Leadership and development

We promote continuous development of leadership capabilities as well as individual skills. To us, Aiming Higher means learning, growing, and enabling each other. We make it possible by providing inspiring, responsible leadership, motivation and support.

Leading and enabling performance

Ambitious working deserves responsible leadership and a working environment which enables performance. UPM continuously develops leadership capabilities and management teams as well as  the working environment and measures them with an annual engagement survey. we also provide  leadership development programme portfolios that support the three cornerstones of leadership at UPM: leading oneself, leading people, and leading business. All key management teams do self-assessment and implement development actions accordingly.

Dealing with complexity, coaching capabilities, and promoting inspiring leadership have been the key areas of development in recent years. Leadership development solutions are continuously renewed, and UPM focuses on constantly improving the performance and motivation of people as well as giving and receiving feedback.

Responding to the changing business environment and enabling renewal

The global megatrends represent many long-term opportunities and challenges for UPM towards 2030 and beyond. They are also driving demand for sustainable and safe solutions, new technologies and responsible business practices. Recognising these changes and responding to them is of paramount importance to us, as we are committed to be a responsible employer now as well as in the future.

Furthermore, in the changing and ever more complex business environment, ensuring employees’ capabilities and wellbeing is important for both business success and sustained employability. UPM encourages its employees to gain a wide set of skills and offers a variety of training opportunities. UPM’s apprenticeship programmes in Finland and in Germany, for example, are a way to ensure the required level of expertise for future employees. The programmes are typically targeted at shop floor positions in production or maintenance and carried out together with regional vocational schools.

new hires in 2019
training hours per employee in 2019

Continuous learning and development 

We encourage our employees to pursue professional growth and support them in learning and developing their skills further. Ensuring high performance for business success and continuous professional development of employees are UPM’s long-term targets and important focus area for our work in social responsibility. We are committed to supporting our people in achieving a skill set fit for the changing business environment. UPM’s target for 2030 is that 80% of employees perceive favorably the opportunities for learning and development at UPM. It is measured regularly. 

UPM aims for all employees to have an individual development plan.  In 2019, 65% of employees had such a plan. UPM applies the learning and development framework 70-20-10, where of 70% of the learning takes place on the job, 20% comes from learning from others and 10% comes from off-the-job training. To support learning from others and real-life experiences, UPM invested in a new learning platform. UPM employees can now create digital learning content and share and consume it flexibly.

The learning impact is measured by evaluating the degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job (The Kirkpatrick Model, Level 3). A consistent improvement is evident in UPM’s productivity, employee engagement and work safety performance over time.

Lost-time accident frequency
in 10 years
Employee engagement
in 10 years
Sales by UPMer
+5% per annum
in 10 years

Engaging employees to develop the workplace

The UPM Employee Engagement Survey invites all employees across the company to evaluate different aspects of their working environment every year. The new survey measures the development of both engagement and enablement.

The employee engagement survey is an important way of measuring our success in developing as an employer and our progress in our social responsibility related targets such as factors related to safety, team work and diversity and inclusion that are important to UPM. The EES provides an opportunity to monitor long-term trends and the progress of agreed development activities annually. This progress is followed up and evaluated to enable continuous development of the workplace at both organisational and team levels.

We promote active employee participation and consultation, organised in accordance with international and national rules and regulations. UPM aims to empower and engage employees at all levels through responsible leadership. There are different forums to facilitate continuous dialogue between employees and business management. We want to improve together as a team.


Setting goals

We provide clear goals for all our employees through our systematic process for goal setting and manager-employee dialogue on performance. In 2017, UPM reviewed its performance management and created new ways of leading and enabling performance. We encourage active manager-employee relationships and promote forward-looking manager-employee discussions, agile goal-setting and more regular feedback.

employee engagement
employees had goal setting or annual discussion completed