People and organisation
A strong and consistent company culture, fair treatment of all employees and a safe, inclusive and motivating working environment are the foundations for making Elkem an attractive employer for our current and future employees.
Continuously developing the organisation to enable strategy implementation, as well as systematic competency development and performance management of each employee, are key to ensure successful and sustainable growth of the company.
Elkem is committed to empowering people to become experts in their own areas of responsibility through involvement, respect, continuous improvement and precision.
Our people are Elkem’s most valuable asset. Elkem's human resource strategy, the way the company is organised and the continuous investment in developing our people are the vehicles to deliver on the business strategy.
Focusing on leadership development at all levels in the organisation, strengthening the culture fundamentals and the Elkem Way, ensuring critical competencies where and when they are needed, as well as investing in the individual development of all employees are the main building blocks of the HR strategy. Elkem offers a wide range of internal training, which is continuously evaluated and further developed. The increased use of digital channels enables faster and broader roll-out of competency development.
Elkem provides three global standard leadership development programmes targeting first level, mid-level and senior level leadership accordingly. Our first level leadership programme, referred to as Elkem’s Leadership Essentials program, targets middle management, team leaders, shift leaders, new leaders or any employees with personnel responsibility. It aims to create a one Elkem culture by developing a baseline of effective people leaders in alignment with our purpose, values and mission. At the second tier, we offer a mid-level leadership training, Elkem Leadership program targeted to our high potentials and more senior leaders. Elkem’s Leadership program also offers the participants individual coaching and evaluations. At the third level of leadership, we provide Elkem Excellence Program. This programme is offered to the most senior level of leaders in Elkem.
All Elkem internal training offering is available for the employees on the company intranet Learn-pages. The information displays the available training offering to the different groups of employees ranging from the operators to the different groups of white collar employees. As part of the annual development discussion (DD) the individual development plans, including mandatory training, is discussed and reviewed with each employee. In addition to leadership training Elkem has a global standard training portfolio comprising of both mandatory and optional training offering targeting either all employees or those belonging to a particular function. The mandatory training categories include:
- Intellectual Property
- Technical safety
- Leadership development
- IT security
- Elkem Onboarding Program (EOP)
The information below aims to describe the training programs in more detail.
Elkem Onboarding Program (EOP)
This programme is designed to ensure that all new employees have a good start at Elkem and understand the culture and organisation in which they work. It consists as a minimum of 5 modules including: The Elkem Way - About Elkem, EBS - Elkem Business System, HSE - Health, Safety and the Environment, The Elkem values and sustainability.
Health, Safety & Environment (HSE)
Our HSE training aims to ensure that all employees are competent in health and safety to avoid accidents and exposures that could lead to ill health. The training that is given builds knowledge and competence in topics such as risk and hazard awareness, incident management, work practice control, commitment, and organising. The purpose of the training is to ensure that all employees have the basic skills to work safely, ensure their health and protect our environment. We provide basic HSE training targeting all new employees as well as refresher training targeting all employees regularly.
The Compliance training programme is designed to promote adherence to Elkem’s values and ethical principles by providing tailored, engaging and efficient training to our employees. The goal of the programme is to clarify rules and expectations set out in our code of conduct, help employees make sound and ethical decisions in their day-to-day work, change behaviours where needed, and protect the company and employees from allegations of misconduct. The mandatory training includes anti-bribery & corruption, code of conduct, anti-trust & competition law (basic & advanced).
This training curriculum is designed to help employees understand their role in helping to combat information security breaches. Our security awareness training path comprises several modules.
Intellectual Property (IP)
Elkem’s Introduction to Intellectual Property e-learning focuses on confidentiality of information and protection of inventions. The target group for this training is all new employees.
Our technical safety trainings aim to teach all relevant employees how to perform hazardous tasks and procedures in a safe and responsible way. These include introduction to process safety, introduction to machine safety and introduction to instrument safety. The trainings are targeted to employees who are responsible for, or participate in design, construction, installation, production, modification or control of processes and equipment.
Optional training offerings
We also offer a wide range of optional trainings in the following categories:
We hope that the easy access and availability of our courses will serve to engage our employees to take charge of their own learnings and continuously grow and develop.
Development Discussion (DD)
Every employee shall know their targets and plan together with their leaders what support and resources they need to meet them, to develop further and perform well. All employees are expected to contribute to a performance culture that drives continuous improvement. It shall be safe for all employees to challenge the status quo to drive a culture of innovation. This requires that all employees receive regular constructive feedback on their performance and contribution to the working environment.
