"We have our mojo back"
Increased confidence and a renewed sense of purpose were the dominant sentiments across Sanoma in 2014. Chief Human Resources Officer Jackie Cuthbert says that Sanoma will now continue to focus on culture and skills in 2015 in order to return to growth in 2016.
A lot has changed in the three and a half years since Cuthbert assumed leadership of Sanoma’s HR function. Back then the mood was one of uncertainty, since it had not yet been possible to convert the urgent need for transformation into a clear focus. Last year’s restructuring and the acceleration of the transformation agenda has changed all that. "The transformation process has turned a corner and the mood is becoming more positive and forward-looking now. We have our mojo back," Cuthbert says. In 2014, Sanoma made the tough decisions that were required to manage the company’s cost base, the portfolio was streamlined and a new matrix organisation was put through its paces. Cuthbert believes that the company will build on that momentum in 2015 and return to organic growth in 2016. "We are ramping up our innovation and exploring new business models. And increasingly, we are playing as one company in a game that we’re determined to win."
An Employee Engagement Survey was also launched at the end of 2014, with a response rate of 77%.The results clearly show that employees are supporting the company’s direction. "There is more focus on innovation, we are becoming more agile in adopting new ways of working and our team spirit is strong. Also, sharing know-how is becoming part of our DNA and our employees are feeling supported during these exciting but turbulent times. At the same time, it is clear that we need to shift the focus towards Sanoma’s bright future and make employee well-being a bigger priority."
By streamlining its organisation, Sanoma has increased its scope for investing in its people. Workforce planning provides Sanoma with an opportunity to forecast which capabilities are needed to return to growth in a fast-paced media market.
"We will be strengthening our capabilities in areas such as online and mobile development, marketing and sales, technology relating to architecture & IT sourcing, whilst data analytics also continues to be a skill in demand. In our Learning business, instructional design in editorial expertise, education method development and didactical skills and knowledge) will be some of the focus areas for us to develop."
In addition to clarifying future capability requirements, workforce planning enables Sanoma to deal systematically with risks related to growth. "One major workforce risk is our organisational structure, which needs fine-tuning after the major changes in 2015. Competences are another risk. Do we have the right people on board and do we understand which skills we will need in the future? We have undergone some significant changes that have had an impact on the way we operate and increased the organisation’s readiness to move forward. However, change always leads to uncertainty, so we need to allow time for employees to get used to a new and different way of working."
"In 2014 we identified successors for all the Executive Management Group positions and we are doing the same for the top 80 ‘chairs’. We have identified internal candidates who we feel could rise through the ranks, but in some cases we will turn to external hires. They will also bring in fresh ideas."
Learning and development
For the remainder of 2015, Cuthbert’s team will focus on culture and skills. The Pulse surveys showed that more confidence is needed, so Sanoma will help people to understand their role in the transformation process with the support of the performance management cycle. Sanoma will also create more opportunities for rewarding the right behaviours when they lead to tangible results. This will be achieved by launching recognition initiatives that allow all Sanoma employees to recognise and be recognised for Sanoma’s successes, thereby reinforcing Sanoma’s values.
On the skills side, Sanoma will further expand the learning and development curriculum, focusing on new media know-how, industry knowledge and well-being. In keeping with Sanoma’s new-found entrepreneurial zest, the company will adopt a ‘launch and learn’ approach to skills assessment and development. This will involve moving quickly from a pilot scheme to measuring results and then replicating what works. By offering employees the opportunity to assess their current digital skills relative to future requirements, Sanoma aims to build up the organisation’s digital know-how gradually among all employee groups.
Arthur Hoffman: speed, agility and quickly changing course when needed
It has been an important and eventful first year for Sanoma Digital. The newly formed business unit is part of a matrix organisation, together with Sanoma Media Netherlands and Sanoma Media Finland, which oversees the pure-play digital businesses and their development, spearheading the digital transformation of Sanoma. “The other roles for Sanoma Digital are to work closely with the country organisations on cross-media opportunities and in key areas such as mobile, video, and Big Data,” says CEO Arthur Hoffman. “Additionally, the Sanoma Lab and our venture arm are part of Sanoma Digital, and both of these are very important company-wide innovation initiatives.”
Harri-Pekka Kaukonen: "This is a great company, with a great heritage and a great future"
Three years into its transformation process, Sanoma has reinvented itself as a digitally savvy company. With the organisation’s structure, strategy and culture firmly defined, Sanoma is making confident strides towards organic growth in 2016. CEO Harri-Pekka Kaukonen explains why Sanoma’s credibility was restored in 2014 and why growth and culture will be the core themes of 2015.
Kim Ignatius: back to organic growth in 2016
“We want to make the most of our resources and capital – which means we need to prioritise and choose those assets with the best strength and potential,” says Kim Ignatius, Chief Financial Officer at Sanoma.
Peter de Mönnink: better value propositions across all media
In 2014, Sanoma Media Netherlands rationalised its portfolio, launched 17 projects to increase top and bottom line growth, invested heavily in TV and integrated the Sanoma and SBS offerings more closely.
Pia Kalsta: taking the multi-channel perspective in everything we do
Sanoma Media Finland’s CEO Pia Kalsta is pleased to report significant digital developments for numerous brands. For television and radio, 2014 was also a good year. Print remains an important element in the portfolio.
John Martin: co-creating solutions together with teachers
Sanoma Learning had a successful year. It delivered organic growth and strong profitability, achieved high growth in digital sales and extended its international reach. CEO John Martin says Sanoma Learning is poised to transform K12 education with digital solutions that improve learning outcomes for pupils, support teachers and increase engagement.
Key figures financial report 2014
Key figures financial report 2014
Chairman of the Board Antti Herlin: signs of growth
“The employees of Sanoma have shown their determination and diligence during tough times on the market. They have restructured the company and refocused their portfolio. They have invested in people and technology. And they have made swift progress towards creating innovative multi-channel offerings.
Chief Technology Officer Mikael Nurmi: ready for the digital future
Sanoma’s technology organisation worked hard during 2014 to build the structures and capabilities necessary for taking the Group further into the digital future.
Vice President Strategy and PMO Leila Kaleva: committed to change
”Sanoma's employees are very committed to transformation. Thanks to this mindset we are moving forward fast,” says Leila Kaleva, who has been leading the implementation and follow-up of Sanoma’s strategic change programme and strategy process since January 2014.
Young Digital Planet ready to teach the world
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bingel wants to be a favourite learning brand
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VOoruit digital platform as a frontrunner
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Corporate Social Responsibility
Helsingin Sanomat, a mobile multimedia brand
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Fresh concepts strengthen Nelonen Media
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New services at Sanoma recruitment
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Mun Treenari, lean is good!
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LINDA. spreads her wings
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Sanoma Ventures, nothing ventured nothing gained
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KIJK: supply meets demand
KIJK is a house of content that sources movies, Dutch and US series (including earlier seasons), and extras such as exclusive interviews from Dutch TV channels SBS6, Net5, Veronica and SBS9.
Sanoma Digital leads the way
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Kymppi adds up to success in Finland
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Leading the way in personalised learning
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Sanoma Lifestyle, home-grown content producers
When Sanoma Lifestyle couldn’t find the right people to produce the kind of commercial content its clients were increasingly asking for, the company simply created its own training programme.
Exam preparation and performance tools
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