Enhancing employee engagement

After several years of restructuring, employee engagement continues to be the key theme for developing our people.

The market situation continued to be very challenging for Outotec, although the market picked up towards the year end. As a result of EUR 70 million cost structure program, simplifying our operating model and strengthening our focus on customers and services, Outotec also had to reduce altogether 650 jobs in 2016.

Despite actions taken after the previous employee engagement survey, results in both employee engagement and performance enablement continued to weaken. In the Pulse survey conducted in May 2016, the employee engagement index fell to 42% (2015: 56%) and the performance enablement index declined to 54% (2015: 63%).

Based on the survey results and related feedback from our employees, concrete actions that would help to re-build trust and engagement among employees should include:

  • Communicating a clear strategy and translating it into concrete actions at all levels to benefit our employees
  • Creating clarity and simplifying our ways of working in order to allow our people to focus more on customers
  • Ensuring strong leadership presence
  • Empowering and engaging our people to make Outotec a better place to work

Global leadership program


Strategy shaped with employee participation

Employees from our Market Areas and Business Lines participated in strategy revision work realized in spring 2016. The implementation of the strategy was supported by the Outotec 2016 roadshow in major locations, where leaders were engaged in change management planning, and employees had a chance to hear about the strategy and discuss it with their leadership. 

Strong focus on leadership development

A global leadership program for 100 leaders was kicked-off in November. The program consists of face-to-face modules, benchmarking group work, 360° feedback and coaching (G4-LA10).

In addition, local leadership programs have been developed in each country, and all Outotec managers and leaders will have an opportunity to join a development program by the end of 2017.

Continuous support for professional growth

A total of 2,391 employees participated in training activities during 2016. We delivered 6,467 training instalments in total, most of which consisted of online courses focusing on technical issues; quality, environment, health and safety (QEHS); or legal and compliance issues. In total 5,855 online courses were completed, of which 1,533 related to QEHS and 260 to technical issues. Technology-related classroom training was provided for 423 Outotec employees during 2016.

Work meanwhile started on the development of a certification program for our technical service experts who work with our products and technologies. This certification process features a multi-level training program designed to allow people to develop their technical skills and apply them in on-the-job situations at a Basic, Advanced, and Master level.  50 people were nominated as pilot participants to start the program.

Several groups started their mentoring programs in the areas of solution sales, process, and metallurgy. The program will continue to expand in 2017, with engineering and contract management as new topics.

A Value Selling training program was developed to enhance our sales force’s competences in customer interfaces. Through this highly interactive and role-play-based training we are striving to build, communicate, and coach value propositions that can be offered to the customers based on their identified needs and values.

Promoting equal opportunity and diversity

As an international company with a global presence, Outotec values diversity at the workplace. We treat people in an equal and fair manner regardless of their ethnic origin, nationality, religion, political views, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family status or age. We follow the principle of equal opportunities.

We continuously monitor diversity and equality within Outotec, and we have set targets for improvements in these areas. As a company operating in a male-dominated industry, gender equality is a very important topic for Outotec. We already have a relatively good representation of females in senior leadership positions (16% of senior leadership position holders are women, compared to 18% of all Outotec employees), and we are taking active measures to improve this ratio.We also monitor the number of filed, addressed and resolved grievances about labor practices. In 2016, two reported incidents of discrimination were filed through formal grievance mechanisms within Outotec (G4-HR3, G4-HR12), but no registered cases regarding labor practices (G4-LA16). Our reporting related to equal opportunity and diversity covers Outotec’s employees and suppliers.

A decision was made in 2016 that all open positions will be published internally to enable all Outotec employees to apply for positions through a fully transparent recruitment process. We also launched a new employee profile to allow employees to promote their career and let our organization know about their expertise. We encourage our employees to take an active role in their own career development, and we aim to promote new tools to support this target.

Focusing on employees’ experiences

Outotec’s annual Performance Development Dialogue (PDD) process went through a major renewal in 2016, based on feedback received from our managers and employees. A new concept to be launched in 2017 will better support value-adding development discussions at Outotec. Due to these systemic changes, we do not have exact data on the numbers of employees who underwent regular performance and career development reviews during 2016, but the available data indicates that coverage is about 95 percent (G4-LA11).

Our Human Resources (HR) function has put a lot of emphasis on implementing global policies and processes and clarifying roles and responsibilities, in order to ensure smooth operations and the equal treatment of our employees in global mobility cases, for instance. To align HR practices globally and drive our One Outotec culture, a new HR handbook was launched for the HR community. This initiative was supported by extensive communications.

Our policies:

  • Code of Conduct
  • HR Handbook
  • Competence Development Policy
  • Recruitment and Onboarding Policy
  • Compensation Policy
  • Global Mobility Policy
  • Job Description and Job Title Policy
  • Grading Policy