Strengthening our human resources further

Terrafame hired new employees for the intensive ramp-up phase in 2016. We also utilised the labour force provided by approximately 70 partners at our site. 

To grow and succeed in business, Terrafame needs competent employees who are committed to continuous improvement. As a workplace, Terrafame seeks to provide its employees with a safe and healthy working environment, with opportunities for personal development at work and a broad range of career paths. 

The development of Terrafame's operations requires purposeful and systematic management. Leadership plays a central role in guiding performance and coaching employees to achieve their objectives. 

Terrafame has significant impact on local employment 

At the end of 2016, Terrafame had 645 employees (2015: 529), of which 629 were in permanent positions. Turnover of permanent employees has levelled off at 8.1 per cent. 90 per cent of the employees were men and 10 per cent were women. We also employed approximately 70 students as summer interns. 

Terrafame has significant impact on employment in the Kainuu region in Finland. At the end of the year, about 84 per cent of our employees lived in municipalities in the Kainuu region, mostly in Kajaani and Sotkamo. At the end of the year, our partners employed approximately 550 people at the site on a regular basis. Of these, an estimated 60 per cent were from Kainuu. 

The average age of Terrafame's employees was around 40 years in 2016. During the year, we strengthened our human resources and nearly reached the level required by our production target and the development of operations. Since the launch of operations in August 2015, the number of Terrafame's permanent employees has grown by approximately 200. We will continue our recruitment to attract more specialists and production workers. 

The composition of Terrafame's Management Team changed and was complemented by new, experienced professionals, mainly recruited from outside of the company. Joni Lukkaroinen M.Sc. (Technology) took up his post as the CEO on 15 February 2016. During the year, Ville Sirviö M.Sc. (Economy) was appointed to the post of Chief Financial Officer, Petri Parjanen M.Sc. (Psychology) to the post of Chief HR Officer, Antti Arpalahti M.Sc. (Technology) to the post of Chief Technology Officer and Katri Kauppila M.Sc. (Social Sciences) to the post of Chief Communications Officer. 

Development of competences in supporting change

Terrafame meets the educational needs of individuals in the various stages of their careers by developing, for instance, its supervisor and safety training. We continued to develop our induction process, particularly to improve and ensure occupational safety.

All newly recruited employees complete the general induction, which includes topics such as chemical and personal protection training, an introduction to mining and a tour of the site. All Terrafame employees must complete a first aid training and obtain an occupational safety card. Partner employees are also required to have a valid occupational safety card, and at least one person per team must be trained in first aid.

Terrafame invested strongly in the professional development of its employees and supervisor training. In 2016, training arranged in the workplace amounted to an average of 2.6 days per employee. Employees also completed other training, such as supported independent study and further vocational qualification modules. During the year, nearly all supervisors participated in the Frontliner programme coaching. The programme includes, in addition to professional competencies obtained at work, coaching in small groups, support material, workshops and peer induction. 

Focus on work wellbeing and ability to work

Terrafame employees have access to extensive occupational health care services and controls. The company has an occupational health care surgery with occupational nurses and a doctor. In 2016, employee sick leave accounted for an average of 5.3 per cent of theoretical regular working hours. 

During the reporting period, Terrafame focused on the promotion of the ability to work and wellbeing at work, in addition to staff training. Early support and replacement work models were introduced. Terrafame was also proactive in carrying out employee work ability reviews. Replacement work and transfers to different work were found useful in dozens of cases, following a temporary reduction in the ability to work or to prevent risks that could affect the ability to work.

Employee surveys guide the future development

Terrafame's employee survey was carried out in May 2016. It provided guidelines for development measures throughout the organisation. The survey was carried out by an external employee survey company in the form of a confidential online survey. 

All in all, Terrafame's employee survey results were close to the norm level. Compared to the previous study, carried out four years ago, the results improved in all respects. The PeoplePower® index describing the overall result increased to 64.2 (2012: 58.9). According to the survey, Terrafame's strengths include supervisor work, management culture and employer image. Thus Terrafame has succeeded in transforming the earlier, clear development areas – employer image and operational culture – into relative strengths. 

Performance capacity was identified as an area of development. This includes matters such as working conditions, work arrangements and decision-making. In the 2016 survey, Terrafame's future outlook was the only major factor that had taken a negative turn.

Based on the results, more than a hundred measures were drawn up to be implemented at the corporate, departmental and shift levels. The implementation of these measures is monitored on a regular basis, and the survey will be carried out again in 2017. 

Safety bonus for accident-free periods

Employees are rewarded for a job well done and for initiatives which improve operations and safety. In 2016, Terrafame paid all employees a safety bonus for accident-free periods. The development of our remuneration systems will continue in cooperation with employee group representatives.

We respect equality and the terms and conditions of employment 

In its human resources management, Terrafame complies with national rules and regulations as well as international conventions on human rights and labour markets. The company respects the freedom of association and abides by legally binding collective agreements. Employee participation and consultation have been organised in accordance with national rules and regulations. Employee group representatives actively participate in the work of Terrafame's co-operation advisory board, the labour protection committee and other bodies.

Terrafame promotes equal opportunities and equal employment and career development in the spirit of the Act on Equality between Women and Men and in compliance with Terrafame's Equality Plan. 

Picture 1. In 2016, Terrafame's number of employees increased slightly as the operations were ramped up.

Picture 2. Approximately half of the employees worked in 12-hour shifts, with four days at work followed by six days off.

Picture 3. Terrafame's personnel structure is fairly balanced, the average age of employees being approximately 40 years.