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Published: 27 january 2021 14:15

Two Lithuanian companies are recognised as top employers for the seventh consecutive year

Asociatyvi nuotr. nuotr. / Asociatyvi nuotr.

Companies Philip Morris Baltic and Philip Morris Lithuania were awarded by the independent Top Employers Institute in the Netherlands with the Global Top Employer certificate for the seventh consecutive year. These Lithuanian companies were awarded with this prestigious award in recognition of their excellence in people practices and ability to meet the needs of a modern workforce and provide improved working conditions and learning, development, and leadership opportunities.

The Philip Morris companies operating in Lithuania were among the world’s 1,600 best employers from 120 countries. According to the People and Culture Manager at Philip Morris Baltic Asta Sakalauskaitė, an objective and rigorous external assessment was carried out from a global context. This award signifies that our human resource strategies are following the right path, while our experts provide us with valuable insights relevant to our quickly-changing world.

“Today’s world changes at a tremendous speed. We constantly update our human resources programs, considering market trends, business environment and other changes, seeking to improve our employees’ working conditions, motivate them and help them adapt to changes,” A. Sakalauskaitė said. “We foster a company culture based on respect and inclusion. Every employee has the opportunity to realize their full potential, regardless of a person’s gender, age, nationality, or other various characteristics that make them authentic. We are proud of our efforts being recognized not only by our employees but also by external experts.

The Top Employer Institute awards the Top Employer certification following a robust assessment, validated by the auditing company Grant Thornton. The companies were required to demonstrate that they had achieved excellence in six HR dimensions by answering 400 questions. Topics included: business and human resource strategy, work environment and dealing with change, employer branding and talent acquisition, personnel learning and development, employee well-being, engagement, and recognition, and finally, the company’s values and ethics. The assessment also considered the progress that the certified companies had achieved in a year.

Significant changes have taken place inside the company in recent years. The company is transforming into a technology-based company, thus leading a transformation in the tobacco industry. Philip Morris is now pursuing the ambitious goal of creating a world free of cigarette smoke.

“We have become an innovative technological company that strives to produce science-based products that are less harmful than smoking. Our employees have been the key driving force in making this change, so we are continuously looking for new solutions to improve their working conditions while also creating more development and career opportunities,” explained A. Sakalauskaitė.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic created numerous challenges for all employers. However, Philip Morris Baltic and Philip Morris Lithuania worked to protect its employees and their families by implementing strict safety measures. From the beginning of the pandemic, the employees were provided with suitable personal hygiene equipment, while those who were able to perform their duties remotely were given the items they needed to work from home.

“The pandemic has changed our regular work practices and HR management methods, and some of those changes will remain in place. The longer we continue working remotely, the lesswe can see the link between our efforts and a workplace in the company’s offices. We have conducted periodic surveys of our employees, which show that most of our colleagues want to maintain some flexibility after the pandemic is over, so we are willing to provide that option. At the same time, we realize that the condition that accompanies remote work combined with the current uncertainties may negatively impact an employee’s engagement, motivation and emotional health. As a result, we must take new measures to prevent this from happening,” said A. Sakalauskaitė.

Last year, the company launched its Happy Parents program. The program helps employees to balance their family life and professional goals by offering employees returning from parental leave a flexible schedule during the first month and allowing them to work only half of the required hours while continuing to receive their full salary.

The company’s high standards for its operations have also been recognized by other awards, including the Equal-Salary certificate that was awarded to Philip Morris Lithuania and Philip Morris Baltic in 2019. In the same year, the independent auditing company TUV Austria awarded the Philip Morris companies in Lithuania with the Smokeless Employee certificate, while Philip Morris Lietuva earned the Carbon-Neutral status, which it has maintained during the last year. The employees’ solutions have contributed to this continuous improvement in the company’s activities, thereby reducing harm to the environment.

Philip Morris Lithuania was the first foreign investor in Lithuania. The company began operating in Lithuania in 1993 and has since become one of the country’s largest taxpayers. Over the past decade, Philip Morris Lithuania and Philip Morris Baltic have paid more than two billion euros in taxes to the Lithuanian state budget.

Philip Morris International operates two companies in Lithuania. It is one of the 16 international organisations to have been awarded by this year’s Global Top Employer certification.

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