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Our talent

‘Diageo is serious about its people, serious about investing in them.’ Our Talent Story

Our approach

We want our people to feel excited and engaged about working with us. We are committed to investing in their success, for their benefit and for that of our business. Our aim is to create a diverse, global workforce who feel inspired to deliver brilliant results, and who are strongly aligned to the aims of the business.

To achieve that vision, we have developed a rewards structure that recognises performance; we have a career development process that harnesses talent and rewards personal growth; and we have built the values of our business into everything we do, measuring them through our annual Values Survey, run by external provider, Kenexa.


Our Values Survey helps us understand the extent to which our employees believe Diageo is living up to its values. The feedback we receive from the Survey helps us shape and develop our business – 91% of the employees surveyed told us that they fully support the values for which Diageo stands. This year the Survey included employees from our recently acquired businesses, Mey İçki in Turkey, Meta Abo in Ethiopia, and Ypióca in Brazil, and we were therefore particularly pleased that our engagement level held up well at 85% overall.

Values Survey results (2013)
from last year
Passionate about customers and consumers 85
Freedom to succeed 79 -1
Proud of what we do 83
Be the best 73
Valuing each other 73
Engagement indicators
Engagement 85 -1
Leadership index2 74
Super-engagement 41 +1
  1. The percentage of respondents who selected the two most favourable responses (typically ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’).
  2. As a significant driver of engagement, we measure leadership as part of the Values Survey. The Leadership Index pulls together all of the key survey items that relate to ‘My manager’.

Sustainability and responsibility

Each year we ask a number of questions related to sustainability and responsibility. This year we brought these questions together to create an ‘Integrity Index’ to help us measure our performance in this area. The results are shown below, and are broadly in line with last year’s.

  • Leadership in the responsible drinking agenda: 91% of people thought that Diageo was effective in promoting responsible drinking.
  • Contribution to local communities: 81% felt that Diageo made a real contribution to the communities in which we operate.
  • Contribution to environmental sustainability: 86% agreed that Diageo was environmentally responsible.
  • Diversity and inclusion: 88% said people can be themselves, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, or style.
  • A culture that inspires ethical behaviour: as described in the governance and ethics section, this year we adapted two questions in this area, to give a better picture of how employees feel about integrity within Diageo. The results showed that 85% of employees believed that their manager is committed to high standards of ethical business practices and conduct; while 84% felt comfortable raising any concerns about compliance and ethics.

Developing talent

The cornerstone of our development initiatives is our Partners for Growth (P4G) performance management programme. All employees take part in P4G conversations with their managers, covering objectives, development plans, and career aspirations. The aim is to engage them with the business and with their own personal development. We believe leaders who really know their people can better focus them on strategic priorities and help them to feel valued.

Functional training

Functional excellence is vital, and we encourage our teams to keep developing skills in their own professional field. Our global online learning and development tool, the Diageo Academy, allows employees to access development materials or to book places on classroom training events in their own markets and languages. The Academy is also the pathway to both leadership and functional training resources, and provides access to programmes such as iDevelop, a global functional capability assessment and development tool.

Leadership training

As our business grows, we need to ensure that we have a pipeline of diverse, local talent ready to fill our leadership roles. We are constantly looking out for great people to hire and develop, providing them with the skills and support they need to lead our business and ‘be the best’.

The Diageo Leadership Performance Programme (DLPP), launched in 2007, is our flagship leadership development initiative. This year the programme was refreshed to align it with our new market structure and to place greater emphasis on coaching, and 257 new, or newly promoted, senior leaders were invited to take part.

Graduate training

This year we welcomed 126 graduate trainees through regional early-career programmes in many of our markets and functions, reflecting our desire to encourage local talent. Our management trainee programme in China was launched after a relationship-building and internship campaign with the prestigious Fu Dan University in Shanghai. Nine candidates were successful in joining Diageo from more than 7,000 applications.

