Dušan Međedović, Total Reward Director, Ahold Delhaize

Our values as part of corporate culture

Our story is everyday, simple and unavoidable. It starts with morning shopping, includes the whole family, health care, provides an opportunity for small local producers, but also connects Serbia with Europe and the world. We are speaking on behalf of 13,000 employees who have had a very challenging year. They were a daily support for customers and the whole society in the most difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic. This is a story about the values and culture of a company which is part of one of the largest global food chains. This is the story of Delhaize Serbia.

Our company is the largest private employer in the country. More than a million customers enter through our doors every month, and we welcome them with a smile that can be seen even under masks as well as with goods of the highest quality. The responsibility and working etiquette we present to our customers in supermarkets throughout Serbia are identical to the ones that more than 375,000 of our colleagues around the world show in their work in 11 markets in which we operate.

Being part of an international chain such as Ahold Delhaize is a great responsibility, but also a privilege and an opportunity to transfer the practices of the best in the world to the local market.

Yet, our story is local, intertwined into a neighborly relationship, trust and service that is within reach of all of us, in the nearest Maxi, Mega Maxi, Tempo, Shop & Go store or the Maxi online store that is just one click away.

Many years of work and continuous effort to be a better neighbor to the community in which we live and operate, a better place to work and shop, have resulted in the tremendous trust we enjoy in our business. Our customers can always find fresh, affordable and original products on store shelves, with excellent prices, promotions and, above all, people - our employees, at their disposal. There is no trust without people and they are our most important resource. Thanks to them, our name is now associated with a good feeling when shopping.

Our corporate values are the foundation of the management of all our development plans, as well as the foundation of everyday behavior. They are the essence of our corporate culture and are common to all members of our large family. And how could they not be? If we list them: courage, integrity, teamwork, care and humor, we can see that it is our colleagues who are at the core thereof. They, with all their capabilities and plans, with personal characteristics and differences, make them unique.

Through corporate culture, employee development, but also through providing an inclusive and safe working environment, Delhaize Serbia invests in its associates every day. We try to closely monitor their development, to educate and promote them within their work units, as well as throughout the company. Through a series of topics and workshops, participants upgrade their skills throughout the year and together we create personal development goals. But this is not just about personal development, but also about upgrading the team spirit, which a company needs in order to succeed. Team spirit is nurtured not only to take joint responsibility and ensure cooperation in everyday work, but also to facilitate the implementation of changes and many innovative projects that we launch. Our team spirit is recognizable as all our colleagues strengthen it every day by, by always finding time to be #ThereForEachOther, to support their team, to share successes and challenges and together boldly step towards new business accomplishments.

The freedom to be bold is what especially inspires us. It leaves us space to notice the opportunities for improvement, and gives our colleagues carte blanche to, by working with colleagues from other brands around the world, exchange experiences and ideas that they can then apply in our business. We support the courage of our colleagues to always strive to be better. We celebrate successes together and reward them. The courage we recognize in young people at the beginning of their career is also valuable to us. They are future leaders, and we as a company feel a responsibility to be there for them. That is why we are strategically committed to giving wings to their fearlessness and a solid foundation for their professional development through our Find Your Place @ Delhaize and Retail Management Traineeship talent programs. And there we act as a team. Our colleagues become mentors and buddies to young people and carefully walk with them on the path of career development.

This care makes us especially proud as it goes beyond our Delhaize family as well as our business. We also continuously care about the community in which we operate. Delhaize Serbia is the largest food donor in the country. Over the last six years alone, more than 5,000 tons of groceries have been donated to the community through the socially responsible project "Helping those in need". At the same time, we are the largest recycler in the country, with over 12,000 tons of recycled waste, since we believe that a strong community can only exist in an environmentally healthy place. We also show our commitment to sustainable business through the introduction of an ecological cooling system in our supermarkets, a reduction in CO2 emissions by 2.4% and a reduction in electricity consumption by 2.4% in the previous period.

All these are just some of the reasons for the famous smiles of our colleagues, visible even under masks, with which they greet you along with the well-known "Hello, how are you?". We are steady, we stand firmly with both feet on the ground, we try to always see the good side, we are ready for some fun and for all activities that promote the spirit of fellowship. Because humor is still one of our values that we carefully nurture.