Developing and investing in our employees so that they can grow and prosper is one of our core values. We provide opportunities for employees to learn and grow while recognizing achievements
At VLS, we encourage employees to collaborate and innovate, working together to grow our business sustainably. It is a company priority to diversify our workforce, create an inclusive work environment, and promote a family atmosphere.
At VLS, we understand that we are only as good as our team. This begins at the top, with leadership that drives culture, and a culture that fuels performance. Our business expanded in 2022, and as our service offerings increased, our teams grew alongside them. The employee feedback we have received over the last year will be used to strengthen our leadership skills, growth and development of employee programs, benefit offerings, and overall employee satisfaction. Talent retention remains a top priority for VLS, and we are proud of our employees for taking an active role in providing feedback on ways we can improve.
We know that to build on our employee engagement successes we need to be consistent in gathering feedback and strategically incorporating feedback into our company. We want our employees to know that their opinion counts. In 2023, we will roll out a new annual employee engagement survey to evaluate employee satisfaction, as part of our commitment to steady improvement and creating a culture that we are proud of. In 2022 we saw progress across employee engagement.
In 2022, we created and rolled out a new HR strategy with the goals of improving communication across our teams and facilities, ensuring smooth transitions following mergers with acquired businesses, and improving overall employee engagement and culture. In Q3, VLS onboarded a new Chief Human Resources Officer who has been instrumental in helping VLS reach its employee engagement and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) targets, while creating new programs and initiatives to further strengthen the strong sense of belonging and culture at the company.
VLS Cares was created from our commitment to Sustainability and born from our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) pledge.
The program promotes everything we do every day to support the environment, the communities that we work in, and the teammates that we work with. Three committees were created to tackle the pillars of sustainability as we understand them. Our committees represent all – race, religion, age, sex, gender, disability, culture, etc.
Companies have always had an environmental impact, and it was not until more recently that companies started doing something about it. The trailblazing companies are those that are leaders in sustainable development, tackling tough issues like reducing their carbon footprints, and promoting zero-waste initiatives.
A sustainable business should have the support and approval of the community it operates in. Community involvement is a fantastic opportunity to share our mission, promote our services, and communicate our values. These external engagements promote partnership, build trusting relationships, and can truly make an impact for those that need it.
VLS is determined to foster a company culture of inclusivity and diversity. We believe that creating an inclusive culture comes from creating a sense of belonging and being valued within our company. Creating an environment that celebrates the rich diversity of our staff is a necessary precursor to helping everyone feel a sense of belonging, achieving organizational goals, and developing efficient problem-solving capabilities. We are committed to creating a company that is representative of the communities in which we operate.
In 2022, our DEI approach expanded to include several new programs and initiatives to increase diversity among our employees and leadership. We are currently in the process of developing DEI goals to better track and evaluate our progress. We launched a training campaign on Interviewing Techniques and DEI Best Practices, using the LinkedIn learning platform. This platform is accessible to all VLS employees, and it is recommended training for all people managers to use during the hiring process.
VLS works in collaboration with different associations to diversify the pool of candidates we want to attract. We work with Hire Our Heroes to hire and engage with military veterans, and several organizations focused on second chance hiring programs across the country. Our commitment to diversity has been included in our updated employee handbook and is communicated to all employees during the onboarding process and through DEI training. In 2023, we are focused on rolling out more DEI-based training and tracking the number of hours employees spend learning how to instill the value of diversity in our work, company, and among our teams.
In 2022 VLS saw increases in the diversity of our leadership team across the organization, adding several diverse candidates to our executive leadership team. We also increased female and minority representation at the manager and director level. While we are proud of the strides we have made to live our values and increase the diversity shared among team members, we still have more work to do and VLS will continue to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in 2023 and beyond.
Giving back to the communities in which we operate is important to VLS and is vital to our employees. We contribute to charities that are personally meaningful to our employees and we organize volunteer events throughout the year.
We are passionate about creating an environment of volunteerism and philanthropy, and that passion is reflected in our 2022 charitable endeavors and community involvement efforts.
2022 EXTERNAL CHARITABLE EVENTS
To learn more about what VLS service is right for you, or to speak with someone to customize a program to help you achieve your environmental goals, contact VLS Environmental Services.