Mid‑career training

Our mid‑career regional programmes have been developed to motivate middle managers and build their capability for leadership – for example, our 12‑month pan‑African Growing Leaders Programme (GLP) is designed for high-potential, mid‑career talent from across the region. In total, 483 managers across Diageo took part in mid‑career programmes this year.

Reward and recognition

Diageo’s reward and recognition strategy reflects our diverse, inclusive and performance-orientated culture. Our reward programmes are designed to attract, motivate and retain talented people, to be engaging, and to reward, fairly and equitably, sustainable and responsible performance that is aligned with our values.

We aim to ensure that employees have their personal contribution recognised and rewarded, with the opportunity to share in the company’s success and receive benefits that meet their needs. Among other reward schemes, we:

  • Offer competitive base pay that reflects the individual’s skills and knowledge
  • Carry out pay reviews that recognise personal performance
  • Offer annual incentive plans, rewarding employees for achieving both business and personal goals
  • Provide all‑employee share plans to encourage employees to connect with the business by participating as shareholders
  • Design benefit packages in accordance with local conditions and practices in every market – these may include retirement benefits, healthcare benefits and flexible working arrangements.

We benchmark our packages externally to ensure they are in line with the local market. We ensure that all employees are rewarded in ways that meet, at a minimum, national legal standards, and should provide for basic needs and some discretionary spend.

Executive rewards

Like those for all our employees, the rewards for our executive directors and senior leaders are performance-orientated. Their personal performance is measured against individual business objectives that include non‑financial measures such as conformity with our Code of Business Conduct and our sustainability and responsibility policies. More information about executive rewards is available in the directors’ remuneration report in our 2013 Annual Report.

Share ownership

We encourage all our businesses to operate employee share plans. In 2013, 34 countries operated an all‑employee share plan, the majority of which participated in Diageo’s International Sharematch Plan. As of 30 June 2013, 16,788 past and present employees held 1.27% (2012: 1.27%) of Diageo’s ordinary share capital (excluding treasury shares).

Employee share schemes by year (2011–2013)
2011 2012 2013
Countries operating schemes 31 31 34
Employees1 holding shares 16,057 16,531 16,788
Employees1 holding more than 1,000 shares 48.9% 45.1% 43.9%
Shares held by employees1 32m 32m 32m
  1. Past and present.


We recognise the achievements of our employees in every market, using a variety of schemes which both celebrate good work in its own right, and help to inspire and motivate us to ‘be the best’.

Each market develops its own recognition schemes, highlighting examples of living our values, innovation, excellence in customer service, and ideas or activities which encourage profitable growth. For example, the Asia Pacific Hero Awards celebrate excellence in the areas of people, performance, relationships and reputation. The awards ceremony takes place at the regional leadership conference and recognises both teams and individuals for their contributions to the region’s success.

Collective bargaining

We have a strong commitment to industrial dialogue, and in 2013 more than 35% of our employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements. We aim to maintain regular, open dialogue with unions over issues of common interest. For example, in Illinois, United States, our history of working in partnership with employee representative group Local 3 Union to enable the site to adapt to the changing needs of consumers, contributed to the £64 million investment we made in the site this year.

Human rights

We have a responsibility to respect human rights, and that starts with the rights of our employees. Everyone has the right to expect their basic human identity and dignity to be fully respected in the workplace. We have outlined our approach in our policies and guidelines, including our Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination policy, and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment through our activities.

We work to ensure that we do not infringe human rights ourselves, and that we are not complicit with others in any abuse of rights. We do not use forced or compulsory labour and we will not work with others who do; nor will we employ children under the age of 16. We have a special responsibility to protect employees under 18, and ensure that their interests are promoted.

Our commitment to pay wages and benefits for a standard working week that meet, at a minimum, national legal standards, is an important element of the policy. We believe wages should be enough to give employees a bit extra as well as meeting basic needs.


We actively promote the use of our independent whistleblowing service, SpeakUp – you can read more about SpeakUp in our governance and ethics section.

Reporting frameworks in this section

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