Global working conditions program boosts job satisfaction

In a manufacturing environment, what do employees most appreciate, besides a regular paycheck? It seems that a safe work environment and fair employment practices are well appreciated by employees, and often weigh more on people’s decisions to stay or leave than pure monetary reward.

Attracting and holding on to skilled employees is not an easy task in today’s fast-paced business life. How does Huhtamaki motivate its personnel and increase their commitment to the company?

 “Our customers associate us with safety, trustworthiness and honesty, which is well aligned with the results we have received in employee engagement surveys. As Huhtamaki continues to grow, we feel that this is a good time to continue harmonizing and standardizing some of our practices to ensure that we keep on meeting – and even exceeding – those expectations,” says Teija Sarajärvi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “To this end, we have established a working conditions framework, which outlines the expected practices in the areas of ethics, employment and workplace health and safety.”

The purpose of the program is to ensure a safe, fair and good work environment and to build strong management systems in order to continuously improve performance in these areas.

The program was initiated by benchmarking some of the recognized international standards, such as ILO conventions, UN declarations of human rights and OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises, to understand the expectations for globally operating companies and to create Huhtamaki's working conditions requirements. The requirements are therefore well aligned with the expectations of the company's employees, investors and customers. The requirements were approved by the Group Executive Team along with the program implementation plan.

The program was kicked off by regional training workshops for managers, with a goal to align expectations and increase awareness of the various topics. Further training sessions on specific areas of managers and employees will be carried out as the program portfolio develops. Regular assessments and progress reviews provide continuous support for the program.

In focus

Management workshop in China fosters open dialogue

A Management workshop for the China management team was carried out in November 2016 at our plant in Guangzhou. The intensive two-day session provided not only a great learning experience, but also a possibility to exchange ideas and key learnings to further develop the working enviroment at the plant. Here is what the participants had to say about the workshop:

I mostly liked the open dialogue and practical examples. We had a lot of discussions and sharing of ideas.”

”The workshop provided good brainstorming exercises and discussion.”

”The best parts of the training were the case studies, team exercises and interaction between

department heads.”

”We shared many valuable cases and opinions, and assessed our practices. I will refer to these useful ideas in my daily work.”