Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
VNET adheres to sustainable talent cultivation, fully respects and strictly protects the rights and interests of employees as well as focuses on the fairness, diversity and inclusiveness of the workplace environment. We also care for the physical and mental health and welfare of employees. We are committed to creating a working environment that is conducive to the personal development of all employees.
Employee rights and interests protection
VNET strictly complies with the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, the Provisions on the Prohibition of Using Child Labor, and other relevant laws and regulations that is relevant to the standardization of our employee management. As a signatory to the UNGC, we adhere to international treaties such as the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work established by the International Labor Organization. We compiled the Employee Manual and Implementation Measures on Human Resources Management in the VNET Group and Regions to further regulate the protection of employee rights and interests.
VNET adheres to equal employment and is committed to providing employees with an equal workplace free from discrimination, harassment and any form of abuse. There is no discrimination in the recruitment, appointment, promotion, and turnover of employees based on race, ethnicity, place of origin, gender, age, and marital status. We ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender and promote the employment of people with disabilities to implement equal employment rights. We prohibit all forms of child labor and forced labor. If illegal employment is found, we will immediately take serious actions against those responsible for the work based on the severity of the circumstances, and report the cases to the labor security administration. In the case of child labor issues, we will actively render assistance in contacting their legal guardians upon occurrence. This year, there were no incidents of human rights violations, employee discrimination, and employment of child labor.
Diversity and gender equality
We believe that a diverse and inclusive team can bring a diversity of perspectives, which will help the Group consider and solve problems from multiple angles. VNET insists on recruiting, assessing, motivating and training every employee equally, ensuring that minorities are not treated differently and employees' different cultural beliefs are respected. At the same time, we carry out diversity policy training for employees in corporate culture capacity building.
VNET actively implements gender equality policies to build gender-friendly corporate systems and environments. We pay attention to the challenges and difficulties that female employees may face in the workplace and offer them necessary support. In 2022, VNET became a signatory of the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to work with global enterprises in improving gender equality practices and unleashing the potential of women.
We have taken continuous practical measures to protect women's rights, launched the "V-Can" Gender Equality Action Plan to encourage all employees to break gender stereotypes in the workplace and help more women become the backbone of the IDC industry.
In addition, VNET fully considers the needs of employees for childcare, strictly implements the parental leave policy, arranges flexible working hours for breastfeeding female employees and also provides private and convenient breastfeeding rooms in the office area.
VNET has engaged in fully protecting the rights of employees concerning their information, participation, privacy, expression and supervision. We organize online discussions, training courses and inspections for the protection of rights and interests as well as track the problems, supervise their rectifications.
We have a trade union to represent the interests of our employees. The union oversees the protection of employee rights and interests, participates in the formulation of corporate rules in close relation to employees' interests from their perspectives and provides suggestions to the management on enhancing employee diversity, safeguarding occupational health and safety and improving employee welfare.
At the same time, we conduct employee satisfaction and engagement surveys annually among all employees in 2021 and 2022 to understand their work status through analysing and tracking survey results, and actively adopt their reasonable opinions and suggestions, and also put forward improvement and optimization measures.
In addition, we regularly conduct employee satisfaction surveys among all employees to understand their work status and actively adopt their reasonable opinions and suggestions.
VNET has established a multi-channel employee communication and appeal mechanism to guarantee employees' legitimate right to fair appeal under the law before receiving any internal disciplinary action, and protect whistleblowers from improper dispositions as a result of whistleblowing.
Employees may file an appeal when they are harassed, bullied, or unfairly treated during work, or when they believe that the problem is not resolved or handled improperly in case of disciplinary action.
To strengthen internal communication, VNET has established a communication and reporting mechanism reviewed and approved by the board of directors and has set up reporting channels such as the reporting box, whistleblowing hotline, labor union and email. Employees can also communicate with HR business partners (HRBPs), their department heads or cross-departmental leaders to solve problems.
VNET will never tolerate any workplace bullying or harassment. If any employee suffers abuse, discrimination and harassment, we will assist the employee to solve problems under the relevant laws and regulations as well as providing psychological counselling and legal aid.
Occupational health and safety
VNET believes that creating a safe and healthy work environment for employees is a fundamental responsibility of the Group. We carry out occupational health and safety management work with the target of zero fatalities and zero serious injuries. In 2022, based on the Work Safety Law of the People's Republic of China, the Fire Protection Law of the People's Republic of China and other relevant laws, regulations and standards, VNET prepared and issued document such as the Regulations on Work Safety Management and VNET Enterprise Safety Management System to further improve its occupational health and safety management. All main workplaces of the Group have passed the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001) certification.
We provide and maintain devices, equipment and work systems for the safety and health of our employees. Safety drills and fire safety training are organized regularly to reduce the possibility of accidental injuries and enhance employees' safety awareness. In 2022, VNET focused on the protection against high-risk and high-incidence safety hazards in construction projects and developed the first series of safety standardization atlases in a targeted manner to provide visual and actionable safety standards for each project. In addition, we developed different safeguard measures and emergency response plans based on the seasonal and geographical characteristics of the construction projects to manage project safety issues in a targeted manner.
We also placed emphasis on the occupational health and safety of the employees of contractors during project construction, signed work safety agreements with contractors and required subcontractors to follow VNET's work safety management practices. In 2022, VNET conducted safety-related education and training for our employees and contractors' employees.
