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At Lassila & Tikanoja, workforce management
and leadership development are two of
the company’s five ongoing strategic
Everybody possesses tacit knowledge that can
be useful to their organisat...
feel fairly and equally treated and listened to
in decisions affecting them. During economic
Valkjärventie 7 A, 02130 Espoo, Finland, ☎ +358 9 452 0730
Läntinen Pitkäkatu 33, 20100Turku, Finland, ☎ +358 2 274 3100
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Corporate Spirit Newsletter 2/2014


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Corporate Spirit Newsletter 2/2014

  1. 1. 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 business efficiency. “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 our success.” 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. 22014 TURNINGRESULTSINTOACTIONREQUIRES MANAGEMENTINVOLVEMENTANDINITIATIVE
  2. 2. 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 duringtoday’seraofinformationsharing,being 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 aretheretoask,questionandconsider. 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 personalexperienceaswellasonsurveyresults. Kindregards, ERKKI LEHTI Research Director SHARINGTACIT KNOWLEDGE EMPLOYEEENGAGEMENT: 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 about everything. 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 innovativeness decrease. HOWTURBULENTTIMES ARE EXPERIENCED IN DIFFERENT CULTURES
  3. 3. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 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! JUHA ALA-LIPASTI Head of International Operations
  4. 4. 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 Av.GolfdeManquehue9750,LoBarnechea,Santiago,Chile,☎+56956288292 EMPLOYEE SURVEYS 360°ASSESSMENTS INTERNAL CO-OPERATION SURVEYS SOLUTIONS FOR UTILISINGTHE SURVEYS AND ASSESSMENTS Editor-in-chief:JukkaPohjola | Editor:MariKaarnavaara-Puutio | Layout:MainostoimistoDynastia | Printedby:TEMA-TEAM11116-14 | Circulation:7000 Corporate Spirit CSLtd Our annual interest group seminar took place in May in the former county prison of Helsinki.Despiteitsmurkyhistory,thevenuehostedacheerfulandsuccessfulgathering 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 onimprovinginternalcooperationandcreatingacommonunderstanding,aswellason 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 ManagerHelenaFernströmandCEOJukkaPohjolareflectedonestablishingourbusinessin 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 ONE-YEARCELEBRATIONOF CORPORATESPIRITAB Sommartider, hej hej! ANNUAL EVENTS 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 MEETUSAT