8 December 2020
A remarkably low staff turnover rate and the Baltic Family Spirit have been cornerstones for Baltic Yachts’ success at the leading edge of superyachting
In keeping with almost five decades of unparalleled, ground breaking, award winning heritage, Baltic Yachts has continued production throughout a globally challenging 2020 on three new yachts, which remain on schedule for their launch dates in 2021.
Keeping the show firmly on the road in adverse times and building to such exacting standards can be attributed to the dedication of our entire staff, in turn driven by a level of loyalty reflected in our historically almost nonexistent employee turnover rate. Even more remarkable is, that over a third of our staff has been with us for two decades – or longer.
The Baltic Family Spirit is unique, existing among employees and customers alike. This spirit manifests itself in the commitment and pride taken in our work, the quality of which is second to none. New employees get the immediate benefit of vast personal experience that they can learn from and repeat customers often find old friends amongst the team making their next dream come true.
The importance of The Baltic Family and the spirit of loyalty and dedication it creates is our single most valuable asset
said CEO Anders Kurtén, who recognises the value of teamwork internally and the ability to work with external expertise.
”I believe we have a couple of major factors that contribute to long tenures. We tend to both expect and give a lot of personal responsibility to our employees, and this creates trust. Trust and respect I find, beget trust and respect. Also, our value promise: Lighter, Stiffer, Faster, Greener – Together – is built into the foundation of our approach to the product on all levels, becoming a real source of inspiration
and drive for employees. They see the yachts we build evolve and, at the same time, develop their own skillsets and competence,” he added.
On gender equality, it is worth noting that over the past 30 years Baltic Yachts has appointed a number of female CEOs including Marjo Keiramo and Lisbeth Staffans, who ran the company successfully for 18 years. Women constitute 15% of the total workforce and 20% of the production staff. Three heads of department out of 11 departments are women.
Ole Björkström is one of the longest serving members of staff at Baltic Yachts with 42 years employment to his name. He started his career in June 1978 when he was effectively head hunted while still being trained in house building.
Now he is a foreman in the laminating shop in charge of 20 people, but his deep experience across many disciplines makes him a particularly valuable employee. His early work involved building the complete teak decks for production yachts, including the popular Baltic 39. But it was the advent of the custom yacht building era which allowed him to develop his skills.
Living just 1km from the yard in Bosund allows Ole to enjoy a great work/life balance. “I like to be at sea aboard my motor boat when I have time off,” said Ole. “She’s a 7m boat from 1982 and as she’s laminated I’m able to look after her!” he added. He also gets help from his two sons both of whom work at Baltic, Samuel, 28, with deck hardware and Mathias, 26, as an electrical engineer.
Rolf Ahlö has been working for Baltic just two months longer than Ole Bjorkström and was also a laminator in his early days. He, too, has a particularly wide range of skills developed over his long career.
“What is interesting about Baltic Yachts is that the company has given me the chance to develop,” said Rolf whose experience as a joiner with interiors led to him becoming a foreman in this department. When Rolf joined Baltic, series production yachts were the core business and as the custom revolution took place he was able to widen his skills.
Favourite yacht? “Visione – she’s light, stiff and fast!” said Rolf referring to the evergreen Baltic 147 which was without doubt ahead of her time when she was launched in 2002. Living close to his workplace Rolf can pursue his hobbies of cross-country skiing and cycling. Of his two children, Dick also works for Baltic as an electrical engineer.
Malin Ström, 28, started working for Baltic Yachts when she was an intern with the Marketing Department while she completed her studies in International Business at Vaasa University.
But she was already acquainted with the company having worked as a deckhand aboard Baltic 141 Canica before she went to university. She is part of the After Sales Team at the company’s Service and Refit facility in Palma de Mallorca and also works alongside Head of Marketing Elisabet Holm in Jakobstad. “It’s a great opportunity to grow and build my experience,” said Malin.
“What I like about the company is its flat management in which there’s no such thing as a stupid question!” Her international experience has given her invaluable insight into how yachts are maintained and managed and while in Mallorca she has been working on her Spanish language. Born in Jakobstad, Malin’s family has always enjoyed boating.