Competitiveness in expertise and attitude at Metsä Wood

Metsä Wood’s sawmills are run by personnel who also have expertise in maintenance. As well as being an important competitive factor for sawmills, expertise in multiple fields is part of Metsä Wood’s industrial efficiency strategy.

In summer 2015, Metsä Wood’s sawmills adopted a target organisation model that gives employees more responsibility as well as opportunities to use and develop their expertise.  “Expertise in various fields is a must at sawmills,” says chief shop steward Marko Ruukki. “We used to have just one job, but now we are doing everything we are capable of as part of our day-to-day routines.”

“Professional skills and competence are developed through training and by learning on the job, and some employees even develop their skills in their free time. Problems can be solved more rapidly as experience is gained, which ensures high quality and efficient production,” says Riku Iisakkala, Mill Manager of the Lappeenranta sawmill. 

“The sawmill has experienced, highly competent employees. It’s important that everyone participates in operational development. Listening and cooperation are essential in our line of work,” says Iisakkala.

The salary system encourages competence development

Expertise in a variety of fields is an element of the new salary system that was introduced at Metsä Wood’s sawmills at the beginning of 2016. In the new system, salaries consist of three parts: a job-specific part that is based on how demanding the job is, a personal part that is based on competence and workplace skills, and a common part that varies according to productivity.

The unit’s results affect everyone’s salary, which highlights the importance of the work phases as part of the whole.  “The operator of the sticker-stacker prepares as good a load as possible so that the trimming section will be able to run it through as smoothly as possible,” says Ruukki.

Esa Kaikkonen, Executive Vice President of Metsä Wood, says that competition in the wood products market will continue to intensify. He sees the new salary model as a clear indication of the employees’ ability and willingness to continuously develop the operating models. 

“We must be as proactive as we can. There is a positive trend towards a culture of continuous improvement at Metsä Wood,” says Kaikkonen.  “Our employees have a great deal of expertise. We should make extensive use of their expertise to ensure our competitiveness.”

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