Working community


We carry out and offer high-quality work
  • We have satisfied employees and competent supervisors.
  • We offer interesting and diverse work as well as development opportunities.
  • We are the most attractive workplace in the trading sector.
  • We offer a safe and healthy working environment.
  • Our personnel act responsibly.
Topic Objective Progress of objectives 2014 Progress of objectives 2015 Progress of objectives 2016

Employer image

We are the best employer in the trading sector in terms of job satisfaction.

The employee engagement index was 53%. In the Universum Professionals survey, Kesko's ranking was 29.

We launched the K-job programme, the purpose of which is to provide those aged under 30 with channels to find a job in the K Group. We particularly focused on guiding ‘Learn and Earn’ trainees, young people in short-term work orientation, and summer employees. In the Universum Professionals survey, Kesko's ranking was 31.

The employee engagement index was 61%. The percentage of employees who would recommend the K Group as an employer has gone up to 68%, according to the personnel survey (56% in the previous survey in 2014). In the Universum Professionals survey, Kesko's ranking was 38.

We continued to employ young people by offering summer jobs to approximately 5,500 young people. We organised a K Digital Trainee programme, and, through that, employed five graduates in business development jobs.

Together with FIBS we conducted a diversity management starting point analysis in Finland and we will utilise its outcomes to develop our operations.

We determined our employer promise and, in accordance with it, we will develop, for example, our cooperation with educational establishments and reinforce our recruitment and induction processes.

Wellbeing at work

We improve work motivation and satisfaction.

The focal point of the wellbeing at work programme was to develop supervision and management and promote occupational health and labour protection cooperation.

The focal point of the wellbeing at work programme was to support employees' health and reduce sickness absences, developing safety at work and strengthening the role of labour protection as well as promoting employee engagement and implementing the people principles.

The focal point of the wellbeing at work programme was the comprehensive and business-oriented development of OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) operations. We enforced the monitoring of key figures to improve proactive work and to support management by information. Furthermore, we implemented other proactive measures, such as new health training.

We also launched an occupational safety project whose aim is to further develop our occupational safety culture and shared operating models. We also made labour protection more systematic and developed the ways in which it is organised.

We support our employees' leisure time fitness activities in all our operating countries. The Finnish companies, for example, provide vouchers for physical exercise and cultural benefits.

Read more about benefits to employees.

Skills management

We conduct an annual performance and development review with every employee.

In the personnel survey, 83% of respondents said that they have had a performance and development review during the past 12 months.

Performance and development reviews apply to all employees, and in 2015, they were carried out twice: in the spring and in the autumn. The realisation of the discussions was requested in the personnel survey that was conducted in the beginning of 2016. The response rate to the survey was 85%. A total of  80% of employees that responded to the survey had had their reviews carried out during 2015.

The performance and development reviews were used in all Kesko Group companies and operating countries. The performance and development reviews were carried out at least twice, in the spring and/or in the autumn. In 2017, we launch, in stages, the new performance management model and the K Success Factors systems that support it. In the future, we will record the development reviews in the K Success Factors systems.

We will regularly train our supervisors.

Core tools for developing supervisor work were the Let's Talk About Work training, the Performance Management training, the Employee Engagement training, as well as the new comprehensive online training modules in different sectors of supervisory work. The online training modules for supervisors were taken 2,391 times in total.

The emphasis was on the implementation of the K Group’s operating principles, challenging situations faced by supervisors, leading a new team, effective supervision and how to use the personnel survey results to develop the team.

The first training programme promoting the K Group’s new management culture was entitled ‘K-Way new supervisors’ and was piloted towards the end of the year. Supervisory training for Kesko's personnel was taken a total of nearly 700 times. Online training modules for supervisors were completed approximately 3,700 times.

We continued the K-Way new supervisors training programmes, K-Way experienced supervisors training programmes and Let's Talk About Work training programmes. In total, 363 supervisors participated in these training programmes. 

The topic for the new Mindfulness training was understanding and training your own mind as well as efficiency. 17 supervisors from Finland participated in the training. The objective of the new K-Way Middle Management Leader training programme was to strengthen the skills for strategy implementation and business competence. The training programme had a total of 22 participants from all operating countries. In Russia, we started a new K-Way Leader training programme that aims to strengthen management competence and supervisory skills in the K Group. The training programme was attended by 12 supervisors.

In 2017, we will continue to organise the K-Way supervisor trainings and start a new development programme for top management. We will continue spreading the coaching and mentoring processes that support supervisory work.

Occupational ability

We reduce sick leave, accidents at work and premature retirement due to disability.

Since the beginning of 2011, approximately 950 supervisors in Finland have been trained using the Let's Talk About Work operating model. The Let's Talk About Work model has been used in almost all companies. In Finland, the percentage of sick leave has been reduced by 11% since 2009 and the percentage of premature retirements due to sickness has reduced by 37% since 2010. Sick leave has reduced by 10% in other countries since 2009.

