Occupational safety and the overall well-being of employees is a priority for Suominen. We invest in increasing employee engagement. We continue to build a high performance culture and to strengthen our safety culture.
Suominen has almost 700 employees representing more than a dozen nationalities working in eight locations on three continents. Our values – Ownership, Teamwork, Performance and Integrity – form the foundation for all our work. In 2019, our main focus was on enabling smooth organizational changes and supporting employees in this change.
Increasing employee engagement is one of our key people related targets in our revised sustainability agenda for 2020–2025. Our target is to conduct a global employee engagement survey in 2020. We will use the results of this survey as a baseline for future surveys and to create concrete action plans in order to systematically develop our employee engagement and performance in future.
Our longer term target is to further develop our onboarding process and new employees’ onboarding experience to enhance new employee engagement, productivity and retention. We will also be seeking ways to strengthen and communicate our employer brand more actively, both internally and externally, to drive employee commitment, retention, satisfaction and attraction.
Building a high-performance culture is a key element in Suominen’s new strategy and sustainability agenda. We aim to find ways to ensure that our employees’ activities are in alignment with the company’s objectives and will result in successful implementation of the strategy. We will continuously develop our processes and practices that help us foster and reward excellent performance.
Suominen’s performance and development discussion process consists of bi-annual employee-manager discussions covering topics such as achievement of previous year’s targets, target setting for ongoing year and identifying development needs and plans. Structured feedback discussion is also part of the process. In 2019, the process covered 73% of employees in total. In 2020, we will focus on further developing our performance culture by for example driving pay-for-performance principle, strengthening the quality of target setting and promoting feedback culture. Our target is also to develop and harmonize the performance and development discussion process for blue collar employees globally.
Identifying and developing the competencies and capabilities that are needed to achieve our strategic objectives is vital for our success. We want our employees to be able to perform at their top potential every day and we want to support their growth ambitions and continuous professional development. In 2019 we had several training programs supporting our local needs, for example safety, quality and best practices trainings.
We want to offer a fair place to work and treat all employees in an equal manner. Suominen recognizes the business benefits of having a diverse workforce and aims to provide equal opportunities for everyone. We do not accept any kind of discrimination, including discrimination due to e.g. age, gender, religion or ethnic origin. When making employee related decisions, for example when recruiting, promoting, rewarding or developing our personnel, we pay special attention to equality matters. Our rewarding is based on the requirements and complexity of the position and the employee’s performance.
A concrete way for promoting diversity and ensuring equal opportunities for job applicants is the blind hiring principle that we follow in recruiting when possible. In the blind hiring process all not job related personal information, such as the applicant’s name, gender or age, is masked from the recruiting manager and applicants are selected for interviews only based on their qualifications and achievements. The purpose of the blind hiring is to avoid any unconscious bias affecting the recruitment process.
A safe workplace is one of our top priorities. We want everyone to return home safely every day.
In the revised Sustainability Agenda we continue to have strong focus on safety, accident prevention and a strong safety culture. Our long term target is to have zero lost-time accidents (LTA). Altogether 6 (4) LTAs occurred at Suominen sites in 2019. Four out of eight sites were able to reach the zero LTA target in 2019. The accident frequency rate (AFR) incresed to 4.95 in 2019 (3.20) and the accident severity rate (ASR) increased to 0.12 (0.10). We keep record of all work-related accidents and identify their causes. In 2020, the development of safety work will focus on strengthening our safety culture. We will also launch a new internal safety campaign.
Suominen’s safety work is based on preventive work and Suominen has implemented Life Saving Rules and a Behavior Based Safety program covering employees working both at Suominen’s manufacturing sites and at the offiice premises.
The Behavior Based Safety program kept rolling for the sixth year in the row in 2019. The program emphasizes the individual’s own responsibility in safety and focuses on influencing the attitude and motivation of individuals.
The program is implemented through safety walks, where an employee walks through the premises identifying both safe and unsafe behaviors and conditions, and then engages in an open discussion with other employees.
Safety walk training is mandatory for all new employees as part of their onboarding process. By the end of 2019, almost 24,000 safety walks were performed globally. Altogether 4,500 unsafe actions or conditions were identified that need to be rectified.
Suominen develops safety at the workplace according to the principle of continuous improvement and constantly shares the best practices of individual plants to benefit the entire plant network. In improving safety, Suominen places particular emphasis on influencing attitudes, behavior and operating models and on building a culture of work safety. Safety monitoring is part of the daily activities.
Suominen refrains from all unfair business practices, such as fraud, corruption and bribery. The company has a whistleblowing practice established with an external lawyer. The practice is described in Suominen’s Code of Conduct. In 2018, no suspected violations of the Code of Conduct were reported through out third-party whistleblowing channel regarding corruption and bribery.