Outokumpu, an international steel production company based in Vilnius with a long tradition of sharing its profits with its employees, has added additional benefits to its usual bonus system. As the company has achieved historic success in recent years, it has not only taken care of its employees’ salaries, but has also tried to help them in a comprehensive way in response to the economic situation.
Taking care of every employee
According to the company, the annual bonus system in Lithuania is based on the complexity of the job and its impact on the organisation. The company has clearly defined roles based on Korn Ferry’s global methodology, and the bonus system is linked to defined job levels. Employees can expect to receive a bonus of 5-10% of their annual salary in years when the company’s own targets are achieved.
“However, these are only preliminary figures, as in both 2021 and 2022, annual bonuses were double or 1.5 times higher, precisely because of the company’s own exceptional performance. In addition to these significantly increased annual bonuses, over the last two years the organisation has paid additional one-time bonuses for performance, which could have reached 50% of employees’ monthly salaries,” emphasises Jurgita Kunickienė, HR Partner at Outokumpu.
Last year, the company provided its employees in Lithuania with training on financial literacy, family budgeting and savings. This session was organised to help employees better manage their finances, especially in the face of high inflation. At the end of the session, all employees were also informed about the upcoming exceptional benefits during the difficult winter months. The aim of this concept was not only to give people extra money during a stressful period, but also to provide them with knowledge on financial management, so that they can make informed decisions and have the necessary knowledge to do so.
Outokumpu believes that conscious and informed people are better able to create a sustainable environment and can better contribute to the well-being of our society, starting with their immediate environment. We have no doubt that employees who are confident about their future in the organisation and assured of a stable salary are better able to concentrate on achieving their goals and creating personal wealth,” says a representative of the company.
It is also important to note that the organisation’s values are clearly reflected in its bonus policy. Outokumpu’s policy is that annual bonuses are paid for the previous year, even to employees who have already left the company but have worked until the end of the year. This is to reward people who have contributed to its success, even if they pursue other career paths.
The company also pays annual bonuses to employees who have taken maternity or paternity leave if they have been with the company for at least one quarter before leaving. “Such leave is a sensitive time in the life of every family, so the company wants to emphasise that it considers employees on leave as part of the company, invites them to events and pays bonuses not only for their own performance, but also provides additional benefits linked to inflation,” says J. Kunickienė.
The HR partner believes that it is particularly important to build a strong internal community so that employees feel valued and heard. Outokumpu’s internal culture values respect for each other, encourages bold ideas, challenges and personal commitment. With around 200 employees in Lithuania, the size of the organisation allows for close and friendly relationships between colleagues, who quickly get to know each other and collaborate. The company’s colleagues around the world are also close by, with employees travelling frequently and visiting or being welcomed in the capital – including by the management team who gathered in Vilnius this month to develop the 2030 strategy.
Prioritising the safety, well-being and careers of workers
According to Jurgita Kunickienė, Outokumpu has a zero-tolerance approach to safety violations, which it implements in all of its operations worldwide. The company ensures a safe and healthy working environment by identifying and reducing hazards in the workplace and implementing safety training for all employees.
And the company’s commitment to improving the skills of its employees is reflected in its promotion policy. Outokumpu encourages employees to grow within the company and provides opportunities for advancement, such as promoting careers in overseas units and organising management development programmes to prepare employees for even more responsible, managerial positions. “We believe that employee growth and development is equally important for both the employee and the employer. That’s why we have developed Talent Programmes, Finance and HR Academies, and Leadership Courses for employees who are committed to their career development.
On top of all this, Outokumpu is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The company recognises that despite our differences, each employee brings different perspectives and ideas that help the company innovate and grow. We actively promote cultural diversity within the team to create a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected,” says the HR Partner.
Another factor that sets the company apart from its competitors is its aim to create a sustainable today. Outokumpu aims to reduce its environmental impact and has implemented several initiatives to achieve this goal. The company focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources and reducing waste.
Outokumpu’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond its internal operations. The company encourages its suppliers and partners to adopt sustainable practices and works with them to ensure that they meet the company’s environmental standards.