We focused on reducing the number of sick leave and premature retirements due to disability by means of occupational health service activities, the Let's Talk About Work training for supervisors, work revision, occupational rehabilitation and the work done by the Work Ability Manager working in the OHS team. The Work Ability Manager’s activities support the employee’s return to work, while considering various options for continuing at work. Sick leave has continued to decrease.

We focused on reducing sick leave, accidents at work and premature retirement due to disability. The Let's Talk About Work training for supervisors continued and over the last five years, more than 1,000 supervisors have been trained.

We piloted work induction services. We will reduce sick leave in the long term with a project which has a systematic take on labour protection and safety at work. We developed a unified accident insurance management model, which we will launch in 2017.


Management approach

Material aspects

  • Employment
  • Labour/management relations
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Training
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Equal remuneration
  • Labour practices grievance mechanisms


Employment and labour and management relations

We want to be the most attractive workplace in the trading sector, with satisfied employees and competent supervisors. The K Group offers varied career and personal development opportunities in a variety of jobs in the trading sector. In restructuring situations, Kesko complies with local legislation in all of the countries. Read more about minimum notice periods regarding operational changes.

Health and safety at work

Kesko and K-stores are responsible for providing employees with a safe working environment and appropriate training and guidance for their work.

Development of personnel

The systematic and business-driven development of personnel and management is critical for future success. Major changes in the trading sector and the growth of electronic transactions have created the need for new competencies.

Other core areas of competence development have included:

  • sales and service competence
  • product line specific competitive advantage projects
  • safety and responsibility
  • leadership 
  • management.

Diversity and equal opportunities

A pluralist organisation that promotes diversity guarantees equal opportunities, rights and treatment to all. Equality, justice and non-discrimination are important principles which are observed at Kesko throughout the employment relationship. The most suitable person with the most development potential is selected for the job, applicants are judged according to their competence, skills and accomplishments.


The objective of remuneration in Kesko is to encourage employees to exceed the objectives given and to motivate them to do long-term work in order to meet the goals of Kesko Group and its subsidiaries. Remuneration is fair and is based on principles that are commonly known.

Labour practices and grievance mechanisms

See Grievance mechanisms

Policies, principles and commitments

HR management is based on Kesko's values and operating practices and the K Code of Conduct guidelines. Kesko's HR policy defines key operating principles in the various areas of HR management. The HR strategy defines HR management objectives, critical success factors and key development initiatives. Kesko is a member of Diversity Charter Finland. The operations of Diversity Charter Finland are based on a charter that is signed by all members.

Monitoring and control systems

The personnel's ability to work is protected by creating a safe and supportive working environment. The goal of labour protection is to secure and maintain employees' ability to work and to prevent and avoid occupational injuries, occupational diseases and other physical and mental health hazards arising from work or the working environment.


Responsibilities and resources

  • HR Management Board
  • Kesko HR
  • HR Service Centres
  • Every supervisor

Programmes, projects and initiatives

Wellbeing at work programme

In the development of wellbeing at work, the objective is to increase job satisfaction and motivation, reduce sick leave, increase the retirement age and decrease premature pensions, and enhance the employer image. From 2015–2018, the wellbeing at work programme focuses on:

  • Comprehensive development of OHS operations (Occupational Health and Safety) management by information
  • Supporting personnel's ability to work and reducing sick leave
  • Developing occupational safety models and strengthening the role of labour protection
  • Promoting Employee Engagement particularly through supervisors' work development and ensuring good management in times of change

Employment of disabled people and people with partial work capacity

In 2012, the K-Retailers' Association launched a project called 'Many kinds of performers' in cooperation with the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (FAIDD). A permanent model was created to provide work for those with intellectual disabilities. Most of the intellectually disabled who were employed during the project still work at the K Group.

In Greater Helsinki, Kesko's Occupational Health Service directs employees to AMI rehabilitation, which promotes mental health. The partial daily allowance can help employees return to work after sick leave. The support provided by pension insurance companies for occupational rehabilitation has been used to promote return to work.

Employment of young people

In 2013, Kesko and the K-Retailers’ Association launched the ‘Youth Guarantee in the K Group’ programme, which aimed to provide a job, a work trial or an apprenticeship in the K Group for 1,000 young people threatened by social exclusion The target group also included young immigrants and young people with disabilities. By the end of 2015, more than 2,500 young people had found employment in the form of a work trial, wage support and apprenticeship training. The employment of young people and special groups continues as a permanent model. In 2016, the K-Retailers’ Association had a Youth Guarantee coordinator, who gives K-retailers and Kesko’s supervisors advice related to the employment and training of special groups and acts as a liaison to the authorities and associations. By the end of 2016, more than 3,200 young people had found employment in the form of a work trial, through wage support and apprenticeship training.

Grievance mechanisms

  • Discussion with supervisor
  • Suora Linja feedback channel
  • SpeakUp reporting channel


Working community