Social responsibility

An attractive employer and partner
The Group’s employees are one of Synsam’s most important assets. Being able to attract, develop and retain employees is a critical success factor. Motivated employees with the right qualifications and insight into the needs of our customers are crucial to Synsam’s continued development as the leading optical retail chain in the Nordic region. Synsam aims be the most attractive company in the optical retail sector. The Group strives to offer a safe, inspiring and inclusive workplace.

Motivated and skilled employees
Synsam takes an active approach to designing and refining its work approach in order to achieve a good work environment for its employees, with skills development, health, diversity and equal treatment receiving priority. Synsam has a zero tolerance policy for harassment. The Group’s objective is for at least 85 percent of employees to be motivated and proud, and to share the company’s values. The result was 91 percent according to the employee survey conducted in 2022. No Group-wide employee survey was conducted in 2023.

As an employer, Synsam also has a responsibility to uphold fair social conditions throughout its entire supply chain. Synsam engages in dialogue with its largest suppliers to ensure good social conditions.

Supply and development of skills
Today, Synsam has approximately 1,000 licensed opticians. There is a shortage of opticians, and they perform an important social function by improving public health. Due to an ageing population and increased use of screens from an early age, the demand for opticians will likely continue to grow, and the role will become more crucial to society over time. Synsam is working actively to encourage more people to train as opticians, but also to retain the opticians we have. Ensuring that our opticians are motivated and have a good work environment is an important part of this effort. In order to offer more flexibility, Synsam offers the position of Remote Examination Optician. The service allows opticians to work remotely by performing eye examinations digitally. In brief, it means that the optician participates digitally via a screen in the examination room at the store. On site in the room and physically present throughout the session is a trained optometric assistant with some clinical expertise who assists the customer in the examination room as well as the optician remotely. The quality is just as high as for a traditional eye examination, and tests that have been conducted show that the customer satisfaction results are at the same high level.

Several webinars were organised during the year as part of the effort to offer continued skills development to the Group’s opticians. A number of different courses are offered on the internal training platform Synsam Academy, including the opportunity to specialise in various optical subject areas such as the treatment of myopia. Other employees also have the opportunity to develop their skills through Synsam Academy. Courses in subjects ranging from optics to contact lens webinars, driver’s licence checks and product knowledge are provided on an ongoing basis as part of the training programme.

Safe workplaces throughout the value chain 
Synsam is a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The collaborative initiative BSCI helps the Group to ensure a high level of responsibility throughout its supply chain, and Synsam also uses the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct. It is based on 11 principles that include the prohibition of child labour, forced labour and corruption. The principles also include requirements for safety and reasonable working hours. The Group’s membership in BSCI means that regular inspections are performed at Synsam’s production units in Asia. Full-day inspections were performed by independent auditors during the year to ensure compliance with BSCI’s requirements. No serious deviations were reported in 2023. In addition to the BSCI principles, Synsam also requires all carriers and freight forwarders to have collective agreements for their employees.

Synsam has a strict zero tolerance policy against corruption. There is zero tolerance for bribery, corruption and other forms of unethical behaviour in business relationships. The Group’s anti-corruption policy governs, among other things, the giving and receiving of benefits or gifts, and the rules governing agents and other intermediaries. Synsam informs its employees about the policy. No attempts at or suspicions of corruption or bribery among employees were recorded during the year.

Whistleblower policy
Synsam has a whistleblower policy that is available both internally and externally. The policy was developed in line with Synsam’s core values and Code of Conduct. Synsam believes it is important that any wrongdoing or suspicion of wrongdoing that takes place within the organisation is reported, investigated and addressed as quickly as possible. In 2023, one case was reported (0).

Equal and inclusive
Synsam’s ambition is to offer an equal and inclusive workplace. Synsam strives for an even gender distribution at all levels of the company. All management groups and boards of the Group’s companies should have an even gender balance. The proportion of women or men should not fall below 40 percent and not exceed 60 percent.

Read more in Synsam Groups Annual and Sustainability Report 2023