Attracting and retaining the best people continues to give G4S a competitive advantage as well as ensuring we deliver the best results for our customers. For our senior population, we know from our management survey that the most important factor influencing their decision to join and then to stay at G4S is the nature of the roles and the responsibilities on offer.
Our global footprint and operations across a range of product and service lines helps make the business attractive to the best candidates. Once appointed, the responsibility, complexity and opportunities for innovation help retain our senior people and keep them motivated.
For other levels in the organisation, we have developed two toolkits which help us attract and retain colleagues by utilising our expertise and sharing resources across the Group. The first relates to recruitment and is designed to ensure potential candidates for jobs with G4S have a positive recruitment experience while going through an efficient and effective hiring process. The second provides guidance on good retention practices.
Both toolkits are online and contain templates that are easy to follow and adopt. They emphasise the importance of ensuring applicants know what will be expected before they apply, and if they do join G4S there are robust processes in place to welcome, induct, train and support them. Feedback from our most recent global employee survey suggests that our employees feel well equipped to perform their role, with over 90% of respondents stating they understand their job procedures. Often employee turnover is at its highest in the initial months after appointment, which suggests there is still more to do to retain our newest colleagues.
Overall employee retention continues to improve with voluntary employee turnover reducing to 25.3% (2016: 27.6%) as closer scrutiny and the implementation of good retention practices help us improve performance even in tight labour markets. This is good for service to our customers, who appreciate working with staff who know them better and have more experience.
While our employee headcount has reduced from 585,000 to 570,000 as a result of our portfolio management programme and our drive to improve organisational efficiency, wherever possible we redeploy people and retain their skills and knowledge. For our front-line employees, the launch of a new values related global recognition programme will add a further opportunity to showcase the amazing work they do for our customers each and every day. Ensuring we celebrate success, and share information about the ways in which our employees behave in line with our values, not only helps to bring our values to life but also promotes the expertise and capabilities of our people.
A countrywide government initiative which aims to train 400 million people in different skills by 2022.
debating matters beyond bars: UK
A pioneering new prison initiative, held at HMP Birmingham, produced in partnership by the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition, challenges teams of prisoners to engage each other in debate on a series of contemporary social, political, biomedical and cultural debates, encouraging them to think about the world around them, beyond bars.