Together we are FORTE

3300 over

employees

FORTE’s staff includes

600

people employed

at FORTE have been working with us for more than 15 years

800 around

employees

take part in development training every year

The strength of a company depends on the people who work in it, or rather on those who form it…

Maciej Formanowicz

Foundation

The most important elements of FORTE’s organisational culture are values.

Firstly, RESPONSIBILITY for employees, customers, business partners and local communities. We listen to the needs of each of these groups and determine courses of action based on these needs. Secondly, good and honest COOPERATION, in which we value the diversity of opinions and ideas because it enables us to create the best solutions. Another value is GROWTH , understood as both the number of products sold or the size of investment, as well as a friendly workplace and opportunities for personal and professional development. And finally, EMPATHY, which enables us to pause attentively, to open up to others and appreciate what may seem not visible at first sight.

Every day, our actions are guided by our corporate code of ethics.

It sets out the standards and principles we follow in our relations with colleagues, customers, suppliers, competitors and social and natural environment.

Diversity is essential because it enables us to see different points of view, drives our actions, encourages discussion and the search for the best solutions.

FORTE employees differ from one another in many respects, but we have one thing in common: shared values and the belief that every human being, regardless of age, gender, education, origin or views, deserves respect and fair treatment.

A company is not just a workplace. It is a team of people who trust one another, respect one another and speak the language of the same values.

At FORTE, we make sure that this is the case. We value openness, the free exchange of ideas and the opportunity for discussion. But at the same time, we remember the rules that structure our day-to-day cooperation and guarantee fair treatment of all members of the organisation.

We respect the opinions of all colleagues and appreciate their willingness to express them. Open dialogue helps develop creative solutions, which is why we discuss, exchange information and conclusions and make joint arrangements. We regularly organise meetings, during which we discuss key issues.

We know how important internal communication is in a company, so we are constantly developing, improving and adapting it to the needs of all employees.

Health and safety

We care about one another by jointly creating a safe and healthy working environment. We not only carry out tasks arising from OSH regulations, but we also introduce additional internal initiatives that strengthen our internal safety culture.

Our commitment to creating a safe and friendly workplace is confirmed by positive ratings achieved in social audits. In two of the audits conducted according to the international SMETA and ICS standards at the end of 2021, we received excellent results.
SMETA and ICS are some of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world and cover four main issues: working conditions, occupational health and safety, business ethics and ecology. The results of both audits confirmed that FORTE apply the best practices consistent with the international ETI Base Code of Conduct, and the result obtained in the ICS audit showed 100% compliance.

The FORTE and TANNE voluntary fire brigades play a special role in the promotion of safety in the FORTE Group.

They are made up of our employees who work in different areas of the company and who have the appropriate knowledge and training in the field of fire safety and first aid. They are constantly improving their qualifications, e.g. by training and cooperating with external Fire Service units during manoeuvres on the premises of FORTE Group plants.

It is FORTE’s tradition to organise inter-company sports and fire-fighting competitions, during which we can admire the skills and efficiency of our firefighters. The competition has been held for many years and it is great fun combined with excitement and healthy rivalry!

Development

It is not without reason that development is written into our code of values. Continuous learning, the search for new solutions and innovations in all areas of the company, as well as shared experience mean that we continue to grow and maintain our position as an industry leader.

FORTE offers continuing education

In order to support talents and to enable the development of a wide group of employees, we have created the FORTE Academy. This is our in-house ‘university’, which includes cyclical staff development programmes. It enables employees to improve their qualifications and skills in the areas in which they work every day.

FORTE Academy in a nutshell

Adaptation training

which is the basis of onboarding, i.e. introduction of new employees to their responsibilities and culture of work in the company

On-the-job training

and instruction.

State exam preparation courses

focusing on the acquisition of formal qualifications, such as forklift driving.

Skill-building programmes

based on competence gap diagnoses and employee development paths.

Implementation workshops

supporting company-wide development projects and undertakings.

Lean management

workshops.

Managerial skill development programmes

such as the Production Manager Academy, intended for managerial staff from production and production-related areas.

Talent development programmes

introduced in the form of postgraduate studies.

Specialised development programmes

such as the In-house Coach Academy or the Assistant Academy.

Individual development programmes

that prepare employees to take up new roles or new tasks in the company.

Support

It is very important to be able to count on others. We are pleased that we can give this feeling to our employees and, in addition to stable employment, offer them additional benefits. Company nurseries, free foreign language learning, health prevention, holiday subsidies or support of sports activities – these are a few examples of the numerous activities offered by FORTE.

‘Yellow Elephant’ nursery schools

How can we help young parents reconcile work and family life? What can an employer do to enable them to have a stress-free return to work after the birth of a child? For example, open a nursery school. Or, better still, two nursery schools!

Our company nursery schools with crèche facilities known as ‘Yellow Elephants’, operating in Ostrów Mazowiecka since 2015 and in Suwałki since 2018, are facilities with the highest educational standards in the country.

