Case: SAPPI Kirkniemi – Improving leadership skills

Bold, fair and inspiring supervisory work

The aim of the collaboration was to make Sappi’s global management system a part of the everyday work of Kirkniemi’s supervisors. At the same time, common ground rules were sought for supervisors, along with a consistent way of operating.

Implementation in accordance with the factory’s shift plan

“The training programmes were executed in different groups in accordance with our shift plan to ensure that they would not affect the plant’s operations. Every training programme included concrete exercises in addition to theoretical components“, says Sappi’s HR Manager, Raija Liisa Ahola.

“An important factor in our success was the ability to monitor progress. We used the BEAT-change management platform for this purpose. We changed the questions whenever our training theme changed and these questions guided our work in the right direction. The theme of occupational safety was present throughout”, Sappi’s mill director Martti Savelainen says.

“The professionalism of Trainers’ House is outstanding. A lot of work was put into the training programmes and the people were curious and enthusiastic,” Savelainen says. “Sappi Europe’s HR managers monitored the project’s progress. They were particularly satisfied with the fact that we implemented existing tools rather than inventing new ones. We thereby strengthened shared practices in the organisation as a whole,” Ahola continues.

Occupational safety and improved profitability

“Above all, occupational safety has improved significantly. The number of absences due to occupational accidents have decreased dramatically from 2.7 to 0.7 per 200,000 working hours. Additionally, other absences due to illness have decreased over the last two years from 6.7 to 5.2 days per man-year. The number of ideas produced has increased and we received more than half a million’s worth in 2015. All in all, we have taken measures worth more than EUR 12 million to improve our result”, Savelainen says.