VNET has a dedicated team responsible for conducting unannounced inspections and patrol inspections of construction projects as well as supervising and checking the safety responsibility goals set at the beginning of construction. We engage third-party agencies to inspect construction projects for quality defects and potential safety hazards from a professional, objective and impartial perspective, issue early warnings and carry out rectification to eliminate potential risks. In 2022, all VNET's construction projects achieved the safety goal of zero fatalities and zero serious injuries in liability accidents.
To strengthen culture construction of the Group's occupational health and safety culture, we continuously carry out health and safety-themed activities for our employees to enhance their health and safety awareness.
Broad Development Platform
We hope that every employee can demonstrate their value in VNET and enjoy adequate and equal opportunities for professional development. Through the implementation of VNET's "three-pillar" human resource management system, we actively understand and meet the needs of our business lines and continuously practice the long-term talent development strategy.
VNET places great emphasis on employee development. We have formulated the Employee Training Management System and established a multi-level and systematized employee training system. We ensure that our employees are trained according to their development stages and all kinds of talents can gain support for their career development. We have built the VNET E-Learning platform to cultivate talents for each business line via digital means and achieve knowledge cocreation and sharing. The platform focuses on nurturing leadership skills, professional skills and general skills as well as delivering resource integration to tailor learning maps for each employee. Currently, a total of 576 premium courses have been launched online.
We regularly conduct featured training programs for diﬀerent positions to enhance their comprehensive abilities and professional skills.
VNET's backbone is our operation and maintenance engineers. The Group created Honor O&M Expert Program series in 2017 and this encompassed technical competitions and training camps for operation and maintenance personnel to enhance their professional skills and exchange technical ideas. By the end of the reporting period, the number of questions in the Honor O&M Expert Program test question database exceeded 5,000, about 5,000 engineers participated in the competition, and more than 100 of them were selected.
For the cultivation of managerial talent, we carried out the young talent training program to systematically empower the talents by stages according to the nature of leadership development. VNET Blue Cloud provides core talent with opportunities for mutual learning and cross-disciplinary exchange by launching the leadership development program "Elite Plan".
In addition, to further improve the leadership and professionalism of employees, we also actively cooperate with external educational institutions to develop or deliver relevant training programs for staffs, such as the "Facilities Operation and Maintenance Manager Training Camp" program and the "Business-to-Business Product Manager Practical Training Camp" program launched in 2022.
VNET applies the formal talent pipeline development strategy to actively develop new pools of talent that have great potential. We carry out diverse training practices and competitions and strengthen school-enterprise cooperation to inject fresh blood into the Group's talent pool. In 2022, VNET established a school-enterprise cooperation mechanism known as a "oriented class" with 1 institution, and reached cooperation agreements with 8 institutions to jointly build internship bases and participated in the "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative" organized by the China Association of Higher Education.
In addition, VNET encourages employees to leverage external professional resources to improve their expertise and provides support for all employees by reimbursing their expenses for pursuing degrees or professional certifications. Based on different business needs, we offer our employees opportunities for external training, professional examinations and certifications. In 2022, we arranged a total of 18 external training sessions, invested RMB 350,000 in external certifications and reimbursed employees RMB 205,000 for related expenses.
Promotion and incentive program
VNET has established a comprehensive rank structure and promotion mechanism to ensure equal opportunities for all employees. In 2022, we formulated and released the VNET Position & Rank Management Procedure, providing employees with four career development paths: management, sales, technician and special talent. Employees can choose their paths according to their career plans.
We value the long-term performance of our employees and comprehensively manage their promotion from multiple perspectives based on five basic principles: organizational development needs, ability, performance, value and fairness and equality. For vacant positions, we encourage internal recommendation or self-recommendation and candidates are provided with opportunities for internal transfer through competition and evaluation process.
VNET continuously attracts and motivates outstanding talents with competitive salaries and the fair and effective performance appraisal mechanism. In 2022, we further improved our remuneration system and launched layered remuneration incentive plans for employees of different paths and ranks.
In 2022, we formulated the Employee Assessment and Competency Management Procedure for the O&M Department and established the planned, standard and quantifiable employee assessment management mechanism based on the rank system. The performance appraisal results are linked to employees' personal development and incentives to stimulate their creativity and enthusiasm. At the same time, we shared corporate achievements with our employees and oﬀer long-term incentives such as stock options for eligible employees.
We ensure that performance appraisal results are clearly and transparently communicated to employees and allowed them to submit written appeal requests to the human resources center if they disagree with or refuse to accept the results. After verifying the content related to the appeal, relevant departments will conduct performance appraisal recheck, and provide the appeal result to the complainant within the corresponding time limit.
Employee welfare and care
VNET has built a robust welfare system. In addition to social insurance and welfare prescribed by national and regional regulations, we provide employees with six categories of supplemental benefits: exclusive benefits, anniversary benefits, employee care benefits, health and safety benefits, recreational benefits and special holiday benefits.
VNET provides all-round support for employees, we provide assistance and subsidies for employees who encounter emergencies or experience sudden difficulties, sending warmth when they need it most. In 2022, VNET's trade union distributed a total of RMB 65,000 for living subsidies to seriously ill employees and difficult employees.
VNET organizes a variety of cultural and sports activities for our employees. In August 2022, VNET's 6th "Cloud Riding Cup" Internal Football League concluded successfully in Beijing. The tournament lasted more than a month and attracted 6 teams consisting of 85 players from different divisions and departments, adequately arousing the team spirit of the employees.
In October 2022, VNET organized its 2nd "VNET Wingspaning Cup" internal basketball league. A total of 6 teams consisting of 80 employees from various departments participated in the competition, demonstrating the extraordinary passion of VNET employees.