The tutors conduct classes there using a bilingual (Polish-English) system based on an original curriculum that supports the all-round development of the child, in particular the development of social skills and emotional intelligence. The facilities also place great emphasis on physical activity and a healthy diet, which helps shape healthy habits from an early age.

We are proud of our facilities also for another reason – their architecture. The nursery school buildings and their surroundings were designed with really young children in mind. This is a real children’s world! The windows are at their eye level and all the equipment is adapted to children’s height.

The interiors are interesting, colourful, engaging, but not overly cluttered. Next to the nursery schools is a mini greenhouse, a playground and several sandpits. A space like this stimulates children’s curiosity about the world and, at the same time, shapes their aesthetic sensitivity. The designs of the buildings received a number of awards and distinctions for architectural projects.

Preventive healthcare

We do not postpone important matters. We have been committed to preventive healthcare for many years because we know how important it is in avoiding illnesses and maintaining good physical and mental condition. Over the last few years alone, we have:

  • offered free influenza vaccinations,
  • run healthcare campaigns, including anti-smoking and anti-viral campaigns,
  • joined nationwide campaigns such as ‘Pink Ribbon’ to fight breast cancer and ‘Movember’ to raise awareness among men about cancers that could affect them,
  • conducted free-of-charge preventive examinations,
  • organised webinars with medical specialists on, among others, health prevention and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pleasant surprises for… various occasions

With the birth of a child comes great joy. We celebrate the occasion with the newly minted parents and prepare a gift package for mothers returning from maternity leave.

The retirement of a colleague is also an emotional moment, especially since the people who leave us are usually those on whose knowledge, experience and good advice we have been able to count for many years. At the end of their work, they all receive a commemorative gift set.

Befriended sports

Some of us also enjoy spending time together after hours, sharing passions and interests. At FORTE, we have company football and volleyball teams.

For many years, we have supported the activities of a sailing club in Suwałki and angling teams in Ostrów Mazowiecka and Hajnówka. We also promote smaller sporting initiatives by supporting local sporting events.

Selected employee benefits

30% employee discount

for the purchase of furniture

New Year’s gift boxes or gift cards

for employees’ children

Possibility to join a group insurance

Possibility to purchase private healthcare packages

on preferential terms

Summer holiday subsidies

for employees and their children, group trips (e.g. to the theatre)

Financial vouchers

on the occasion of Easter and Christmas

Mutual assistance funds

Low-interest housing loans

Good neighbour

We want to be a good neighbour and actively participate in the social life of the towns and cities in which we operate. Therefore, as part of our charitable and sponsorship activities, we are always eager to support various projects in the field of education and parenting, health, safety, ecology, culture or the arts.

In 1998, Anna and Maciej Formanowicz established the AMF ‘Our Wayְ’ [Nasza Droga] Foundation, the purpose of which is to help shape young people in their sensitivity, social responsibility, life attitude and ability to make choices. The Foundation’s scholarship holders are gifted primary school graduates from the Ostrów district.

The Scholarship Aid Programme includes a series of workshops, lectures, cultural trips and meetings with authorities, during which the scholarship holders practise and develop their competences, acquire new skills and knowledge and learn to build relationships.

The right education has a major impact on career success. With this in mind, we support the education of children and young people in a broad context.

  • We work with universities and secondary schools to promote and develop vocational education. More than 300 students are currently being educated in secondary schools under the patronage of FORTE.
  • We organise internships, apprenticeships, competitions, lectures and webinars for young people.
  • We support research, teaching and scientific activities in the development of the wood and furniture industry.

We believe that culture influences the development of people and whole societies, so we are willing to engage in projects that promote it. We particularly appreciate local initiatives that keep the unique traditions and customs of a given region alive, support folk art and promote local artists.

  • Each year, we support important concerts, exhibitions and festivals that take place in our locations, such as the Suwałki Blues Festival – the largest open-air blues festival in Poland with an international reach, and the Festival of Orthodox Church Music in Hajnówka.
  • We offer support to social projects that activate local communities and foster integration. We participate in the annual Town Days and Harvest Festival celebrations.
  • We cooperate with the University of the Third Age and other NGOs.

We know that a lot depends on ourselves, our commitment, willingness to change and readiness to act. That is why we created the ‘FORMS – Factory of Initiatives’. It is an employee volunteering programme that helps FORTE employees contribute to their immediate environment by implementing their own ideas and financial support is provided by FORTE.

Seven of the programme’s editions to date have resulted in 87 completed projects. FORTE volunteers have refurbished classrooms, community halls and school canteens, created meeting places for farmers’ wives’ associations, laid out ski and bicycle routes, equipped a fire station and a hospital clinic, held reading workshops for young people and done much more for their communities. And that’s not the end! Every year, new editions of the programme are launched, and with them, new projects. The Factory of Initiatives has been operating continuously since 2016!

  • 7 editions
  • 553 thousand PLN Financial support from FORTE
  • 87 completed projects