Resolute Forest Products’ long-term competitiveness is tied to the ability to recruit, develop and retain top-quality employees with the right skills. We are committed to implementing new human resource practices to retain employees and renew our workforce. Our focus is on implementing new leadership and human resources practices to create an inclusive workplace. We are building a strong corporate culture that attracts results-driven and action-oriented employees and allows natural leaders to grow.
We work diligently with employees and union leadership on the mutually beneficial renewal of collective agreements. In 2020, we renewed collective agreements covering 1,310 employees – six agreements covering 621 employees in Canada, and agreements covering 689 unionized paper and tissue mill employees in the U.S. In addition, we hired 970 new permanent and temporary employees, raising our employer profile through targeted recruitment practices. We also hired 580 student and seasonal workers, and recorded 52 internal promotions.
As part of our commitment to developing an understanding of the attraction and retention challenges faced in each of our operating regions, our corporate human resources team helped execute development plans for each of our operations in 2020, in addition to calibrating a high-level development plan for the company. With respect to assessing salaried employees, we combined several processes – namely, the effectiveness appraisal, talent review and succession planning – into one streamlined process, by function and/or by facility.
We have in place a Diversity Policy designed to ensure equal consideration and opportunities to all employees. In 2020, Resolute also adopted a board of directors-level diversity policy requiring a minimum of 25% representation of each gender (ie. male and female), as well as an executive leadership level diversity policy acknowledging diversity as a key factor in the company’s talent management strategy. In addition, we made a new commitment to train 100% employees on workplace respect and civility. All employees were trained by December 31, 2020, with the exception of Calhoun (Tennessee) management and a portion of U.S. hourly employees, who were trained in early 2021 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These initiatives, combined with innovative immigration policies and programs, are providing solutions to our staffing challenges.
We believe that our employees are an important factor in our success and that our organization is bettered through investing in the recruitment of new talent and developing the competencies of our people. Over the next few years, many of our long-term workers will be taking a well-deserved retirement, and we will need to attract skilled candidates who are motivated and eager to learn. To rise to this challenge, we have built a workplace where our employees can learn, grow and contribute.
In addition to participating in career days, open house events at schools and other community activities, we ramped up our efforts to recruit skilled employees in a more targeted way.
We also sought to involve our current employees in our recruitment efforts by developing a referral program. The Employee Referral Program is designed to attract quality candidates, increase our overall speed of recruitment, and improve our hiring success rates.
For more information on how Resolute measures and reports on employee hires and turnover, visit the Key Performance Indicators page.
Retaining Motivated Employees
While recruitment is important, we are equally committed to ensuring that our current employees are consistently motivated and engaged. Our human resource teams work hard to promote individual professional development goals, support sharing of knowledge and resources across the company, and create opportunities for growth and learning wherever possible.
Ethics and Integrity Codes
For companies like Resolute that are traded on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges (NYSE and TSX), ethics and integrity codes are considered best practices and included in governance-based ranking systems. A robust enforcement system and clear policies are considered indicative of better corporate governance overall.
In addition, internal factors drive Resolute to maintain rigorous policies related to ethics and business conduct, including a Code of Business Conduct, an Ethics Reporting Policy and an independent ethics reporting hotline/helpline. The board of directors reviews these and other internal policies on an annual basis, following an initial review conducted by the managers responsible for each, which keeps the policies relevant and in line with market trends, legal requirements and investor preferences. Resolute’s board of directors' Human Resources and Compensation/Nominating and Governance Committee is ultimately responsible for maintaining ethics and integrity codes and determining (in accordance with management’s recommendations) when and how such policies should be updated. Market best practices, regulatory compliance, internal audits, report transparency and year-to-year performance are considered during the policy review and update process.
The Code of Business Conduct also provides an important framework that ties in many other policies and implementation mechanisms related to various laws (anti-corruption, anti-bribery, harassment-free workplace) and ensures compliance in environmental reporting, legal compliance and ethics reporting.
We are committed to training every employee on Resolute’s Code of Business Conduct. Resolute’s employees, officers and directors are required to report financial or accounting irregularities, as well as other suspected wrongdoings, to raise any other ethics or compliance concerns or questions they may have, and to proactively seek guidance on actions with potential ethical implications. Resolute uses a team of internal experts to look into each reported potential violation. All employees are trained on the requirements of the company’s Code of Business Conduct and the Ethics Reporting Policy.
Internal audits are conducted regularly to enforce compliance with the procedures adopted in accordance with the Code of Business Conduct, and material findings are reported to management and the board of directors.