Professional employees are Acron Group’s key asset. The Group’s HR policy is based on attracting and retaining qualified personnel, continually improving their professional skills, and offering fair pay and social protection.
In 2014, Acron Group had 15,100 employees, down 4% year-on-year. This reduction in staffing was associated with the cost-cutting programme, which included optimising staffing levels.
Employees at Acron Group’s production facilities have trade union representation. The primary trade union organisation represents 64% of personnel at Acron, 43% at Dorogobuzh, 100% at Hongri Acron and 20% at NWPC.
In 2014, VPC established its primary trade union, which represents 28% of employees.
The Group’s human resources priority has been to retain highly professional and responsible employees by creating a favourable working environment, offering competitive salaries and social benefits, and implementing an effective incentive programme.
In 2014, the average monthly salary at the Group’s Russian facilities was: RUB 37,700 at Acron (up 6.5% year-on-year), RUB 31,500 at Dorogobuzh (up 5.4% year-on-year), RUB 22,600 at Hongri Acron (up 49.7% year-on-year because of changes in the yuan to rouble exchange rate), RUB 59,400 at NWPC (up 5.7% year-on-year) and RUB 63,500 at VPC (unchanged year-on-year).
Acron Group’s facilities make social payments under a Collective Agreement. In 2014, social payments at Acron were RUB 177.7 mn, RUB 49.8 mn at Dorogobuzh, RUB 148.9 mn at Hongri Acron, RUB 68.3 mn at NWPC and RUB 7.9 mn at VPC.
In 2014, 674 Acron Group employees benefitted from complementary and alternative treatments at a discount totalling RUB 24.2 mn.
In 2014, pursuant to its support programme for families with children, Dorogobuzh paid RUB 451,000 in cash assistance to large and needy families; an additional RUB 457,000 in cash assistance was paid for kindergarten enrolment and treatment at the Lastochka summer healthcare facility.
Acron paid RUB 6 mn for employees’ children to attend the Raduga healthcare camp.
Social payments (cash assistance) to long-time employees of Acron and Dorogobuzh and unemployed retirees totalled RUB 11.5 mn in the reporting year.
Acron Group pays a close attention to the health of its employees. The Group’s facilities have athletics infrastructure: stadiums, swimming pools, fitness rooms and children’s sports clubs. The Group also holds athletics tournaments for employees and their families in a variety of sports.
In 2014, over 4,000 employees and children participated in about 60 events at the Acron sports centre.
Acron holds a major annual competition in nine sports. In 2014, the 13th year of the competition, approximately 3,000 employees participated in the events. Acron organised the Novgorodskie Versty marathon for the 19th year in a row, with 300 attendees from Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Leningrad, Pskov, Tula, Tver and Novgorod regions and Karelia.
Dorogobuzh holds an annual employee competition with 14 sporting events. In 2014, more than 1,000 people attended this event.
The summer camp program for employees’ children sent 1,143 children to health camps in Novgorod region and the Dorogobuzh area.
Under the moral incentive programme, 1,948 employees received industry and corporate awards in the reporting year.
Training and Career
Employee training and career growth play a major role in HR management. The Group’s training and career growth system focuses on the following main principles:
- Advanced training – acquiring promising knowledge and skills in line with Group strategy
- Continuity – continually promoting new knowledge and skills using various methods including self-education and on-the-job training
- Targeting and individual approach – creating education courses and development programmes that meet the needs of targeted groups; individual employee development planning
- Quality – stringent requirements for trainers, methods, technical equipment, organisational support and practical focus of the education process, active use of technology in employee education and development
The employee training and career growth system includes:
- Training for trade professions
- On-the-job training
- Additional (related) occupational training
- Distance higher and postgraduate education
- Upgrading employees’ qualification categories
- Attending courses, seminars and trainings
- Attending Talent Pool School trainings
Acron and Dorogubuzh run employee training and career systems at their on-site training centres, which feature distance education and industrial and functional seminars.
Acron and Dorogobuzh have automated classrooms featuring the latest technologies for chemical industry employee training. Trainings are conducted by company specialists and by lecturers from leading higher education institutions and industrial colleges.
Acron’s trainings for trade professions are based on the Briefing training system, which uses dynamic equipment models to help employees gain new knowledge and skills on-the-job.
Acron’s employee qualification category improvement system is implemented at the facility’s training centre. In 2014, 275 managers and specialists improved their qualification categories at the training centres with lecturers from educational institutions. The facility’s technical personnel improve their qualification categories at the Yokogawa technical centre, which features visible equipment operation demonstrations.
Seven managers and eight specialists from the main technical and supporting business units improved their qualification categories within the Leader’s Managerial Potential Development programme developed by the Dorogobuzh’s HR in the reporting year.
In 2014, the Group focused on training employees to work at new and upgraded production units. Employees underwent professional training and psychological studies, with the results used to provide shift recommendations.
In 2014, under the employee professional training programme 138 Acron employees and 131 Dorogobuzh employees attended distance courses. At Dorogobuzh, 120 employees improved their qualifications and attended classroom-based professional trainings. At NWPC, 70 managers and 108 workers attended professional trainings, re-trainings and courses on additional occupations and qualification categories.
Acron has established 11 certification committees for regular assessment of its employees to verify their job performance and determine their promotion prospects and professional growth profiles in the Group’s main fields of operation. In 2014, 239 people passed the certification exam, including 52 employees who improved their qualification categories and two employees who were recommended for enrolment in the Group’s talent pool.
In 2014, 7,019 employees attended courses at Acron, Dorogobuzh, Hongri Acron, NWPC and VPC. The Group spent RUB 22 mn on personnel training and development.
Talent PoolThe Group focuses on attracting young specialists to Acron and Dorogobuzh with its long-term Students Career Guide programme, which helps young people obtain qualifications that are in demand in the industry.
In 2014, 392 people attended guided tours of Acron and Dorogobuzh for general education school students, municipal and regional teachers and students from professional education institutions.
Seminars held for Novgorod region general education school students were attended by 340 young people.
Over the years, Acron and Dorogobuzh have run a support programme for young specialists from other regions.
In 2014, 38 young specialists successfully passed the internship and certification process. Sixteen specialists were employed after graduation.
Mentoring is one of the most efficient forms of training for young specialists at Acron. Each year, business unit managers choose mentors based on their professional competence, work experience, communication and organisation skills to pass on their knowledge. In 2014, 518 people were appointed as professional education instructors and 204 people were appointed as teachers.
Talent Pool School Project
Talent Pool School is a key part of Acron’s talent pool formation process. The goal of Talent Pool School is to create a well prepared pool of employees capable of mastering new fields and finding efficient solutions to tasks. Talent pool training prepares employees to take on managerial positions in the future. The training programme covers confident behaviour, positive influence, teamwork, personnel incentives, leadership potential and personal efficiency.
In 2014, another group of students finished their Talent Pool course. The programme included lectures, trainings and practice exercises. The course was led by the facility’s managers and specialists, career coaches from consulting companies and management technology centres. Forty-seven people from Acron and Dorogobuzh attended Talent Pool School courses in the reporting year.