The Yammer conversation platform was widely implemented among employees in 2014. The platform improves internal company communication and participation across the Group. The goals of implementing the Yammer application include enabling and activating internal dialogue, facilitating internal collaboration across organisational boundaries, promoting ideas and innovation and creating a stronger, uniform corporate culture and identity for Alma Media.
In 2015, the office premises in Helsinki and the printing facility in Tampere further improved the working conditions and employee well-being for those working on these premises. The buildings were completed in 2012–2013. The Töölönlahti office building, which brings Helsinki-based Alma Media employees together under one roof, has particularly facilitated collaboration, the sharing of expertise and networking between units. In addition, the employee co-operation networks established a few years ago continued to be active in 2015; they included the Young Alma Medians network for the young and young at heart, and a software developers’ network.
Alma Media’s biennial employee survey was conducted in early 2016, with responses received from nearly 1,500 employees (78 percent of the employees). The respondents indicated that managerial work, in particular, has stayed on good level and also strong commitment to work was highlighted. The most significant areas of improvement relate to listening and feedback in supervisor work, change management and even more thorough customer perspective in development work. New kind of supervisor- employee discussion culture activation (so called one-to-one’s) are one development area, where the target is to activate the communications and to guarantee continuous and adequate feedback and the development of new ways of working. In Alma Regional media the results concentrate on finding the new “normal” and ways of working after the big changes happening in the business unit. In Alma Talent the commitment of the employees is strong and integrative issue and the development area is to bring in the table a new kind of customer perspective. In national consumer media business unit the development concentrates on supervisor and management development and change management. In Marketplaces business unit year 2016 will be the year of supervisor theme.
The results of the survey will be reviewed in each business unit and during winter and spring 2016, led by their respective managers, and these discussions will be used to prepare concrete development plans with measurable targets and responsible persons. The next comprehensive employee survey will be conducted in early 2018.
Digital coaching, organisational restructuring, international acquisitions and recruitment for digital business operations brought new competence to Alma Media and improved the Group’s capacity for sharing know-how. The proportion of employees working on digital services continued to increase in 2015.
In 2015, the company employed an average of 1,732 professionals, excluding deliverers. Approximately one third of Alma Media’s employees work outside Finland.
Diverse competence development
The digititalization of the media field creates a need for new compentence. Employee competence is developed through coaching and new, dynamic organisational models. Collaboration across organisational boundaries is seen as a starting point for operations. In 2015, training activities focused on digital competence and change management.
Alma Regional Media’s implementation of the Etukeno project, launched in 2014 to support the development of digitality, continued in 2015. Alma Regional Media publishes Alma Media’s regional, local and city newspapers. Employees play a central role in this development project, as they are challenged to take part in the planning of digital business. The needs of active media consumers are the basis for the development of renewed business models, operating culture and expertise. This development project of Alma Regional Media will run for several years, and it has received funding from the Liideri programme of Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.
Digital competence has also expanded through specific training courses, the recruitment of new employees and international acquisitions of companies in the field of digital recruitment services. The shared premises and the Yammer conversation platform that enables the internal engagement of employees provide a natural setting for bringing different skills together and enabling effective teamwork.
Alma Media continued to organise Alma Flow information events for managers during the year to support the development of managerial work and increase motivation. The Alma Flow managerial development programme will continue in 2016 to respond to the changing challenges in the industry through methods including the creation of a new performance discussion culture.
Alma Media organised approximately 1,420 training days for its employees in 2015. This figure includes internal and external training and coaching. In addition to open training days organised by the company, employees complemented their professional development through training provided by external partners. This training is included in the reported figure for total training days. In 2016, the development of digitality and projects, such as Alma Regional Media’s Etukeno project, will increase the annual investment in coaching. This enables the employees to develop in the centre of digital change.
Promotion of equality and non-discrimination
Alma Media's unit-specific equality plans include objectives, actions, schedules, responsible persons and metrics. Equality plans are part of human resource and training planning, and they are updated annually. In 2015, the equality plans had a particular focus on themes related to non-discrimination.
Although the differences in salaries between men and women at Alma Media have been in line with the average Finnish pay structure, improving gender equality in pay has been highlighted as an important area to be monitored and it has been successfully improved in almost all employee groups.
In 2015, the share of women of all managers and the Group's management team was on a par with the numbers from the previous year. At the end of December 2015, 46 per cent of those in supervisor positions were women. Women constituted 56 per cent of those in managerial positions, 25 per cent of those in experienced managerial positions, 10 per cent of the Group's executive team and 13 per cent of the parent company’s Board of Directors.
