a two-tier scale based on their academic level ($10-12 per hour) and also offers interns benefits that Novus employees enjoy, including training, social and networking events, complimentary lunches, access to the Novus fitness center, fitness classes and more. Novus Interns participate in a midterm review and a final review to assess the overall experience and provide Novus with feedback on how the program can be improved for future Interns. In an anonymous-response survey conducted by Novus in 2011, 85% of respondents said they would recommend the program to a friend.

Some interns go on to become Novus employees and during the past three years, including 2011, 13 have taken up full-time positions with Novus.

Employees Go Green at Novus

Novus maintains an active Green Team of employees who are environmentally-conscious and support Novus's efforts to make a positive contribution to the quality of our natural environment. During 2011 several Green Team activities took place.

A Green Experience for Novus Children:

In April 2011, Novus employees were invited to bring their children to the Novus campus to participate in an experiential program with a green theme in the "Bring Your Kids to Work Day." Novus children could take part in various arts and crafts, learn how to recycle and compost waste, learn about water quality, monitor birds and more.

Novus Loves Honey Bees:

In August 2011, the bee keeping team harvested 70 pounds of honey from the two hives on the Novus global headquarters grounds, leaving 100 pounds of honey for the bees to survive the winter. On a Saturday in August, the team attended an event hosted by the EMBA to guide beekeepers through the process of honey extraction and filtration. The honey was bottled on site at Novus and distributed to employees. The Novus team anticipates that the 2012 honey harvest could double in volume and may deliver enough honey to generate sales or donation to a local food bank. Rick Baseley, a member of the Novus employee bee keeping team, noted that, "Homegrown honey doesn't taste like any other." Rick also has a hive at home.

Green Team Tests the Water:

Novus Green Team members engaged in water testing as part of Novus's biomonitoring program associated with the Novus Sustainable SITES project. Novus participates in the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program (LMVP) which uses citizen scientists to monitor water quality throughout the state. The goals of the LMVP are to determine the current water quality based on productivity or trophic state of Missouri's lakes, to monitor for changes in water quality over time, and to educate the public about lake ecology and water quality issues. Novus Green Team members test water quality in the Novus retention pond as well as in a control pond on the Missouri Research Park property.

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