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Offline workers

How Kruger is building a culture of recognition for offline workers

Guest blog on offline workers

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Kruger is a fourth-generation family business with more than a century of history transforming renewable resources into sustainable, high-quality essentials for everyday life. Over the last 100 years, we’ve diversified our operations with a view to long-term investment driven by innovation, excellence, and sustainable development principles. At the heart of our growth, we’ve always been guided by our values: entrepreneurship; family spirit; commitment; integrity; and customer focus.— and today, we are committed to building a culture of recognition.

Today, we not only have 20 manufacturing and production sites across Canada and the United States, we also own and operate a portfolio of 47 renewable energy sites and are a North American leader in paper and paperboard recycling. Since 1904, our Kruger family has grown to include over 5,500 incredible individuals who embody our values. Many of those employees are offline, working hard at our mills and production facilities.

Across industries, offline workers have traditionally lacked the tools and attention that online workers have come to expect from the comfort of their desks, but that doesn’t mean their needs are different. By investing in the right policies, programs, and tools, we have focused on increased engagement and belonging for every type of worker, ensuring that we are not only offering competitive compensation and benefits, but we are also creating an environment that is safe, welcoming, and empowers people to thrive.


Creating a culture of recognition

Research from the Achievers Workforce Institute shows that recognition is rated as equally important by offline workers as by online workers. However, while recognition is rated just as highly, offline workers are significantly less likely to have a recognition program or to say they are recognized at least monthly. We know that the more frequently an offline worker is recognized, the more likely they are to have a strong sense of belonging and to be engaged, productive, and committed. That’s why we place such a great emphasis on our recognition program, Kruger1904.

Kruger1904 is designed to meet employees where they are and build a culture of recognition and appreciation. Starting with social recognition and expanding into points-based peer-to-peer recognition, our program is just one of the reasons Kruger stands apart from other employers, especially in the pulp and paper industry.

In rolling out the program to our manufacturing and production employees, we are bringing recognition to meet the team where they are. We set up Achievers-specific kiosks in break rooms, and began a site tour, sharing the Kruger1904 platform with employees on the shop floor. This high-touch, in-person activation jumped our Achievers activation to 70-80% at each site.

This activation initiative has gone beyond impressive registration numbers, it’s had a huge impact in building a culture of recognition for our facilities. Over the last three months, our 2,400 users have sent ~1,500 recognitions.

Creating an engaging employee hub

In any organization with offline workers, communication can be a challenge. That’s why we use our Achievers platform as an accessible employee hub. We use the announcement features to communicate to our employees in both French and English, and we’ve added employee resources and useful links for things like cyber security training to make Kruger1904 a one-stop employee information shop.

We also leverage surveys and polls within Achievers to support our broader organizational efforts. For example, this spring, we ran a campaign targeting our nightshift workers using surveys to educate the team on proper eating and nutrition. Similarly, in addition to our many initiatives supporting women in STEM and trades, we ran a popular survey campaign for International Women’s Day.

Technology-powered people programs

As a company with over 100 years of history, our team is excited to be leveraging modern workforce technology to update and refresh our HR programs. In addition to modernizing our services anniversary program within our Achievers platform, we’re also expanding the Kruger Boutique so that our employees can buy personalized branded items. As our recognition program evolves, we look forward to expanding our offerings and finding new, exciting ways to create a deeper sense of belonging amongst our employees.

A great place to work, since 1904

Our industry faces unique workforce challenges. The pulp and paper industry, in particular, requires a proactive approach that addresses these challenges and focuses on creating a positive work environment, providing opportunities for development and growth, and creating an environment where all of our employees feel a deep sense of belonging and alignment with our values.

At Kruger, we believe in giving our employees the space to grow within a dynamic and stimulating environment, nurturing their development, encouraging their involvement and enriching their professional lives, and our recognition platform Kruger1904 is a major piece of our employee engagement and retention puzzle.

This guest blog was authored by Mélanie Simon, Director, Talent Management at Kruger Inc.

Profile image of author: Mélanie Simon

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