Wärtsilä’s People Strategy is as an integral part of group strategy, and supports the company’s businesses and the successful implementation of their strategies. This is achieved by developing the company’s organisation, competencies and way of working to meet both the current and future business needs.
The key focus areas of the strategy are the further development of leadership and a leadership culture, as well as an emphasis on high performance and operational excellence throughout the organisation. Strengthening accountability and ownership is encouraged by promoting employee engagement through a culture of open communication, integrity, and innovation. Similarly, the strategy ensures that the businesses have the required resources, and skilled and motivated people at their disposal. This involves the implementation of changes within the organisation, a continuous focus on competence development and performance excellence, with quality in the setting of targets, proper and regular feedback, the evaluation of overall performance, and recognition of outstanding performance.
Wärtsilä Human Resources focuses on developing people management processes, tools, and ways of working that are consistent across national and organisational boundaries. In particular, an intensive effort has been made to further develop managerial skills in people management. In 2017, the performance management process focus was in improving the feedback process in the organisation and supporting line managers in their daily leadership role. Wärtsilä Human Resources invests in technologies and tools that enable quick access to online reports, employee information, and annual compensation planning for both local and multi-country teams.
Transforming company culture
Together with the digital transformation initiatives Wärtsilä promotes new ways of working and company culture. Wärtsilä's purpose is driving all our activities and the company’s values of “Energy, Excellence and Excitement” are strengthened by the diversity of its employees. Wärtsilä aims to capture opportunities and make things happen, to do things better than any of its competitors, and to foster openness, respect, and trust while creating excitement. A diverse workforce generates innovation, higher profits, has better complex problem-solving skills, and enables access to a larger talent pool.
One of the essential elements of the Wärtsilä People Strategy is to embrace and develop a culture of high performance and performance excellence throughout the organisation. Coaching to achieve better performance through smart target setting together with continuous and real-time feedback is a vital element.
The well managed performance management process supports Wärtsilä in reaching its business targets by translating business strategies into team and individual objectives. Each Wärtsilä employee needs to know and understand Wärtsilä's business strategies and their goals. More importantly, everyone needs to know the main targets set for their own units, and the target areas related to their own work. More focus has been put on the quality and impact of the process by emphasising the importance of continuous feedback, expected behaviours, and opportunities for personal growth.
The good coverage of development discussions has continued. The global coverage of the annual development discussions was 96.4%. As a part of the performance management process, each employee receives performance feedback and an evaluation based on their overall job performance, as well as a personal development plan for the future. Overall performance evaluation is one of the considerations in compensation decisions, and is in line with the principle of performance-based rewarding.
Learning and development
In 2017, Wärtsilä continued its leadership development activities in many areas. New learning solutions for line managers have been developed to support them in their people management and leadership roles. The annual executive development programme (LLP) was held in November, and six other global leadership development programmes for senior managers were held during the year.
The first implementation of the Growth Lab programme, which focuses on future leaders’ development, was kicked off in August 2016. Growth Lab 2017 started in August 2017 and twenty Wärtsilä managers and future leaders, with 7 to 15 years’ work experience, were nominated for this action learning programme. The participants have been given three project assignments by the Board of Management. These projects are aimed at analysing and building possible future business opportunities. The second Growth Lab programme will end in the end of April 2018.
Wärtsilä’s HR organisation has developed the Operational Excellence Academy learning framework and an Operational Excellence learning portal with supporting materials for all those staff members in the organisation involved in leading operational excellence. More than 200 senior managers have participated in operational excellence learning modules during 2016 and 2017. The aim of the OE Academy is not only to learn, but to establish operational excellence as an integrated part of the company culture and way of working, and to ensure continuous efficiency improvement.
Learning on the job, self-learning, mentoring, coaching, job rotation, and assignments designed to encourage competence development and the transfer of competence and skills from experienced to younger employees, are integral parts of the development of learning and competence within the company. Employees are given formal classroom training at all organisational levels; from induction training for new employees, to training courses for the company's top executives. Wärtsilä employees attended a total of 39,158 training days during 2017; an average of 2.2 training days per employee.
In 2017, HR together with the Wärtsilä Land & Sea Academy launched a new global learning management system WeLearn. The new cloud version is more user friendly and features the latest learning management system (LMS) capabilities, which are translated into an enhanced user experience. This supports the organisation's present and future needs in terms of virtual learning, collaboration, reporting, assessment, and finally mobility; enabling users to learn anywhere, anytime. The new LMS was operational in the end of the second quarter of 2017.
At Wärtsilä, equal opportunities and opportunities for personal growth are core principles. The company supports its employees in self-improvement and in finding their own path within the company. Recruiting and retaining the best talent enables Wärtsilä to be the valued business partner of its customers, and the employer of choice for current and future employees.
In autumn 2017, it was decided that Wärtsilä will invest in a new recruitment system and, more importantly, in the development of recruitment and onboarding processes. The development project has been established, vendors selected and the launch will be by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Through this change Wärtsilä endeavours to attract new talent, improve the candidate experience and promote Wärtsilä’s employer brand.