Developing a new organization

During a year of change for Kemira, the HR function focused on ensuring that the restructuring is carried out in a responsible way, respecting and supporting employees. 

In 2012, Kemira focused on building the new organization, valid as of October 1. As part of the change, the organization design was improved, also including developments in the Kemira job architecture. The new mode of operation will help people to better understand the roles and responsibilities in each job.  

Unfortunately, the restructuring also led to reductions of the workforce. As a result of co-determination negotiations head count reduction will be 510, out of which 96 persons will leave the company through pension schemes. The organizational restructuring and site closures affected Kemira's operations mostly in EMEA and NAFTA, and the negotiations in the sites were completed in each country according to the local legislation. Thus also the minimum notice periods have been taken into account according to local legislation.

Supporting employees in coping with uncertainties

During the period of restructuring, employees were given the opportunity to participate in workshops and trainings that supported coping with the uncertainties. Kemira also trained managers to communicate the changes, and reductions to the employees. People leaving the company were offered support on how to find a new career path. In total, there were over 500 participants in the change workshops in the affected countries.

Kemira also arranged change workshops to key leaders addressing the new mode of operation. As a result, the key leaders are now up to date on the new mode of operation and are able to communicate change messages and ways of working further in the organization. The aim is to ensure that everyone in the organization knows why there has been a change and what its opportunities and challenges are.

Surveys monitoring employee engagement and development needs

The annual employee engagement survey, Voices@Kemira, was not run in 2012 because of the ongoing restructuring, but is planned to take place during the first half of 2013. In order to monitor how the change was perceived by the employees, Kemira conducted two Change Pulse surveys to receive feedback on the change. Based on the input from the Pulse surveys, actions supporting the change process have been implemented. The results will also be followed up on in the upcoming Voices@Kemira survey. 

Based on the 2011 survey results, Kemira has focused on developing cross-functional cooperation and communication as part of the organizational change, through mentoring and cross-functional workshops. As part of the new mode of operation, RACI matrices (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) have been defined to clarify roles and ease communication.  RACI matrices operationalize the different roles and how they interact; who is Accountable for a certain task, who is Responsible for doing it, who needs to be Consulted, and who Informed. RACIs clarify relational aspects of how the new organization works and decisions are taken. 

Kemira aims to further develop the cross-functional and cross-regional collaboration during 2013. Another development point identified in the 2011 survey regarded the employees’ perception of customer orientation. As a response to this, Kemira developed and implemented specific value-based sales training programs to strengthen customer orientation.