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As an international company, SSAB has many opportunities for employees looking to actively advance their careers. Development opportunities are varied and customized according to each individual’s motivations, skills and interests.
New employees learn and advance through on-the-job training, engaging in challenging work tasks and projects together with diverse teams, gaining experience and expanding their knowledge. All employees participate in performance dialogues with their managers to ensure continuous development and communication. These ongoing discussions help strengthen each employee’s core competences in technology, business and leadership, and contribute to the company’s overall success.
In addition, SSAB continually looks for opportunities to develop the skills and experience of talented employees. An annual management review process aims to recognize managerial candidates and internal successors to leadership roles. Employees are given opportunities to expand their business skills and network within the company through the Business Development program, where participants are invited to actively participate in strategic projects. Lastly, a technical development trainee program aims to help employees quickly learn technical knowledge about the business.
Through the global annual Management Review process, SSAB works to ensure that internal leadership talents are identified and developed. In the process, all SSAB managers are assessed against the company’s management criteria, and successor plans are established. An important function of the Management Review is to ensure that we have suitable internal candidates for managerial positions.
The results of the Management Review will be used actively during the year for competence development, appointments and as a support in organizational development.
Every SSAB employee has a personal responsibility to work safely every day; it’s a fundamental requirement for working at SSAB. Occupational safety is integrated into our management system.
In addition of safety, SSAB focuses on preventive health care and wellness to promote the overall well-being of employees.
In order to achieve our objective of zero accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses, SSAB will:
• Ensure safety is an integral part of all activities and decisions throughout the company;
• Co-operate to prevent accidents and work-related illness by identifying, evaluating and removing risks;
• Systematically identify and eliminate the root causes of accidents and near misses which have occurred, with the aim of preventing them from happening;
• Ensure that management and the line organizations are responsible for occupational safety. They are assisted by occupational safety specialists. However, all SSAB employees are responsible for their own safety and for that of others in their own working environment. We must interrupt and instruct colleagues and contractors when they take a risk or fail to comply with established safety rules. All work which is not performed safely must be discontinued;
• Ensure that all managers lead by example. They are responsible for the work environment and must serve as good role models;
• Ensure that all employees are provided with all necessary instructions, as well as the training and equipment necessary for facilitation safe work methods;
• Comply with or exceed all applicable laws, regulations and SSAB requirements;
• Establish clear objectives and carry out regular monitoring to ensure that these objectives are fulfilled.
Work well-being means that you feel good at work. It means you have meaningful tasks, that your private life and work are in balance, and that you are in good health and capable to perform your job. SSAB provides the environment and means for employees to achieve well-being– from a safe work environment to health and wellness programs. SSAB has a long tradition of offering and encouraging numerous preventive healthcare efforts.
SSAB´s safety management system fulfills the requirements of international standard OHSAS 18001.
Every year, hundreds of people from external companies work at SSAB, particularly in the areas of maintenance and repairs. Ensuring the safety of everyone in our facilities – employees, contractors or visitors – is our highest priority. Contractor companies are screened for strong safety practices, and partner companies work together with SSAB to ensure safety of anyone working at an SSAB facility. We also provide the contractors with safety training sessions and discussion forums, in order to increase their safety awareness.
For SSAB, it’s not only important to work toward and value diversity, but also to strive for inclusion, meaning that employees feel a sense of belonging and have equal opportunities to contribute and succeed. We have several ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the company.
In several locations across Sweden, SSAB partners with local municipalities to create internships for people with diverse backgrounds, including those from outside of the country. This partnership not only enhances diversity in the community, but also enables participants an opportunity to learn another language and about the labor market in Sweden.
SSAB also has ongoing initiatives to enhance gender diversity throughout the company, working toward both recruiting and developing diverse talent. SSAB also actively encourages involvement with various initiatives like mentoring programs and women’s networks. In order to increase the share of women in top management, SSAB launched a diversity target. At the end of 2019, SSAB aims to have women in 30% of top management positions in the company. With the long-term ambition of increasing the share of women employees across the company, we will start from the top level, creating role models and focusing our efforts to get good results.
Lastly, SSAB strives to develop diverse talent from within the organization, allowing employees the opportunity move and grow into various management roles and business groups in order to increase internal knowledge and mobility, and ensure diversity throughout every level of the organization.