In January 2015, Alma Media signed the Diversity Undertaking and subsequently drafted an action plan for the development of diversity in the company. Alma Media is committed to providing equal opportunities for employees, identifying and using individual skills and needs and managing its employees and customers in a fair manner.
Increasing multiculturalism and diversity at Alma Media
The diversity of employees is an asset for Alma Media in building the future of media. The significance of employee diversity has increased in the ageing and increasingly international society.
At Alma Media, distribution operations, in particular, offer employment opportunities for qualified candidates who have moved to Finland from abroad. Immigrants represent slightly over 17 per cent of all distribution employees; in the Pirkanmaa region this figure is as high as approximately 26 per cent. The Group’s printing and distribution unit Alma Manu focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by employee diversity in 2014: taking multiculturalism into account was specified as one of the objectives of the action plan for 2015–2016.
The employee survey also highlighted the significance of people of different ages in the work community. Instead of age management, we focus on identifying and utilising diversity as an asset for the company. The employees working in Alma Manu’s delivery operations include people of very different ages and educational backgrounds, whose commonalities may include studying, having another job or being a caregiver for a family member, even if their age or other demographic attributes would place them in different employee groups.
Alma Media has adopted the average retirement age as a metric for monitoring employee well-being and diversity as well as social responsibility. In 2015, the average retirement age was 64,5 years (2014: 63).
While the increasing internationality of employees will present new management challenges in the coming years, it will also provide significant opportunities in the form of diverse expertise, new working practices and fresh perspectives.
New business premises boost occupational health
Alma Media employees in Helsinki moved under one roof at the turn of the year 2012–2013 as the Group’s new office building was completed in Töölönlahti. Employees were involved in the design of the new building from the start. The shared office building has contributed to progress on a variety of matters that are central to the development of corporate responsibility and operations, such as the sharing of know-how, employee well-being and collaboration across organisational boundaries.
The design of the Töölönlahti office building involved a special focus on occupational health. The many health-related aspects of the working environment that were taken into consideration include indoor air quality, ergonomic workstations and lighting. Employees are encouraged to stay physically active by means such as providing loan bicycles and supporting leisure-time physical exercise. Several business units are long-standing participants as individuals and teams in “the Kilometre Race”, which is a campaign that promotes cycling and raises funds for charity. In September 2015, Alma Media launched the AlmaSport programme to support sporting activities among employees. The programme, which will continue in 2016, involves accumulating points for sporting activities as teams and individuals. Sporting activities also supported charitable causes, with Alma Media donating the proceeds earned from sports and exercise to the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation’s MYRSKY project at the conclusion of the AlmaSport campaign. AlmaSport activated nearly 40 per cent of the employees of Alma Media’s Group functions to consider and follow a healthier and more active lifestyle. The menu of the Alma Media building’s cafeteria also promotes healthy eating. Occupational health was a prominent element at all of Alma Media’s operating locations in 2015.
A total of 127 occupational accidents were reported in 2015 (2014: 131). Tthe number of days absent due to occupational accidents increased somewhat in 2015, totalling 1048 days (2014: 679 days). The majority of occupational accidents and accidents during work-related travel at Alma Media occur in distribution operations, as they are affected by weather conditions. The occupational safety of delivery personnel has been highlighted as a key area of focus in distribution operations. It was specified as a particular target in the unit’s action plan for 2014. The objective of providing a foundation for continuous improvement of occupational safety was achieved in 2014. Changes were implemented in occupational safety and health in 2015, with the separate occupational safety and health organisations of Alma Media Kustannus Oy and Alma Manu Oy combined and local occupational safety and health groups commencing operations. The Group aims to further reduce the number of accidents in early morning delivery operations, and in 2015 the occupational safety and health organisation cooperated with management to improve safety. These measures included an evaluation of induction training in distribution operations as well as starting the planning of a new online induction training model. The new model will be implemented in May 2016.
Responsibility and occupational safety issues, such as appropriate clothing, anti-slip solutions and safe walking, continued to be integral aspects of the training provided for delivery personnel. The structure of Alma Manu’s occupational safety and health organisation was modernised in 2014. Going forward, the focus will be on the identification of hazardous situations and operational prevention of accidents by improving the analysis of accidents and hazardous situations. Occupational safety and employee well-being were given a great deal of consideration in the design of Alma Media’s printing facility in Tampere, which began operations in 2013. The aim is to minimise accidents during printing and distribution.
An extensive risk assessment was conducted in the newspaper printing facility in 2015, and the risks identified in the assessment have mostly been eliminated. The identification and assessment of hazardous situations has become established as a part of the day-to-day operations of the printing facility.