Organisational development – the theme for the year

Terrafame continued to develop its operations and organisation. Strong emphasis was placed on supervisory work, vocational skills, as well as occupational and environmental safety. After a rapid growth phase, personnel resources were also adapted to better match the stabilising industrial operation phase.

At the end of 2017, Terrafame had 650 employees (2016: 645). During the year, a total of 165 employees were recruited, over half of whom were temporary summer employees. Thus, the headcount was at its highest during the summer months, when the company offered summer jobs to 90 interns.

As a result of the cooperation negotiations in September–October, the organisation was renewed and streamlined. 37 employees were laid off for production and financial reasons, as well as restructuring of operations. As part of transition assistance, the laid-off employees were offered relocation support and occupational health care services.

628 employees held permanent positions. Temporary positions were replacements of various absences and tasks related to development projects. The exit turnover of permanent employees fell to 6.2% (2016: 8.1%).

At the end of the year, as in the previous year, about 84% of Terrafame’s employees lived in municipalities in Kainuu region, mainly in Kajaani and Sotkamo. The proportion of male and female personnel remained at the previous level. 91% of employees were men and 9% were women.

Terrafame also offered work to labour force provided by some 70 business partners at the industrial site. At the end of the year, the partner companies employed 696 people on a regular basis. Of these, an estimated 60% were from Kainuu.

Diversification of personnel development

Terrafame invested heavily in supervisor training and the professional development of its personnel. In addition to on-the-job learning and short day courses, long-term training was launched in chemical engineering, electrical automation maintenance and leadership. Nearly 60 persons started on these qualification training courses, which will also continue in 2018. The Frontliner programme, designed to develop supervisory work, was continued and complemented by new content.

In the autumn, an 18-month operations development programme tailored to the company’s needs was launched, involving 60 employees from various functions. The programme aims to develop leadership, planning and the common procedures of the production and maintenance organisations. The goal is to ensure cost-effective and high-quality operations.

Weekly safety training was organised for all personnel. Training organised in the workplace amounted to an average of 2.5 days per employee. The focus of training was on occupational and environmental safety. Safety induction, as well as chemical, protective equipment and first aid training, were also organised for everyone working at the site.

Leadership training amounted to an average of 3.6 days per supervisor. Additionally, employees took part in supported voluntary qualification studies.

Wide range of occupational health services in use

Terrafame offers highly varied tasks. For this reason, efforts are also made to look after the working capacity and well-being of personnel in numerous ways. A wide range of occupational health services are utilised in this work.

Terrafame’s industrial site has an occupational healthcare service point comprising occupational nurses and doctors. We continue to monitor working capacity and identify risks of exposure systematically with optimal results.

In 2017, employee sick leave accounted for an average of 5.5% of theoretical regular working hours, which corresponds to the average level in the mining industry. However, sick leaves started to decrease in the autumn.

Early support and replacement work models were actively applied. During the year, almost 100 working capacity discussions were conducted, via both occupational health care and between supervisors and their employees.

Development of HR information system launched

The last time Terrafame conducted an employee survey was in 2016. Based on the survey, more than 100 development measures were recorded, driven forward throughout different parts of the organisation. The survey was renewed in February 2018.

Towards the end of the year, an HR information system project was launched, which will be finalised in early 2018. The system will improve the control and reporting of human resource data and processes.

The remuneration system was complemented by a production bonus

In 2017, Terrafame paid all employees a safety bonus for accident-free periods. The remuneration system was complemented by a production bonus based on monthly goal setting.

Additionally, employees were rewarded for a job well done and for initiatives that improved operations and safety.

The number of Terrafame’s employees in 2017 remained at the same level as the previous year.

Terrafame’s personnel structure is balanced. The average age of employees is around 40 years.


Approximately half of the employees worked 12-hour shifts, with four days at work followed by six days off.