At Lassila & Tikanoja, workforce management
and leadership development are two of
the company’s five ongoing strategic
programmes. Creating a uniform company
culture and ensuring efficient implementation
of employee surveys may sound difficult to
achieve, but according to Human Resources
Director Kirsi Matero, even this challenge
can be turned into an opportunity to further
strengthen employee engagement. In a
service organisation such as L&T, this is directly
connected to customer experience and
“While our employees largely work at
customers’ premises, the distance between
them and their superiors can be quite great.
Many employees do not have access to email
or intranet, or even a work phone. It is evident
that our ambitious strategy needs to be
implemented under demanding conditions.
Some special measures are necessary.”
The first and foremost task in the efficient
execution of development plans was to
ensure that company management pays
sufficient attention and interest. Kirsi Matero
emphasises that L&T regarded the survey, its
results and action plans as priority tasks.
“The company management know that staff
are the most important profit factor in our trade.
Thus, everything needs to be done to ensure their
engagement and motivation. Realising this at
all organisational levels has really contributed to
Another key to making the results work for
the benefit of the company was the fact
that unit managers were briefed and trained
by headquarters to handle and manage
the development in their respective units.
While requiring some additional efforts, Kirsi
Matero points out that this was one of the
cornerstones in making it all happen.
“We wanted the message to go out in a uniform
way to every unit – thus, unit managers were
given communication packages with tools to
explain survey results and train their respective
superiors. Every unit documented their own
development plans, which are now being
executed and monitored.”
The results have been encouraging.The response
rate has increased along with employees’ job
satisfaction. An almost surprising 80 per cent
would recommend L&T as a workplace to others.
Along with her own organisation, Kirsi Matero
acknowledges the team at Corporate Spirit
that participated in interpreting the results and
training the unit managers. To keep the positive
development on the right track, the next survey
has already been scheduled.
Kirsi Matero, HR Director, Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj:
Lassila & Tikanoja is a service company transforming consumer society into
an efficient recycling society by reducing waste volumes, extending property
lifecycles, recovering materials and decreasing the use of raw materials and energy.
With operations in Finland, Sweden and Russia, L&T employs 8,000 people. Net
sales in 2013 amounted to EUR 668 million. L&T is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
HR INTELLIGENCE TO SUPPORT BUSINESS SUCCESS.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENTKNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENTEDITORIAL
Everybody possesses tacit knowledge that can
be useful to their organisation. Combining facts
with experiences enables a better outcome
in just about any kind of project. Particularly
able to put this vast potential of added value to
use creates significant opportunities to achieve
something truly unique. Thus, tacit knowledge
should be a focus of constant attention and
systematic implementation in any organisation
that wants to improve its performance.
Tacit knowledge is a way of building
personality and adding a particular spice to
the organisational identity. Successful sharing
begins with understanding the nature and
essence of tacit knowledge. During my 40-
year career, I have come to the conclusion
that – more than anything else – tacit
knowledge is about personal experiences.
Measured data comes out the same way for
anyone – and reading that data can be taught.
However, possessing tacit knowledge allows
us to interpret that data within its context.
It is a tool that organisations can use to gain
competitive advantage by differentiating
themselves from the competition.
Efforts have been made to create programmes
for efficient sharing of tacit knowledge. When
it comes to experiences and insights, individual
and varying methods are required. Essentially,
sharing is also a two-way street and is not based
on one person giving and the other one simply
taking and storing. Mentors are there to provide
support in arriving at conclusions and apprentices
Tacit knowledge is always a personal matter
and a subjective interpretation of individual
observations. It also includes a longitudinal
aspect, enabling professionals to base decision-
making and development suggestions on
The most engaged employees work with passion for their employer – while many staff
members work with very little effort, as if waiting for better times. In white-collar intensive
organisations in particular, some attitude groups regard their opportunities for participating
in decision-making very limited. This is largely due to confusion about decision-making
mechanisms. The same persons are also stressed by information overload and high levels
of bureaucracy. Additionally, every organisation has underperformers who are critical of just
Creating growth opportunities, even during difficult times, is a big challenge for management.
Managers have to ensure sufficient communication, as well as staff members’opportunities
to have an influence. Furthermore, they have to ensure that staff will be cared for at all times.
FEEDBACK AND RECOGNITION VALUED
During 28 years in the business, Corporate Spirit has surveyed employee engagement during
economic upturns and downturns in various cultures. Depending on the economic cycle,
there have been significant differences in engagement drivers, as well as variance. During
challenging times, staff criticism is often directed at excessive amount of rumours and
bureaucracy, as well as towards employer image – especially regarding recent development
and future prospects.
