Driving employee engagement

After several years of restructuring, driving employee engagement continues to be the key theme for developing our people. Investments in leadership development, cultural activities and supporting professional growth are paying off; employee engagement index improved by 18 %-units from 2016.

Competent and engaged employees are key to Outotec’s success. For this reason, people development is one of the most material topics for the company. Our people was also defined as one of the five development areas in Outotec’s strategy in 2017. The impacts of this topic reach out to Outotec’s employees and premises, Outotec’s operations at project sites as well as contractors working under our supervision.

Several rounds of restructuring during the past few years have dropped the employee engagement at Outotec. The market situation picked up in 2017 in our Minerals Processing business, but the situation remained challenging in our Metals, Energy & Water business. Various measures have been taken after the previous employee engagement survey, and together with improved market sentiment and work situation, these measures started to show results in 2017. In the recent survey conducted in November, the employee engagement index improved significantly to 60% (2016: 42%). Our 2020 target is to achieve 70% employee engagement. The employee turnover rate, 13%, also improved significantly from 2016.

We aim to employ the best people in the industry

Outotec aims to employ the best people in the industry to serve customers with leading technology, superior customer service and excellent execution. The main risk related to low employee engagement is losing talent and competences. Another risk related to employees is losing competitiveness, if Outotec is not able to develop competences as fast as peers. We mitigate employee retention risks through fair and competitive compensation, culture and leadership development programs, succession planning, internal job rotation and talent management as well as various programs to support professional growth.

HR Handbook, Competence Development Policy, and Compensation Policy are the key policies which define the principles on human resources management aiming to enhance employee engagement. Outotec treats people in an equal and fair manner and follows the principle of equal opportunities. The effectiveness of the management approach is reviewed regularly in the Executive Board meetings and in the Human Capital Committee of the Board of Directors.

Programs for upgrading employee skills (GRI 404-2)

All our employees are in the scope of talent management, and development and succession planning are key components of manager responsibilities.  We have also paid special attention to role clarity and communicating our strategy to all employees in cross-functional workshops.

Strong focus on leadership development

A global leadership program for 100 leaders was completed in 2017. The program consisted of face-to-face modules, benchmarking group work, 360° feedback, and coaching.

In addition, local leadership programs were developed in each market area, and most of Outotec managers and leaders had an opportunity to join a development program already in 2017; some programs still continue in 2018. Progress made in leadership performance is followed-up using Outotec’s new leadership index, and targeted support is provided accordingly.

Our key leadership process, Performance Development Dialogue, was renewed and trained to all managers. Special focus was on driving culture of continuous dialogue and development discussions. In 2017, 99% (95%) of employees conducted regular performance reviews (GRI 404-3). The performance reviews of blue-collar workers have not been registered in the data system and not included in the percentage.

Continuous support for professional growth

In addition to leadership programs, several global competence development programs were launched and delivered in 2017. Both technical and business competences were developed, and tools supporting professional growth and career development were developed and promoted.

More than 90% of all employees, i.e. a total of 3,800 people (2016: 2,391), participated in vocational and code of conduct training activities during 2017. Our global trainings focused on our technologies, and legal and compliance issues. In addition, 6,678 persons, including both employees and contractors working under our supervision, received health and safety training.

Over 160 service people were certified in a multi-level training program designed to allow people to develop their technical skills and apply them in on-the-job situations. This License to Service program will continue in 2018.

Several groups were involved in mentoring programs in the areas of engineering and contract management. Career path model for metallurgists was further developed based on Outotec job families and piloted in Finland.

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 customers based on their identified needs and values.

Depending on local resources, we provide transition assistance to support employees who have been terminated or are retiring. These may include training, counceling or severance pay.

Most of Outotec employees were invited to, and also attended, Performance Development Dialogue trainings. In addition, cross-functional strategy workshops targeted for all employees were delivered in all our market areas. Approximately 89% of employees completed cyber security training in 2017.

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. Our reporting related to equal opportunity and diversity covers Outotec’s employees.

The principles on diversity of the Board of Directors is presented in Outotec Corporate Governance Statement 2017.


International Women's Day event in Espoo

As a company operating in a male-dominated industry, gender equality is an important topic for Outotec. We already have a relatively good representation of females in the Executive Board, 22%, compared to 19% of all Outotec employees. Our target for 2017 was to increase the share of women in senior leadership positions by 2% from 2016. Unfortunately, this target was not reached in 2017.

However, we made progress in increasing diversity among our senior leaders, as the share of non-Finn leaders increased by 11 %-units in 2017.

To enhance equal opportunities, all open positions are published internally to enable all Outotec employees to apply for positions through a fully transparent recruitment process. Employees also have an opportunity to promote their career in the employee profile 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.

We have put a lot of emphasis on implementing global policies and processes and clarifying roles and responsibilities 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.

Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken (GRI 406-1)

We monitor the number of filed, addressed and resolved grievances about labor practices. Outotec’s compliance helpline and other feedback channels are available for all employees and external stakeholders for raising concerns. In 2017, four (2016: two) reported incidents of discrimination were filed through formal grievance mechanisms within Outotec (GRI 406-1). These incidents were reviewed locally, in cooperation with global Human Resources function and/or the Chief Compliance Officer. Remediation action plans were implemented and results reviewed through our routine management review processes. These incidents are no longer subject to action.

Related 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