SkiStar's employees are the key to the company’s success and our biggest asset. Their commitment and hospitality is a prerequisite for ensuring our guests have memorable mountain experiences. Our “Employees & Culture” foundation enables us to strengthen strategic initiatives together with our employees, managers and organisation.
It is nothing new to us that employees and culture are one of the
foundations of SkiStar’s business and success. Our foundation
means we make the obvious role that our employees and our culture play for the business visible. To continue having committed, motivated and satisfied employees, we will clarify the priorities we work on over the long term so that they can remain this way. We conducted employee surveys during the year to gather important insights and ensure we are heading in the right direction. The three areas in focus include: our culture and values, continuing to invest in strong leadership and developing the organisation. In the coming financial years, we will identify and implement our strategic activities and priorities moving forward.
A special workplace
Guests are our focus at SkiStar, and their experience and satisfaction at our destinations are largely due to the employees who make their holidays memorable. Our culture is characterised by a high level of dedication and pride in what we do in the areas in which we operate. We offer not only a job, but a lifestyle. Committed, motivated and satisfied employees who are happy at work are a prerequisite for our ability to deliver memorable experiences for our guests, and to ensure they return year after year. We offer the opportunity to combine a challenging job with varied tasks and an active lifestyle. Moving to the mountains and living at our destinations is a unique experience that creates a strong community among colleagues. We have a wide range of tasks to perform, and in a normal season we recruit for over 80 different positions. People stay with us for a long time because it is a lifestyle they enjoy, they want to continue developing and like meeting people. Our goal is for two-thirds of our seasonal staff to return each year, as over 65 percent of our seasonal employees did in 2020/21. Many of our employees choose to work on new tasks or at new destinations, and over 80 percent of our employees state that they enjoy their work.
Employer in sparsely populated areas
SkiStar is also a major employer in sparsely populated areas – and in some cases the largest employer in the area. We try to recruit and attract employees from local areas to enable more people in sparsely populated areas to work where they live and have the opportunity to stay. For employees who have been with us for a long time, we are keen to enlarge our range of professional development options to ensure opportunities for growth and motivation at work. We also collaborate with nearby schools, offering internships to provide work experience and showcase our workplace to potential employees in the future.
Work environment, health and safety
It is self-evident that SkiStar’s workplaces must be safe, secure
and accident-free. We have a systematic work environment initiative that is pursued at each destination by a work environment team that conducts safety inspections and risk assessments. In the event of serious incidents, there is a crisis management organisation with procedures and crisis groups at each destination, which then shift into crisis mode. SkiStar conducts annual crisis management exercises at our destinations to maintain and strengthen our crisis management capability.
During the financial year, a total of 111 (105) accidents/nearmisses were reported among SkiStar’s employees. None of these near-accidents was classified as serious. The distribution of accidents/ incidents by destination is not reported as the maturity per destination varies. Efforts are being made to enhance reporting of the number of accidents and near-misses.
SkiStar carries out regular employee surveys to ensure a good and pleasant work environment. These employee surveys also serve to identify areas where there is potential for improvement. Following the surveys, three focus areas are selected that SkiStar then works on to bring about further improvement, and to respond to employees’ preferences and expectations. Health checks are also carried out regularly to prevent occupational risks and contribute to the physical wellbeing of the company’s employees. Performance and salary reviews are conducted annually with all employees.
SkiStar should be a workplace with good working conditions and a healthy balance between work and free time. We conduct annual employee surveys to ensure a positive and healthy work environment and identify opportunities for improvement. Each employee undergoes at least one performance review per year to ensure a good work situation. Health checks are conducted regularly to prevent risks at work and ensure that our employees are well.
Diversity and equality
Equal treatment and rights apply regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, disability or age. SkiStar does not accept any form of discrimination and takes strong action in response to incidents and conduct that contravenes SkiStar’s policies and directives. The company’s corporate culture is characterised by values and attitudes that are consistent with SkiStar’s diversity policy. As with other policies, the diversity policy is reviewed annually. Responsibility for active gender equality work lies with each department/business area manager. SkiStar has a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination and discriminatory treatment. SkiStar places great emphasis on the importance of valuing differences and diversity. SkiStar works to create an inclusive working environment, an important aspect of which is for all employees to feel a sense of belonging.
Another key issue for both the company and the industry is recruitment and ensuring that the right skills are available in the future. SkiStar’s mountain locations mean that it needs to devote considerable time to developing partnerships with companies that run similar seasonal operations during the summer months, and the company works closely with local firms in the tourism industry. SkiStar uses an online recruitment tool that promotes a qualitative selection process. SkiStar’s values are matched with those of potential candidates. A well-structured recruitment process lays the ground for successful appointments, which then contribute to the prevailing positive corporate culture.
Employer for young people
SkiStar has provided work for more than 12,000 young people aged 18 to 24 over the past ten years, and the company receives thousands of new applications every year. Being a big employer for young people and offering a way into the job market is an important recruitment strategy for SkiStar. Launching school partnerships and offering work experience placements are just some examples of how SkiStar is working to attract young people even before they enter the labour market and start looking for their first job. SkiStar makes a concerted effort to recruit and attract employees from the local areas around SkiStar’s ski resorts. A job with SkiStar provides a great deal of significant experience and opportunities to develop in areas like service, teamwork and interaction with guests. Combining stimulating tasks with the opportunity to lead an active lifestyle and a strong sense of belonging among colleagues boosts SkiStar’s appeal as an employer.
Training and education
To ensure that employees maintain and develop their skills and to guarantee future needs, the Group places great emphasis on training and education. All employees complete an online course every year, which focuses on important areas such as sustainability, GDPR and working environment. In addition, SkiStar implements an annual internal leadership programme, and a trainee programme that aims to provide continuity for key functions. Since SkiStar’s operations are seasonal, there is a substantial need for seasonal employees. Every winter season, the workforce is made up of roughly two-thirds returning employees and one-third new. This puts pressure on the company to ensure that recruitment, training and staff inductions are systematic and simple, so that a large volume of seasonal employees is well prepared in a short period of time. As an employer, SkiStar is extremely proud of its ability to offer many young people the chance to gain professional experience and the opportunity to develop their skills in their working lives. Many of SkiStar’s employees choose to stay on within the organisation, but with new duties or at a different destination. All employees are encouraged to further develop their skills internally, and combined positions are common.
Strong leadership and managers are a core issue for SkiStar and a
prerequisite for providing a good guest experience. We want talented and committed managers with a personal leadership style who want to learn new things and develop. We have offered leadership training in recent years to give our managers the right conditions to succeed and feel content. During the year we further developed the training course under the name SkiStar Academy to cover a wider scope. At SkiStar Academy, we want to educate and inspire across a wide range of subjects, from rhetoric and digitalisation to employeeship. The programme covers all managers and leadership roles, be they full-time or seasonal employees.