On the other hand, rewards and feedback are clearly more positively evaluated during
turbulent periods compared to prosperous times. Managers’ recognition for good work,
their support for employee development opportunities and employee satisfaction
with salaries are just a few examples. Understandably, willingness to change employers
plummets during a recession, even though work is more stressful than normal. People are
also more ready to take personal responsibility for their work.
INCREASING TRUST IN FUTURE PROSPECTS
During favourable times, people often feel that changes are well implemented in their
organisation – and that strategy and future prospects are well communicated. They also
Little by little, the impact of challenging
economic times on employee engagement
may become negative. As individual
employees start securing their own
work, levels of performance and
ARE EXPERIENCED IN
feel fairly and equally treated and listened to
in decisions affecting them. During economic
upswings, criticism is often targeted at
prerequisites for work, such as the appropriateness
of tools and systems.
What do we need to develop in order to improve or
maintain current engagement levels? In countries
with positive economic development, staff need
to believe in the future of their company, to trust
their top management and to evaluate how well
the management has communicated company
strategy and future prospects.
INCREASING WELL-BEING AND INTEREST
IN OWN WORK
In countries struggling with economic downturns,
engagement is explained in terms of how
interesting and challenging people perceive the
content of their work to be, as well as whether
they believe their employer emphasises staff well-
being. In China and India, people emphasise the
importance of working for an environmentally and
socially responsible company. Indian employees
also highlight the importance of being proud of
their employer’s products and services.
In Sweden, the possibilities of having an open
discussion with the management and taking
part in decision-making correlate with overall
engagement. Danes and Norwegians emphasise
the importance of their employer supporting
the staff’s professional development, whereas in
Finland it is very important that employees feel
they are treated fairly and equally.
Employee survey practices have changed
significantly since the turn of the millennium. An
employee survey suggests that the voice of staff
is heard. Especially during economic downturns,
managers need information on which areas to
focus on. When the economy is running well, also
managing becomes an easier task.
ENGAGEMENT LEVELS DEVELOP MORE
SLOWLY THAN ACTIONS
Organisations supported by professionally
conducted employee surveys have significantly
better prerequisites to maintain and attract talent.
Our numerous studies have also shown a clear
connection between employee engagement and
other performance indicators, such as customer
satisfaction. However, it is noteworthy that changes
in engagement levels are typically delayed with
regard to the change in operations, i.e. they may not
be observed in survey results until the following year.
To focus on the right kind of actions, managers
need information. It is essential to know what
motivates and engages talent in today’s turbulent
environment. Let’s make sure we have enough
understanding to make good decisions!
Head of International Operations
Valkjärventie 7 A, 02130 Espoo, Finland, ☎ +358 9 452 0730
Läntinen Pitkäkatu 33, 20100Turku, Finland, ☎ +358 2 274 3100
Birger Jarlsgatan 2, 5 tr, 114 34 Stockholm, Sweden, ☎ + 46 8 505 65 171
Dronning Eufemias Gate 16, 0191 Oslo, Norway, ☎ +47 2 389 8880
20 Broadwick Street, Soho,W1F 8HT, London, UK, ☎ +44 870 366 93 35
INTERNAL CO-OPERATION SURVEYS
SOLUTIONS FOR UTILISINGTHE SURVEYS
Editor-in-chief:JukkaPohjola | Editor:MariKaarnavaara-Puutio | Layout:MainostoimistoDynastia | Printedby:TEMA-TEAM11116-14 | Circulation:7000
Our annual interest group seminar took place in May in the former county prison of
of Finland’s most prominent HR leaders.
HR Directors Kirsi Matero of Lassila & Tikanoja and Piia Rautio of Finnkino reflected
on practical steps taken and lessons learnt from making the most of recent employee
surveys and development plans in their respective organisations.
Group discussions led by Corporate Spirit specialists gave exciting and insightful views
the importance of feedback for leaders.
Thanks to everyone for participating!
In April, we celebrated Corporate Spirit AB’s one-year-long journey in Sweden. Country
a new market, describing the process as both exciting and challenging.
In his entertaining “pep talk”, HR director Kenneth Söderström of Fazer stressed the
importance of leadership and lean methods for implementing employee survey results. The
charismatic psychologist Oskar Henriksson got his ready and willing audience engaged in
practical exercises and group discussions on how to improve engagement.
Summer is just around the corner, so why
not start loosening that tie and taking it a
little easier? The entire Corporate Spirit staff
would like to wish you a warm and relaxing
holiday. Should anything business-related
come up, we are at your service throughout
the holiday season, ready to help in a jiffy
so that you can get back to recharging your
batteries as quickly as possible!
BACK-TO-BASICS 2014: BEHIND BARS
CORPORATESPIRITAB Sommartider, hej hej!
14.10.2014 600min HR » Stockholm, Sweden
13.11.2014 600min HR » Munich, Germany
1.–3.12.2014 Airport Leadership and Change Forum » Munich, Germany