Successful execution of Yara’s business strategy relies on its highly qualified workforce throughout all of its operations. Knowledge is an increasingly critical differentiator in global industries and competitive markets. Developing Yara’s workforce, with skills responding to the company’s as well as the customers’ needs, is imperative to achieve profitable, sustainable growth.
Yara’s aim is to retain, attract and develop the best talent, where and when needed, regardless of ethnicity, gender, nationality, background, age or culture. Knowing that business performance is enhanced by good people processes, Yara defined HR as a global function in 2010 in order to have a dedicated organization for delivering the change necessary to achieve the company’s ambitions in this area. Furthermore, a global HR information system (HRIS) was developed and implemented during the 2010-2012 period, building an integrated tool for processing workforce data and supporting key people processes.
Having a global HRIS platform, accessible to all employees, managers and HR, simplifies analysis, enables mainstreaming of people management and development processes, and facilitates the measuring of status and progress. Over the past three years Yara has prioritized the introduction of best-practice people processes, supported by the HRIS. In the future the focus will shift to measuring results and impact.
Yara has identified an aging workforce, insufficient pipelines of people with the required skills to deliver on Yara’s business goals, and a retention risk as future internal challenges. Externally, the competition for academic talent profiles has become fiercer – particularly over well-qualified engineers.
Responding to these trends and challenges, Yara developed and revised its HR Strategy in 2012, launching a new People Strategy with three main focus areas: Performance Culture; Talent Development; and Talent Acquisition. Great people management will be key to delivering good people processes in these areas and, going forward, we will place more emphasis on improving people management skills.
To help develop a performance culture and improve business performance, Yara established a new Performance Management Process (PMP) which was rolled out globally in 2012. This replaces local systems and processes, ensuring a uniform approach for aligning goals for all employees with overall business objectives. Giving and receiving timely and relevant feedback is another key element of the PMP.
Talent development is significantly strengthened through a mid-year review which every employee shall have with their manager to discuss skills, career ambitions and development. This Talent Development process was piloted in 2011 and rolled out in 2012, reaching around 7,200 employees. Resulting in about 5,700 individual plans with defined development areas and detailed actions, the process adds to Yara’s ability to develop and retain staff. To further improve talent development, a new pipeline of business-required learning programs, YaraLearning, will be established.
Responding to the increasing competition for skilled academics, Yara is strengthening its capabilities within talent acquisition. In 2012 Yara’s recruiting process was deployed globally, together with a new IT recruitment tool that will enhance the candidate experience and make the process more efficient. The Workforce Planning process ran globally on all levels for the third consecutive year. With the quality of the process steadily improving, the results provide valuable input, especially in the areas of Talent Acquisition and Talent Development. This improves the company’s ability to respond to both short and long term workforce challenges.
At the end of 2012 Yara had 8,052 permanent employees worldwide, an increase of 425 compared to the previous year. All continents increased their numbers, due to organic growth and minor acquisitions. The share of women employed by Yara has remained at about 20% in recent years. It is a non-quantified goal for Yara to increase workforce diversity. The Yara GRI report (available on yara.com/GRI) provides some details about Yara’s performance on diversity metrics.