DEVELOPING OUR PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Living the Values
Since their launch just over a year ago, many of our businesses and employees have demonstrated that they are truly living the Values. Tree planting mornings and charity walks in Australia and Asia have supported the Sustainability Value; expansions of product ranges in Europe have demonstrated Courage to Lean Forward; and combining logistics and warehouses in North America has shown Success Through Ideas and Partnerships.
|ACHIEVEMENTS 2009||GOALS 2010|
It is when times are the most challenging that a business’ culture and values are really put to the test.
Values in Practice
Our businesses have each faced enormous challenges over the past year, but across the 26 different countries in which we operate, our businesses have been united by PaperlinX’s common set of Values. Our Values transcend operational and regional differences and aim to connect everyone throughout the organisation and help us achieve our business objectives. Together with our Core Operating Principles, they have guided our decision-making and enabled us to develop a directional framework for the future.
The PaperlinX Values are not just a talking point; they focus and guide the actions of our people on a daily basis. Our Values underpin our efforts to act professionally, treat people with respect and act with integrity and honesty. The way we conduct ourselves in our operations around the world reflects on our reputation and the way we are regarded by colleagues, customers, suppliers and the wider community.
Over the coming year, we will seek to further embed the Values into our organisational practices such as recruitment and performance management.
Our actions and activities are further supported by our compliance training and Speak Up programmes. The competition law compliance programme is available to help employees understand the regulatory and legislative environment. The online training programme on Trade Practices is available in nine languages, with a participation rate of 90 per cent. Speak Up is a confidential reporting service in which employees are able to raise concerns about improper conduct via an international telephone helpline, a multilingual website, email or fax. This encourages employees to keep their workplace safe, fair and honest.
Engaging our People
Our business and the environment in which we operate have experienced significant changes in the last year; more than ever, we must provide relevant and meaningful information for our employee base. We regularly communicate our business strategies, new initiatives and achievements in a variety of ways: the popular conneXions quarterly magazine, published in five languages; regular, face-to-face team briefings; email alerts; video messages and websites.
We encourage teamwork by bringing together multi-country teams to address common business issues and provide individuals with opportunities to work in different locations on assignments. This year, we started the roll-out of KnowledgelinX, an online knowledge-sharing tool to help groups across the world work together more closely.
We are seeking more feedback from employees on all aspects of the employment cycle through the increasing use of internal surveys and employee focus groups. In Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the Your Voice survey is now used to measure employee engagement. In North America, the planned launch of the Bright Ideas employee feedback and suggestion programme has been postponed while we concentrate on urgent strategic initiatives at regional levels; the programme will be reviewed again for implementation as the business environment improves.
Strengthening our Leadership
As PaperlinX advances and responds to industry change, we need the right blend of talent to build a long-term, sustainable business. This means understanding and developing our leaders appropriately.
We have been mapping succession plans for the leadership group and, in the coming year, will establish a global talent pool for future business leaders. We will roll out the next phase of our Leadership Development Programme, which focuses on strategic planning and leadership behaviours. We will also continue with our ongoing implementation of the key actions from the 2008 Leadership Engagement Survey, Viewpoint.
Learning and Development
The development of the people who work at PaperlinX is a priority in maximising our performance. We invest heavily in providing a variety of internally and externally led programmes. Some are coordinated globally, such as the Leadership Development Programme; others are led by the regional businesses. At a Group level, we have continued to roll out the Strategic Value Selling Programme in Europe during the year. This programme is underpinned by Internal Selling Programmes, which are aligned to the local Customer Value Proposition, to improve the skills of customer service teams that support sales teams.
In Australia, New Zealand and Asia our businesses offer numerous training programmes including programmes aimed at developing the skills of new and emerging managers who are also required to complete a business project that incorporates the Values and delivers real benefit to the bottom line.
In the European operations, many programmes assist our 5,000 employees with their professional growth. Some examples include: Financial for Non-Financial Managers (The Paper Company, UK), People First Personal Development Programme (Howard Smith Paper Group, UK), Leaders Today and Diversity Matters (Robert Horne Group, UK), Presentation Skills/Public Speaking (Italy, Denmark), Strategic Thinking, Acting, Selling (Germany), and English Language training (Italy, Czech Republic).
A Customer Service Representative (CSR) Training Programme has been introduced across Canada and further rollout across the region is being considered. The programme focuses on optimising the skill-set of our CSRs by adding proactive telesales to their traditional inside sales function.
We continue to apply a Future Workforce Management Plan linked to our business’ strategic priorities to identify the skills and capabilities for our future workforce. We have developed a Diversity Awareness Programme that aims to educate our people about what diversity is in today’s workplace and how different people’s ideas and experiences can bring innovation and business benefits. While the difficult economic conditions we have experienced this year have meant that this programme has not yet been rolled out, we continue to look at how we can incorporate matters of diversity into our business practices and procedures. The economic conditions have also forced us to put on hold our plans to expand our graduate programme internationally; when we are able to reintroduce this programme it will help us to attract a more diverse workforce.
Seeking Continuous Improvement in Safety
Our safety performance continues to improve as we seek to reach our goal of zero accidents and injuries. This year we were again successful in exceeding our target of a further 10 per cent reduction in both measures. We reduced our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) by 11 per cent and our Medically Treated Injury Frequency Rate (MTIFR) by 21 per cent. In addition, 33 per cent of all our reporting companies worked the whole year with zero injury incidents. (Please note when compared with the previous Annual Report, these figures reflect a correction of data entry errors, but year on year comparisons are valid.)
Even with these improvements, in the past year there have been 16 incidents involving mobile plant and equipment. Fortunately, none of these resulted in serious injury. In each case underlying behavioural reasons have been identified and our management teams are focusing efforts on reducing complacency and risk-taking behaviour.
We continue to improve our efforts to create a positive safety culture. As part of our 2008-2010 ES&H strategic plan, we have worked to align the physical environment, the systems we use and the cultures and behaviours of our organisation within all of our businesses worldwide and we will be working to reinforce and clarify our safety procedures during the coming year.
This year, our operating companies will implement Positive Performance Indicators (PPI) to increase understanding about how to contribute to performance improvement. PPIs will be used to focus on safety-related training, sustainability, and the rectification of hazards or non-compliance identified during audits and internal reviews.
To further improve our performance we continue to maintain a focus on both training and internal auditing. In the last year, more than 95 per cent of the approximately 4,000 employees directly engaged in manufacturing and warehousing/logistics received training in more than one safety subject area. In Europe there were 1,562 full days devoted to training in different safety disciplines. In Australasia, 1,250 employees at the manufacturing plants and 1,187 merchanting employees participated in training in more than 30 different safety disciplines.
To check our performance, members of our ES&H team collected safety statistics and conducted 54 internal safety audits and assessments at our larger sites around the world, providing assurance and identifying any weaknesses.
In addition, external audits were conducted at our paper mills for the certification of their various safety systems, licences and insurance status; all our certifications were reconfirmed.
|The health and wellbeing
of our employees requires
an investment in understanding their concerns and in providing them with information and opportunities to proactively manage their own health.
HealthLinX was introduced in 2008 with the intention of improving the health and wellbeing of PaperlinX employees. Amongst other initiatives, employees had the opportunity to undergo a free health check. Over 44 per cent of employees participated and feedback has been extremely positive. The check alerted some employees to potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.