Battle of the Numbers is a project for contributing to achieve, long-term, greater equality in the sourcing of managers, increased profitability and competitiveness. The participating companies operate in different industries and represent a total of 570,000 employees.
In the program, ten future or current female managers from each of the participating companies acted as internal consultants and were invited to join a network of 100 women. Their task was to produce proposals as to what each of their respective companies can do to achieve increased diversity, taking into consideration career paths and work-life balance. Proposals were presented to each relevant Group management.
At SSAB, the program resulted in an improvement plan approved by our Group Executive Committee. Several of the initiatives were implemented, for example, a gender diversity score card and diversity workshops with top management.
In 2015, women accounted for 17% of the managers and 19% of all employees at SSAB.
In an attempt to increase the chances of immigrants in the labor market, SSAB has offered internships in the company. This is not only a way to invest in development and increase employee diversity, but also to create better conditions for operating on a multi-cultural labor market.
The internships at SSAB Borlänge lasted six months and were divided into two periods. The first period lasted from September to December 2014, and the second is from January to April 2015. All interns are assigned supervisors whom they should follow during practice.
The municipality of Luleå and SSAB's production site in Luleå had a similar project whereby 12 trainees out of 15 were given employment: 4 were hired as summer workers at SSAB and the remainder at other companies in Luleå.
Interns expressed great gratitude for the opportunity and hopes of a future in SSAB. For many, the industry is new and exciting and for some it is the first time they have been in an industrial company. Some of the interns had pre-concerns about how they would fit in and be accepted at SSAB. After having been at SSAB for a couple of months, the interns felt that they are treated with respect. One intern said with great pleasure how he felt that his life had gained a new meaning, and how he had learned something new every day.
SSAB’s personnel structure corresponds to the age structure in the industry from the diversity aspect. Especially at production sites, the age structure is weighted towards the older age groups. SSAB trains new steel professionals in recruiting trainings at Raahe and Hämeenlinna sites to ensure we have enough diverse workforces from the age perspective.
In these on-the-job learning based trainings, experienced employees share their production and maintenance knowledge with the students, making sure that important skills do not disappear when people retire.
We ensure that the new experts who join SSAB through the recruitment programs are given a good induction of both the company itself and the working practices at the sites. Experienced employees, who sometimes have spent their entire career working for SSAB, act as instructors for the new students. Typically around 70% of training time is hands-on practice and the remaining 30% is spent in the classroom.
Comprehensive practical induction in the real work environment, where safety plays an essential role, forms a strong basis for sharing the knowledge and for the effective continuation of production.
In 2014 and 2015, in total 45 new students of an average age of 23.5 years started recruiting training.
SSAB Luleå’s goal in 2014 was to recruit equal numbers of female and male summer temps . There were, however, not enough female applicants with the right skills in all departments, and the final figure for the entire works was 38 percent of female temps.
“Some departments, such as the central maintenance department, have many services that require training and where, in many cases, there were no female applicants,” said Caroline Vikingdotter Törmä, head of HR for SSAB in Luleå.
In the continuous casting plant, where summer temps do not need any training, we had an exact gender balance, something that Myrestam, Johansson and Andersson working in team 1 have noticed.
“At shift change when there are many temps there all at once, there are masses of women,” said Myrestam.
This is Emma’s first summer job at SSAB in Luleå. She has previously worked at FerruForm and applied to SSAB because she likes working in industrial environments. “There are significantly more women here than in my previous job,” she said.Emma, Viktoria and Amanda’s work at the continuous casting plant was to operate the cranes that move liquid steel into a casting mold to be cast into steel slabs. The women removed slag and tested the steel to make sure that no oxygen had got into the molten steel. The job at SSAB wasn’t quite as Emma had imagined.
Before I started here, I thought it was a heavy job and that it was best to be tall and strong. But it’s not like that at all. If heavy lifting is needed, there are aids and there is always someone that tells you how to do it. It does not matter whether you are male or female, guys were not born knowing how to operate a crane, it is something we all have to learn,” she said.
Emma explained that working at the continuous casting plant in the summer can get very hot and dirty as well, but she would not want to swap it for anything else.
“There was such a nice atmosphere here, so it is definitely worth it. Everyone is really nice and I always feel that I can be myself. Also, the pay is better than my previous summer job,” she said.