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Case study: How NORMA Group promotes employee development

As a global market and technology leader in engineered joining technology (joining, connecting and fluid handling technology), NORMA Group recognises that its employees enable and drive its business success and invests in a safe and supportive working environment  Tweet This!, seeking to strengthen its position as an attractive employer even further through sound training, performance-based pay, and the promotion of diversity. 

This case study is based on the 2017 CR Report by NORMA Group published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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NORMA Group sees itself as a “learning organisation,” aspiring to continuously develop, as it operates in a very dynamic environment with constantly changing demands. In order to promote employee development NORMA Group took action to:

  • establish a Competence Centre
  • promote demand-oriented training
  • help employees expand their skills abroad

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 CR Report NORMA Group identified a range of material issues, such as efficient production processes, health and safety, customer satisfaction, sustainable purchasing, elimination of discrimination. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for NORMA Group.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups NORMA Group engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Employees
Customers
Financial markets
Suppliers
Science
Non-profit organisations
Media
Politics

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics NORMA Group engaged with over 30 internal and external stakeholders through a questionnaire, asking respondents to indicate how different issues affected their assessment of NORMA Group.

What actions were taken by NORMA Group to promote employee development?

In its 2017 CR Report NORMA Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Establishing a Competence Centre
  • In order to meet its requirements for training and further educating its employees, NORMA Group has firmly rooted the subject in its HR strategy and, among other measures, established in 2016 the global Competence Centre Learning and Development. The Competence Centre aims to provide processes and tools for identifying, developing and retaining the right talent at the right place, at the right time, and at an acceptable cost. NORMA Group’s goal is to make sure that every employee receives an average of at least 30 hours of training per year. In 2017, that average was at 30.1, slightly exceeding NORMA Group’s NORMA Group also ensures the effectiveness of its training through regular internal reporting on participation rates and feedback, as well as through specific questions in its Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS).
  • Promoting demand-oriented training
  • As employee training is most effective when it aligns with the demands of the work environment, NORMA Group’s approach is demand-oriented, based on bottom-up departmental reporting. In addition, NORMA Group developed a competence model and defined the skills that are important to the Group in numerous workshops and with the participation of employees in all regions. The competences NORMA Group defined, form the basis for the development and selection of its employees. Moreover, the acquisition of proper competences is also integrated in NORMA Group’s Performance Management Process (PMP) and the mandatory annual employee appraisals based on this not only include a target agreement with management, but also supporting employees in acquiring the necessary skills.
  • Helping employees expand their skills abroad
  • For NORMA Group, cross-border exchanges and intercultural skills are crucial for success, on both a personal and company level. Accordingly, NORMA Group’s assignment programmes offer employees the opportunity to expand their experiences and skills abroad. These programmes include either short-term “bubble” assignments (up to three months), or long-term assignments (more than three months). Skilled employees and managers participating in these initiatives bring with them specialist knowledge and experience from other places, while also benefiting from the expertise of their local colleagues. Exchanges can take place within a country or internationally, between countries and regions.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 401-2 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

2) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

3) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

4) Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews

 

Disclosure 401-2 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Earnings, wages and benefits

Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Employee training and education

Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by NORMA Group, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to NORMA Group: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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