How to Be an Attractive Employer

Mark Phillips, HR Director / ZAO JTI Marketing & Sales

Every company dreams of having professional employees capable of achieving business results, ones who do their best to contribute to the company’s success, growth and development. But only a few want to know how their people feel about the company: what they value and are proud of, and what they think needs to be improved. We do. That is why we decided to ask thousands of our employees in Russia and find out what they really think of the company. The results of that survey impressed us a great deal.

We aimed to measure the levels of employee engagement through the whole company and gathered employees’ opinions on a variety of topics with the help of an independent consultant. We wanted to generate insight for JTI to enhance its business performance, as well as to focus on those areas where it is most needed.

The survey also allowed us to compare the collected data from both local and Global FMCG and High Performing companies operating in similar market sectors.

We found out that the Talent Management is perceived as a key driver by our people, according to the survey. Our employees’ satisfaction of Talent Management is 23 percent higher than it is in other FMCG companies (according to Towers Perrin numbers, 2009).

One of the most popular and efficient tools for employees’ motivation and engagement is creating an atmosphere of continuous learning and self-development. This helps people to truly realize their full potential, both with the company and personally. And it involves them in making important decisions influencing company’s future.

Having this in mind, we launched the Corporate University called IKUSEI (originating from Japanese word meaning “grow and achieve”) that is based on 4 corporate values: Quality, Innovation, Commitment and Synergy. JTI M&S Corporate University IKUSEI has a qualitative system of education with three faculties: Leadership Faculty, Professional Faculty and Management Faculty. Each faculty has several programs aimed at developing professional skills, competencies and career of employees of all levels. We attract the best tutors and brand-name schools (such as Stockholm School of Economics and LINK, partner of Open University, UK) and create tailored programs for our employees.

We value innovation, which is why all the programs are flexible and based on the Company’s current business strategy, as well as on the employees’ professional development needs. During their studies employees can cooperate with the Company’s top management and representatives of different functions.

Thus, the University creates a unique atmosphere, where there are no borders between the employees on different career levels. All the employees cooperate and are involved in the learning process. For our company Corporate University IKUSEI is more than just a university, it is becoming a part of our corporate culture. Though this University system is rather young in our company (created in 2009) it has already showed good results on employees’ development and retention as we receive their positive feedback, great interest and high attendance. And this was confirmed by the results of recent Employee Engagement Survey that showed 88 percent of employees’ engagement!