'Mills of the Future' increases staff autonomy

​At the beginning of this year Metsä Fibre began trials of an operating format based on autonomous shift staffing and shared leadership.


Metsä Fibre is reorganising its operations by piloting a new ‘Mills of the Future’ operating format based on autonomous independent teams and shared leadership. The new operating format was initially deployed at the Rauma mill in January 2016, and another pilot project for the Äänekoski site began at the start of April. The aim is to clarify details of the new format before deploying it throughout the company.

In practice, autonomy and shared leadership mean that teams have no supervisor, with shift staff taking independent decisions and agreeing the division of duties according to common objectives. The conventional approach is for work at a mill to be directed by the shift supervisor. Autonomous teams will do justice to the versatile expertise of Metsä Fibre staff in an entirely new way.

“Metsä Fibre has a great deal of know-how and potential that can be applied to far greater effect under a new operating format that enables each employee to perform more responsible and diverse duties,” explains Metsä Fibre CEO Ilkka Hämälä.

The Mills of the Future operating format emerged from staff interviews and workshops involving about 200 Metsä Fibre employees in 2015. This reorganisation of operations is part of a programme at Metsä Fibre to remain competitive and stay at the cutting edge of progress in the global pulp and paper industry.

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