RTV Slovenija, Slovenia: Health and well-being
RTV Slovenija is a public, non-profit radio and television broadcasting company. Founded by the Slovenian government, its origins date back to the establishment of Radio Ljubljana in 1928. RTV Slovenija broadcast the country’s first television programmes in 1957. Located in Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, it operates in accordance with the 1994 Law on RTV Slovenija (amended), and in compliance with Slovenia’s 2001 Law on Media. Today, the company consists of nine organisational units. Its managing body is the Council of RTV Slovenija, and the company’s business activities and operations are managed by its director general.
RTV Slovenija employs 2,187 full-time employees, 841 (38.5%) of whom are women and 1,346 (61.5%) are men. In addition to the organisation’s full-time workforce, it employs approximately 700 regular part-time workers and around 2,000 occasional workers. The average age of the workforce is 44 years, while the average length of service in the company is 21 years. The company has a works council and three trade unions representing journalists, cultural and art workers and broadcasting workers.
Good practice today
The company’s human resources (HR) strategy aims at lowering the average age of the workforce, improving the educational and organisational culture and reducing labour costs. In 2004, the company established an educational centre to meet the skills needs of employees. This centre offers internally certified seminars, on specific skills such as communication skills, and advice on dress code and public appearances for journalists. In 2004, 950 employees took part in the centre’s training programmes.
The organisation also attaches considerable importance to protecting employees’ health. With the exception of a full-time study programme where priority is given to younger workers, most of the HR initiatives are non-age specific. One measure that predominantly involves employees aged over 50 years is a preventive health programme for risk groups at all levels of the organisation (who have demonstrated satisfactory performance). These include employees with chronic diseases, disabled workers, those who have undergone surgical operations, older workers and workers who have decided to retire.
The HR department prepares a list of 50 candidates for the health programme on the basis of annual interviews with employees and interviews with directors of departments. (The evaluation also takes the results of employees’ annual medical examinations into account.) The final decision is made by a special committee of three members – the president of the works council, a social worker and one representative of the HR department. In addition, directors may suggest an additional 20 employees for the programme. Altogether, therefore, up to 70 employees can take part in the programme each year.
Participation in the programme is voluntary, and most of the candidates agree to take part. Some 80% of the participants are over 50 years of age, while a further 20% consist of managers and employees who work under constant stress. The measure does not discriminate on the grounds of gender; however, because of the structure of the workforce, more men than women participate in the programme.
The selected group of employees can spend five days in one of the Slovenian spa centres, where they are offered preventive medical treatment. Medical and hotel costs are covered partly by the organisation (60%) and partly by the employee (40%). Days spent in the spa are counted as regular holidays. The average annual cost of the initiative amounts to €33,390 for the company.
The health measure was originally initiated by the marketing department as a tool to sell media advertising. Accordingly, the selected spa is permitted to advertise on RTV Slovenija for a fee that offsets the costs incurred by the company in sending its employees to the resort. Along with the business benefits, management of RTV Slovenija also regards the measure as a motivating factor for the target group, encouraging more efficient work, rewarding employees for good performance and increasing their loyalty towards the organisation. A separate agreement between RTV Slovenija and the spa centre is signed each year.
As the company has not systematically evaluated the effects of the measure on the employees, it is not possible to precisely gauge its influence on employees’ productivity. However, an improved state of health and greater motivation has been observed among the participants.
Employee representatives are involved in the implementation of the measure. Social dialogue is primarily conducted between management and the works council. However, due to a certain degree of distrust among the programme participants, social dialogue with any of the three trade unions is restricted to issues concerning the collective agreements and does not relate to this particular measure. The continuation of this measure is subject to the decisions of the new management team.
Development of the case study
The health initiative is part of a range of activities aimed at improving health, increasing motivation and improving the organisational culture. In addition, the company provides other health measures, including lung, eye and breast examinations.
Prior to the introduction of the abovementioned measure, only employees with chronic diseases and workers who had undergone a surgical operation were allowed to participate in the spa treatment. Nevertheless, preventive health measures for employees have been carried out for many years. Up to recently, RTV Slovenija employed a medical nurse who looked after employees’ health and coordinated measures with doctors. After she retired, the responsibility for medical examinations was taken over by a unit of the Community (Primary) Health Care Centre situated near RTV Slovenija.
Within the HR department, a special social work service has also been initiated, dealing with a range of employees’ problems, including problems relating to ageing and impaired work capacity.
Contact and interviewee: Aleksander Novak, Head of HR
Company website: www.rtvslo.si
Annual report 2004, Letno porocilo RTV Slovenija, available online at:
http://www.rtvslo.si/files/letno_porocilo/lp_slo_2004.pdf (in Slovenian, 3.6Mb PDF).
Catalogue of information of public nature, Katalog informacij javnega znacaja, available online at: http://www.rtvslo.si/katalog (in Slovenian).