This pillar focuses on creating a safe, supportive work environment that champions equality and celebrates diversity. We know that employee engagement is a key factor in ensuring our future success as an organisation. In 2022 our people remained at the heart of our journey, as we embarked on our journey to become a pure-play Components business.
An engaged and positive workforce
In 2022 we launched an employee engagement survey for all Components employees. This was the first survey since 2020, as the 2021 survey was postponed given the considerable focus on the strategic reviews in the, now sold, Filters and Packaging businesses. 86% of employees responded, up from 82% in 2020. Despite a year of considerable change the overall engagement metric rose to 83% (78% in 2020) and now exceeds the industry benchmark by 7 percentage points.
This improvement reflects a general positive trend across 92% of the questions in the survey (45 out of 49) and in particular four questions that make up the engagement index. While there is some regional variance, the results are positive across all regions and are up from 2020 in Asia and the Americas, with Europe remaining relatively stable.
Championing equality and celebrating diversity
In 2022 we progressed our work to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, continuing with global recognition of Pride and Black History Month. We also continue to embed our global Diversity and Inclusion Policy launched in 2019.
Reflecting on the results of our employee survey which was conducted in late 2022, we have improved the employee perception of diversity, equality and inclusion. Responses to My Company has created an environment where people of diverse backgrounds can succeed improved by 4 percentage points and takes us slightly ahead of the industry benchmark. Similarly, responses to My organisation actively supports diversity in the workplace; recognising and respecting differences between people improved by 3 percentage points bringing us in line with the industry benchmark.
We remain committed to providing all employees with opportunities to develop and advance, which includes giving full and fair consideration to all employment applications from disabled people. In the event of employees becoming disabled, we make every effort to ensure that the training, career development and promotion opportunities available are as far as possible identical to those of non-disabled employees.
We are also working hard to improve the gender balance across the Company and will be submitting our 2022 Gender Pay data in April 2023. Our guiding principle is to pay colleagues according to their role not their gender, providing everyone with an equal opportunity to develop and progress.
Our commitment to being an ethical employer
Our Ethics Code is the core foundation of our compliance strategy and is issued to all employees globally, supported by annual training and positive affirmation statements by employees. The Code is available in all Essentra languages both in hard copy for colleagues working in factories and online, so that employees are able to access it easily.
An ethics decision tree helps guide employees who also have the opportunity to attend live virtual training sessions on the Ethics Code.
In addition we have specific policies relating to Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering and Third-Party Due Diligence. These policies are made available to all employees and specifically issued for affirmation to senior leaders and other employees who hold positions where such polices are relevant to ensure best practice.
Our Right to Speak Policy and process is well established and enables any employee to report circumstances where they believe that the standards of our Ethics Code, or our wider policies and guidance, are not being upheld. We are committed to ensuring employees feel able to raise any concerns in good faith, without fear of victimisation or retaliation and with our support. Employees can report any concerns on a confidential basis online or by telephone.
Ensuring our employees’ wellbeing
We know from our employee engagement survey that employee perceptions of health and safety at work have improved. My Company is safe place to work and My Company is an environmentally responsible company were two of the top scoring statements at 89% and 85%, respectively. The former improved slightly against 2020 and takes us six points ahead of the industry norm. The latter improved six points against 2020 and takes us in line with the broader industry – so this will continue to be a focus area for 2023.
We also know that perceptions of work load and work life balance have improved. The amount of work expected of me is reasonable was one of our most improved scores at 74% with a 10 point shift from 2020, taking us six points head of the industry norm. responses to I can maintain a reasonable balance between my personal and work life is one of the highest scoring statements at 84% and is four points of ahead of last year and 11 points ahead of the industry benchmark.
Focus and resource has been applied to our three sites with the highest injury rates. Third party audits were conducted at those sites and detailed site-specific plans developed. The audits completed at the focus sites and the introduction of the safety leadership commitment showed a positive trend in 2022.
In Q1 Essentra saw 12 LTIs, in Q4 2 LTIs. In addition, a new Safety Commitment for site leaders and management regarding Essentra’s approach to achieving excellence in operational safety was introduced. The commitment provides clarity to leading the change in Essentra’s safety culture. In H2 2022 the actions were introduced and in 2023 those objectives are embedded into the performance review process.
The driving force of a good safety performance is a strong local safety culture. Historically, Essentra’s approach was centrally-driven, rather than sites driving their own programme. Today, local sites own their programmes and pull expertise from the centre.
The 2023 Essentra health and safety programme has specific approaches for manufacturing sites, hubs and warehouses with targets which include: safety supervisor training, a safety marshal program, visible safety messaging and a template for site safety committees.
You can read more in our 2022 Annual Report here