Our people

We continued to develop our people-related processes according to our long-term plan. We developed our practices to identify, foster and reward excellent performance and continued to drive a pay-for-performance compensation model.

Advancing employee engagement

Increasing employee engagement is one of our key people-related targets in our Sustainability Agenda. We conducted a global employee engagement survey for a fourth consecutive year in 2023. The response rate for the survey remained at a strong level and was 80%. 

The survey results identified both positive areas and opportunities for improvement. In the 2023 survey, we saw improvement in nearly all of the survey areas. The most significant improvement appeared in feedback and recognition, which covers themes like performance evaluation, rewarding the right people and addressing non-performance. Feedback and recognition was identified as an area for further development in the previous survey, and the recent results confirm us that we have taken effective steps in the right direction. On the other hand, employees’ confidence in the company’s future success decreased slightly from 2022.

The survey results are used as a basis for our people-related development work. Team-specific results are shared with the team leaders, who will then review and discuss them within their teams. Based on the results, each site and function leader will create a targeted, actionable development plan for their respective organizations and will follow up on the progress. We are currently investigating an opportunity to utilize pulse surveys in people and team development.

Based on the global results, our employee engagement index is 66%, which is one percentage point higher than in the previous survey. The index is a combination of questions concerning our people’s likelihood of recommending and staying in the company, organizational pride, and commitment. The result means that 66% of the survey participants responded favorably to those questions.

In pursuit of high performance

Building a high performance culture is an important element in Suominen’s strategy and Sustainability Agenda. We strive to build a culture in which people are encouraged to exceed expectations – to go the extra mile – and are enabled to perform to their full potential. To support the successful implementation of our strategy, we ensure that our employees’ targets and actions are aligned with the company’s strategy and objectives.

We continued to run our Performance Development Process covering all white-collar employees and Performance Evaluation and Feedback process covering all blue-collar workers. In 2023, 56% of Suominen’s employees received performance and career development reviews in employee–manager discussions.

We strive to develop our processes and practices to identify, foster and reward excellent performance and to drive a pay-for-performance compensation model. In 2024, we will focus on developing our selected core and leadership competencies. Further developing our recruitment and onboarding processes is an important long-term target for us. In addition, we aim to strengthen and promote our employer brand actively to increase employee commitment, retention, satisfaction, and attraction.

Promoting equal opportunities and supporting professional development

Suominen has nearly 700 employees, representing more than a dozen nationalities working in seven sites on three continents. We recognize the business benefits of having a diverse workforce and are committed to offering a fair workplace with equal opportunities for everyone. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination, including discrimination based on 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 and inclusion.

Career development and identifying and developing the competencies that are essential in reaching our strategic objectives have been identified as areas for improvement in our previous global employee engagement surveys.

In 2023, we continued to execute Suominen’s competency framework to systematically support our employees in their professional development. The framework also strengthens our processes for recruitment and succession planning and enables the mapping of competencies. In addition, we enhanced our competence and leadership capabilities by increasing human resources to individual and organizational development. 

We continued to support the development of our personnel with various development and training programs that the manager and the employee have identified together in their performance development discussions. In 2023, a competition law compliance e-Learning course was rolled out globally for selected key roles. The course covers the main rules of competition and antitrust laws as well as the key principles and guidelines outlined in Suominen’s Competition Law Compliance Policy. Other trainings during the year included management training and various quality, safety and process trainings for targeted roles. 

Health and safety 

The health and safety of Suominen’s employees is our key priority. The coverage of occupational healthcare was 100% of our employees in 2023. Suominen aims to promote employee well-being by sponsoring extracurricular activities for employees, such as local running events. In Finland and the USA, employees also receive a monetary sport benefit.