Engaging with employees
The year 2016 continued to be challenging in terms of employee relations. Due to our cost savings, restructuring and related reductions in our workforce, our employee engagement index further declined, as measured in the Pulse employee survey conducted in May.
To deploy our changed operating model, ‘Outotec ’16’ events were held in each market area office. Employees were invited to a ‘town hall meeting’ to discuss Outotec’s overall plan for the present market situation, and workshops were held to clarify how we will work together in the new organization. The feedback gathered from each market area about these events was very positive.
We continued to hold the CEO’s quarterly internal briefings. Employees may ask questions during these briefings, and they can also watch a video recording afterwards. Markku Teräsvasara was appointed as Outotec’s new CEO in June, and he joined the company in October. To minimize uncertainty during the transition period, internal video communications on the Outotec News Channel were ramped up, and more town hall meetings were organized in various locations to introduce the new CEO to our employees.
Our global intranet serves as a platform for day-to-day information sharing. To complement this platform, our Outotec News Channel for video communications and the new Office365 collaboration tools were taken into full use in 2016. The new internal social media tool Yammer was quickly adopted for discussion and dialogue. By the end of 2016, over 3,400 employees were sharing their opinions in Yammer, in over 400 discussion groups.
Two Outotec Round Table events were held during 2016, bringing together 21 personnel representatives and top management. The topics discussed included our strategy, acquisitions, rewards, organizational changes, and internal development programs.
Employees as owners
Many Outotec employees are also shareholders through Outotec’s employee share savings plan ‘O’Share’, which was launched in 2013. O’Share rewards employees for their long-term commitment to the company. Approximately 27% (2015: 27%) of employees participated in this program in 2016.
The approximately 1,600 employees who participated in O’Share during 2013, and kept the shares bought with their savings until May 2016, received the first free shares as a reward for their commitment and investment in Outotec. Outotec offered beneficiaries one free share (gross, with cash payments for taxes deducted) for each share bought with the 2013 savings.
Enhancing feedback culture
We launched a new portal in November to enable internal feedback such as improvement requests and ideas, reported non-conformities and other observations, to be submitted and processed smoothly. The portal will be deployed step by step. In the first phase, people can give general feedback related to global issues and processes & applications, or propose local initiatives related to facilities, wellbeing and culture. During November and December altogether 31 observations and suggestions for improvements were received through the new portal.