At Elkem, this is done through formal and informal channels, starting with the individual's job description and the DD, where individual annual targets are agreed upon, performance is discussed, and mutual feedback is given. This is done to support changing work priorities aligned with strategic goals. As part of the DD, the leader also receives feedback from the employee to enhance both individual performance and cooperation. All employees are responsible for their personal and professional development, utilising Elkem's internal and external competency development offering. Leaders are responsible for supporting the employees to attain, build and demonstrate the Elkem values, skills, and competencies needed to succeed in their roles. The DD is used to agree on a plan for the current competencies required to be successful and prepares employees for the future by ensuring relevant competencies. We encourage and support the employees to acquire relevant and formal education if needed for the current position or develop into other future roles. Elkem encourages employees to take on new challenges and responsibilities to develop themselves and to contribute to the company's culture of sharing and cross-divisional, -functional and -geographic learning. Elkem offers good conditions to support employees on such development steps if a change includes a relocation. Elkem's global target is for 100% of employees across all locations and levels to have an annual development discussion with their leader.
People policy and survey
Elkem's global people policy establish the principles related to the people processes and the company's obligation to handle employment matters consistently and supporting the employees throughout their employment life cycle with Elkem. The people policy aims to cover key material issues for employees globally.
In 2022 Elkem conducted its’ first global employee engagement survey. The survey was well received by the employees and revealed a high level of engagement globally - above industry benchmarks – allowing the company to focus on maintaining the topics with good feedback from the organisation, and in the spirit of continuous improvement, establish good programmes for the areas the employees pointed to as improvement areas.
Elkem Business System (EBS) - our common culture
EBS is Elkem's business system and leadership philosophy that embodies our common culture, language and provides working- and continuous improvement methods for all employees. EBS is a key to achieve operational excellence across the value chain. Building on our values; respect, involvement, precision, and continuous improvement, EBS is the foundation of Elkem’s company culture. At the heart of EBS is the dedication to involve all employees in improvement work and Elkem takes great pride in empowering our employees as experts in their own responsibility areas. Elkem considers delegated and decentralised decision-making to be a strength and key element of its business culture. The EBS principle of empowering people is key to understanding Elkem’s view on labour rights and employee involvement.
Elkem seeks to achieve increased efficiency in the product value chain through the people value chain. Elkem employs a team-based structure with orderly working and wage conditions, providing a wide range of opportunities for personal development.
EBS assessments to promote involvement and continuous improvement include:
- A corporate EBS team assesses all sites biannually through observations and discussions to evaluate the progression, involvement, and improvements and encourage further development
- The assessment's topics are divided into three main parts: i) Daily operations related to work teams and daily management, 5S visual management and problem-solving, ii) systematic improvements related to flow, control, and capability and iii) sponsorship, strategy, learning and competence development
- Across all levels, Elkem's leadership focuses on involvement, knowledge and information sharing and on the management's commitment to empowering their employees through continuous improvement and shared goals and tools.
During the last years, Elkem has expanded its presence globally, particularly in China. Elkem’s previous experience from China shows that cultural and maturity differences have not prevented the implementation and development of EBS. We are continuously hiring and training new local employees and conducting assessments to find the gaps and improvement areas to further develop our organisation.
To reach Elkem's overarching goals, the company needs to develop an organisational culture based on participation, teamwork, and people empowerment. Elkem is committed to providing flexibility in working hours and -location in accordance with local laws and regulations. Across the whole company, working terms must allow employees to combine working and family life. Elkem recognises that a better work-life balance can improve employee motivation, performance, and productivity, and reduce stress. Therefore, the company wants to support employees to achieve a better balance between work and their other priorities, such as: dependent care responsibilities, special leave needs, leisure activities, further learning and other interests.
Elkem strives to retain existing employees and attract new. The turnover rate indicates the attractiveness of Elkem as an employer and how well Elkem manages to keep employees on board.
Contractors and temporary hires
All Elkem employees shall have a written employment contract or other written documentation of employment that complies with local legislation. This also applies to contractors and temporary hires. Elkem invests in people and thus aims to offer permanent employment and limit non-regular employment. However, during peak times, contracted and temporary work can be considered for time-limited projects or projects in need of specialised, non-core competencies. Elkem is committed to fair compensation and priority rights to potential permanent employment in such cases. Contractors are subject to the exact same HES requirements as our own employees, and all contractors receive full training and follow-up to ensure that they work in a safe and healthy environment.