Hydro employees around the world voted for a colleague to be Hydro's Ambassador, based on personal attributes and according to his involvement with the company's values. Next, groups were selected representing each of the business areas for a visit to the bauxite, alumina and aluminum operations, which were recently acquired in Brazil.
During the trip, which went to the state of Pará, where the three companies are located, they had the opportunity to get an overview of the operations and, even more importantly, they got to know other groups of employees at each location.
Impressed by Paragominas What they found was that, despite being in an unfamiliar nature: landscape, climate, colors, food, language, they felt at home with their new colleagues. Indeed, they felt that the integration of the new operations at Hydro has everything to succeed.
The first stop was at the bauxite mine in Paragominas. During the group's visit to the extensive area, they learned about how the important ore is mined and processed for shipment to the Alunorte alumina refinery, which is more than 200 km away.
"I was really impressed with Brazil," said Andrew Walker, who works at the aluminum plant in Kurri Kurri, Australia, and is Ambassador for Primary Metal. "It is a very large country, like Australia, with many natural resources. I was also very impressed with the Paragominas bauxite mine.
"I was very impressed with the standard of maintenance and the focus on safety and the environment, with their attitude towards Hydro Way and Hydro Values and their dedication to the new organization, of which they are now part."
The "Hydro Way Work Seminar", with around twelve Paragominas employees, allowed everyone to exchange important information about how Hydro operates as a company and how employees relate to each other and to work.
Brazilian employees had already received a lot of information about Hydro Way and the company's values: courage, cooperation, vision, determination and respect, so they had a lot to talk about.
They found the same important characteristics about Hydro Way and that they are very similar to their own personal values. In addition, they really appreciated the opportunity to meet more Hydro employees from around the world.
After Paragominas, the Ambassadors spent a day at Alunorte and at the Albras aluminum factory in Barcarena, which is several hours by bus from the bauxite mine. There they also visited the facilities and met the local employees. "It is good that they came and learned about the challenges we face every day," said Valdemir Santos, who works in Paragominas. "During the transaction, there was uncertainty and lack of knowledge, but now we are quite satisfied. By working together, we will be able to achieve our goals."
Of course, the Ambassadors' trip was just the beginning. Many employees in Brazil said they are eager to learn even more about how they will consolidate at Hydro, and have a real interest in finding ways to improve the lines of communication between them. This is already underway, as teams have already been created to strengthen ties with Hydro's recent acquisitions.
Connection between people
The meeting was not just work for the group, who traveled so far to visit Brazil. They watched the "friendly" soccer match between the teams from Brazil and Argentina (Brazil won 2-0), at the Belém stadium, which seats almost 50,000 spectators; took a boat trip from Belém, the capital of Pará, where Hydro has a regional office and toured Rio de Janeiro before returning.
The Ambassadors agreed that it was an excellent trip. Andrew Walked summed up, on behalf of the group: "I believe there was a connection between everyone."