Empower makes annual savings of €1.6 million through management of working ability

mån 23 nov 2015 13:40:35

Empower successfully decreased sick leaves by 10% annually by focusing on well-being at work and coping with work as its strategic goal. The uncompromising development work led to the company being recognised as the “Most Developed” in October 2015 at the launch of the Annual Review of Lost Labour Input Costs 2015 Report.

Empower is a multinational service company that builds and maintains electricity and telecom networks, maintains factories and power plants, and provides the energy sector with IT systems and service solutions.

"We are a service company, which means that our staff are our most important success factor, and staff well-being is pivotal to our business. A total of 90% of our employees are men, and the majority of them are baby boomers. The work is physically very demanding, which means that it is absolutely necessary for us to invest in supporting well-being at work to avoid premature retirement", says Kirsi-Marja Heliste, SVP HR and Communications of Empower.

Culture change in a few years

To improve productivity and lengthen employees' careers, Empower has implemented a massive shift in operating culture in the past three years. Occupational safety and work satisfaction were highlighted as the Group's strategic goals in 2013.

The strategy was also used as the basis for Empower and Terveystalo's (Empower's occupational healthcare partner) closer cooperation targets to reduce the amount of sick leaves, accidents and disability-related retirement. As a result, the amount of employee sick leaves has decreased annually by 10%, which translates into annual savings of €1.6 million. The incident frequency has dropped by more than 60% from the initial level in 2012, and the number of instances of disability retirement has decreased, resulting in a reduction of insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of euros. As a result of the development work, occupational healthcare costs have even decreased slightly at the same time, as the focus has shifted to preventive action.

Mitigation of work ability risks

The success factors have included the commitment of the executives and supervisors, and active cooperation with occupational healthcare and the pension insurance company.

"This is a strategic development project by the management and business. The implementation of the project indicators and goals are monitored by the Group's executive team", says Heliste.

The goals for occupational healthcare partnership were specified as concrete steps in the occupational healthcare action plan. The biggest changes to the previous situation included heavy investments in preventive occupational healthcare, support for supervisors, and identifying working ability risks.

"Working ability risks were identified with a health survey that was used to guide employees to access occupational healthcare services. As a result of early support and replacement work approaches, it has been possible for those with a working ability risk to continue working; this has been achieved by modifying their work tasks or temporarily arranging other work for them, instead of them having go on sick leave. Supervisors have also been provided with different tools to make working easier, and also online training. The next step is to introduce an electronic tool for monitoring sick leave, for example.

Towards being the leader in Finland

"We are among the top players in occupational healthcare and occupational safety, and the focus of our occupational healthcare has shifted to prevention. At the moment, the main thing is to ensure that the good work will continue. Ultimately, going to a higher level is not the hardest part – remaining there is. Our next goal is to be the most attractive workplace in our field of business", says Heliste.

Annual Review of Lost Labour Input Costs 2015

This Annual Review of Lost Labour Input Costs 2015 (the fourth annual review) investigated the total cost to Finnish companies of lost labour input. The costs of lost labour input consist of the direct cost of sick leaves, work disability fees according to employee pension laws, accident insurance fees and costs set out in the reimbursement clauses for occupational healthcare. The cost of lost labour input in 2014 was, on average, €2,650 per person-work year, or 7.0% of the salary sum. In general, in the entire Finnish private sector, lost labour input results in an estimated cost of €4.5–5 billion per year.

Further information:

Kirsi-Marja Heliste, SVP HR and Communications, Empower Group
Email: kirsi-marja.heliste@empower.fi, tel. +358 505 143 339

Empower Group Communications, Empower Media Desk (weekdays 9 am – 4 pm), empower.communications(at)empower.fi

Empower is a service company that builds and maintains electricity and telecom networks, maintains factories and power plants and delivers information management systems and services to the energy sector. The company provides services in more than a hundred locations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In 2014, the group`s turnover was EUR 311 million and it employs some 2,700 persons. www.empower.eu

Terveystalo has the most extensive network of healthcare services in Finland. The company provides comprehensive healthcare, occupational healthcare, hospital care and examination services in 170 locations throughout Finland. Terveystalo customers include private people, companies and communities, insurance companies and the public sector. At the national level, Terveystalo provides jobs for almost 6,500 healthcare professionals. Terveystalo's tax footprint in 2014 stood at a total of €72.8 million, and in the same year, Terveystalo invested more than €15 million in the development of Finnish healthcare services. Terveystalo is a member of Suomalaisen Työn Liitto. www.terveystalo.com