People make the difference
JL is in the midst of realising an ambitious growth strategy that encompasses the largest newbuilding programme in our history, of refocusing on our core competencies, exploring new business opportunities and an array of technological and organisational innovations. The JL brand, internationally recognized for respectability and trustworthiness, is increasingly identified by the guiding principle of our corporate vision: “Together we create a world-class shipping company.”
The key word of the vision is “together”. The best systems and processes in the world are not enough to ensure success without the best people to run them. Our success in sustaining a process of dynamic growth is due above all to the skill and dedication of individuals at all levels of our organization. JL operates worldwide and offers employees a wide variety of opportunities and challenges, which makes it an attractive company to work for. Equally importantly, it makes the recruitment and retention of talented people of pivotal importance for our continued success.
Personal and professional growth
It is therefore a vital part of our corporate strategy to attract and develop people who not only have the necessary professional skills and competencies but also profound dedication to service and teamwork. It is no exaggeration to say that our continued success in creating a world-class organisation is a direct result of the commitment and initiative of each individual employee. Being world-class means more than achieving numerical growth or imposing a top-down business plan – it means striving to be the best in everything we do, which is an attitude that has deep roots throughout our company.
The best way to nourish this attitude is by giving people an attractive work environment, one that offers the support to grow personally and professionally. We do this by providing a thorough system of training and feedback and a structured process for evaluating growth and success. As our company grows, so does our skills base and the opportunity for knowledge sharing and new professional opportunities. We believe there is a direct link between innovative practices and excellent customer service and a corporate culture that fosters individual growth and initiative. A culture grounded in our core values: Competence, Respect, Entrepreneurship, Accountability, Team Spirit and Enthusiasm.
Building commitment and satisfaction
The guiding principle underlying all our leadership, professional and personal development programmes is to help JL compete in a constantly changing business environment. New initiatives in 2007 included a specially designed, internal 15-month leadership programme, which was developed to be launched in the beginning of 2008. Further, JL’s two-year trainee programmes in shipping, procurement and finance were refined in 2007. All three trainee programmes include study tours to JL’s overseas offices in order to further prepare trainees for an international working environment.
Employee commitment and job satisfaction play an essential role in achieving JL’s ambitious goals. In 2007, JL conducted the fourth annual Company Performance Driver (CPD) survey. The results of the CPD have developed satisfactorily since it was started providing a good learning experience for us along the way to building an even stronger company.
JL maintains an attractive remuneration and incentive structure aiming at motivating employees while reflecting their contribution to overall results. All shore-based employees, irrespective of position and geographical location, are enrolled in JL’s bonus scheme. In 2007, a new employee benefit was introduced in the form of an option to acquire bonds issued by JL.
In 2007, JL introduced a series of new initiatives with the aim of retaining skilled employees, including a senior employee policy.
Staff turnover at head office was 5.4% in 2007 compared to 7% in 2006. The low rate of turnover reflected JL’s efforts to retain employees through interesting and demanding jobs and attractive terms of employment. Average length of service was 8.9 years compared to 9.3 years in 2006, and the average age was 42.1 years compared to 43.2 years in 2006. The decrease in both figures is attributable to new younger employees in 2007.
At year-end 2007, total headcount was 608, down from 708 in 2006, of whom 173 were working at head office in Copenhagen, 30 at overseas offices, and 405 were serving with the fleet. The decrease in total headcount was due to the disposal of a port terminal early in 2007, partly offset by an increase in seagoing crew and staff ashore.