Employee wellbeing

HKScan is a major employer in all the countries in which it operates, and social responsibility is a key focus area of the Group’s overall CR work. For HKScan, a socially responsible way of working means that we are able to safeguard and continuously improve the wellbeing, engagement, equality and diversity of our personnel.


HKScan offers job opportunities to a large number of seasonal workers in the communities where its production facilities are located. We give many young people their first job and thereby offer them valuable work experience.  

The barbeque season is one of the most important business seasons for HKScan, making spring and summer busy periods in our production. HKScan invests a lot of effort into its spring and summer recruitment in order to ensure a high degree of efficiency and quality in production for the benefit of our customers and consumers, as well as to offer flexible holiday arrangements for our permanent employees. In 2016, HKScan recruited approximately 1 400 summer workers, of whom 700 in Finland and over 400 in Sweden. Many already worked for us during previous summers.

Europe witnessed an unprecedented influx of refugees in 2016. In Denmark, HKScan set a proactive example of diversity promotion by welcoming refugees primarily from Syria to join its poultry production team in Vinderup. The plant’s aim was to offer them experience of working for a Danish company and the Danish labour market in general. The plant’s intention was to eventually offer permanent employment to those refugees interested in staying with the company. At the end of 2016, half of the refugees continued working at Vinderup.  HKScan considers this a win-win situation: The refugees are able to support themselves and their families, and HKScan can broaden the local recruitment base for its future employees.

Employee wellbeing and workplace safety – SAFETY IN FOCUS

HKScan’s target is to create a culture of proactive wellness promotion and workplace safety management by implementing harmonized processes, training supervisors and management, and by focusing on knowledge-based leadership.

In 2016, the Group’s focus was on workplace safety. HKScan aims to develop a Group-wide approach to health and safety management, including Group-wide standards for selected critical safety areas, such as reporting and investigating accidents and near misses, making safety observations, and adhering to common standards and practices for the most hazardous work types.  The Group has improved its reporting on safety performance and promotion of common activities through monthly safety communications (letters, blogs and phone meetings), as well as by collecting all safety related information, e.g. on safety incidents,  in one place. These efforts have paid off in the form of measurable improvement in our lost-time incident rate, which was down to 40.6 (2015: 45.5). This outcome was achieved mainly as the result of an increased focus on safety at unit level and intensified country-level activity, especially in Finland and Sweden.

Unfortunately one fatal accident occurred in the company in 2016. In January, one maintenance worker in Rakvere, Estonia, lost his life and another was injured in an ammonia-related incident.  The incident was investigated thoroughly and measures were taken to improve ammonia handling, especially in maintenance work across the Group.

HKScan will continue promoting a common and harmonized health and safety approach during 2017, focusing especially on selected common activities and the spread of good practices and examples across all units.

An intensified effort was also made to manage and decrease both short and long-term absenteeism. Despite this, the overall absenteeism rate of 6.3% (2015: 6.0%) showed no improvement on the previous year. Significant steps forward were taken, however, in mapping and managing risk cases to reduce the risk of work disability, especially in Finland.

Example of initiatives related to employee wellbeing:

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health took part in the planning of the new poultry production plant in Rauma.  The new plant will adopt modern work processes complying with the latest occupational health standards, thereby offering personnel significantly improved safety and ergonomic conditions.

One HKScan performance culture - Employee engagement

Late in 2014, HKScan carried out its first Group-wide employee engagement survey. As a result, 1 300 improvement actions, either at company or team level, were identified and implemented.

During autumn 2016, HKScan carried out its second Group-wide employee engagement survey. The response rate was again high, standing at 83.9 per cent. This showed a gratifying level of interest and commitment to continuously develop and improve our organization. Based on the results, our People Power® index* in 2016 was again A+/Satisfactory +.

Since the 2014 survey, we have placed a special focus on improving communication and team-level involvement. The efforts and actions have clearly paid off, as the 2016 survey now rated these areas as significantly improved. Information flow had improved and the personnel had better opportunities to participate and make suggestions. Our managerial work was also regarded as a positive change driver in the Group.

The results were reviewed throughout the organization and further improvement actions are being planned to create an even better HKScan.

*The PeoplePower® rating is an overall metric (0–100) for employee engagement and its main benchmarks are commitment, leadership and performance culture.

Investing in leadership

The HKScan Leadership Academy was launched in 2015 and continued during 2016. This Group-wide project aims to strengthen the capabilities and professional expertise of HKScan leaders and specialists.