HR Intelligence to support business success.
Anja Kuparinen, Human Resources Director, Vaasan Group
“Engaged employees are essential
in creating a winning atmosphere”
To be a preferred place to work is one of the
four strategic objectives at Vaasan. As Human
Resources Director Anja Kuparinen says,
encouraging everyone to plan, comment,
participate and evaluate the working
conditions and the way of working is one of
the most efficient ways to commit them to
working towards common goals.
HR Development Manager Taru Haveri agrees:
“Continuous feedback from every organisational
level is essential in reaching our strategic
objectives. Our aim is to provide genuine
channels for every employee to give feedback
and participate in the development process.”
At Vaasan, the Stella steering model guides
people in their daily work, providing valuable
insight into the Vaasan way of doing things.
“All in all, hundreds of our own people have
participated in putting Stella together”, Anja
Kuparinen emphasises. “It provides a good
overview of our culture and values, a clear
picture of who we are. Thus it also provides
a useful framework for action plans and
To support and complement Stella, an annual
employee engagement survey has already
been carried out twice in an identical way at
every location of the group, which operates
in six countries. Corporate Spirit was chosen
as partner, largely because the survey model
fitted the idea and thinking behind Stella so
seamlessly. The ability to measure opinions
about engagement from several angles was
precisely what Stella requires.
“Corporate Spirit takes care of the actual survey,
prepares reports and provides initial analyses”,
says Taru Haveri, explaining the process behind
most of the results. “They train management
and the HR department to interpret the results
and to utilise the findings optimally.”
Anja Kuparinen says that there was a significant
increase in the response rate already in the
second survey. That is a clear indication of
two things: first, employees see the survey as
a genuinely efficient way to get their opinions
heard, and second, everyone is gradually
learning to take responsibility themselves.
A good workplace should not be something
that is offered up on a silver platter. It is the
people who make it as good as it can be.
In the case of Vaasan, this is definitely
the case. The survey carried out
by Corporate Spirit plays a
significant role. Taru Haveri
mentions that people have
already begun to ask about
the next survey – because
they want to further improve
their working atmosphere and
to get a chance to voice their
opinions. Luckily for them, spring
2014 is just around the corner.
Taru Haveri and Anja Kuparinen of Vaasan
Group see engaged employees as strategic
assets for business success.
The Vaasan Group is one of the leading bakery operators
in Northern Europe. Vaasan is the leading bakery
company in Finland and the Baltic region. Vaasan is also
the largest thin crisp and the second-largest crispbread
producer in the world, and a leading bake-off player in
the Nordic countries. In 2012, the group had about 2,800
employees and net sales of approximately EUR 412 million.
Tools for development
Why invest your
time and money
in HR surveys at
times like these?
When there are financial uncertainties that
force companies to re-organise their businesses
and re-prioritise their focus areas – possibly
leading to downsizing operations or having
to enter into negotiations with work councils
– it tends to be tempting to refer to “times
like these” as an excuse not to invest in HR
surveys. Other explanations could be that it’s a
no-brainer that employees are not happy, so
why investigate it; or that managers are busy
with business efforts and don’t have the time to
discuss HR survey results with their teams.
Based on my experience in business, over 25
years both in line management and in business
consulting, I argue that NOW INDEED IS THE TIME!
A giant leap for
AirPeople™ Employee Survey launched
I’ll tell you why:
For business success, it is vital to listen to
employees and managers, to show that they do
matter. When hard times are fresh in people’s
memory, employees may be shy in voicing their
opinions and ideas other than in anonymous
HR surveys. Extra effort needs to be put into
discussing results and deciding on the most
urgent and important actions to be taken in
order to regain or retain employee engagement
and a high-performing culture.
Furthermore, we are more than happy to support
you in having an efficient and effective process
for making the most of your survey results,
engaging your people in productive action
planning, prioritising, and implementation. This
clearly improves the alignment of your people
performance with your business performance.
Head of Consulting Business Unit
AirPeople™, a new survey and development concept for airport
organisations, was launched in October at the annual Airport
Leadership and Change Management Forum in Bologna, Italy.
The new survey was greeted with great enthusiasm by key airport
HR influencers attending the event.
The three-day forum featured keynotes
and panel discussions on leadership and
sustainable growth, in particular the need
for organisations to focus on performance
and social responsibility. Juha Ala-Lipasti,
Head of International Operations at Corporate
Spirit, enlightened the audience about
the importance of employee surveys and
the benefits of personnel engagement for
performance development, comprising an
engagement survey, tools for result utilisation
and utilisation workshops.
”Up until now, airport organisations have
received benchmark data on things like
customer satisfaction – but benchmarking
engagement against the airport sector has
not been available to these organisations”,
explains Juha Ala-Lipasti.
Employee engagement surveys have recently
come to replace simple job satisfaction
surveys that mostly measure sentiments. The
trend in HR is clearly towards using employee
engagement surveys to identify success factors
and measure performance in organisations.
”Likewise, the ability to customise the employee
survey content specifically to develop the
high-performance culture at airports is a very
welcome feature and has been well received.”
Sector-specific questions and benchmarking
The survey was launched in Bologna for a
group of prominent airport HR professionals.
Juha Ala-Lipasti also told the audience that
the new concept was piloted in Dubrovnik
in September and October and it received
AirPeople™ was designed and produced in
co-operation with Corporate Spirit, This Is ...
and the trade body for European airports,
ACI EUROPE. It is a comprehensive toolkit for
Comprehensive toolbox for better engagement
Tools for development
New SnapShot™ Express Survey
Supports Action Plan Tracking
Corporate Spirit has launched a new service for observing interim results from development
measures between employee surveys. SnapShot™ is an express survey that individual units within an
organisation may use to track how action plans are implemented. This agile and cost-effective service
complements employee surveys and contributes to the achievement of set targets at a unit level.
Based on the results of the PeoplePower™ employee survey, a manager or a supervisor together
with their staff decides on future areas for development and chooses actions to support them.
Development measures differ between units and they need to be viewed separately, yet they can
also be compared to the original employee survey results.
Easy tool for supervisor level
SnapShot™ is designed to support individual supervisors. Each supervisor may choose between 3 to
12 questions from the full-scale PeoplePower™ employee engagement survey questions. Individual
comments are also encouraged. The chosen questions measure development targets within a
specific team and how well these targets are being achieved.
It is a good idea to use interim results to track how development is progressing. As PeoplePower™
is usually conducted only annually or sometimes even bi-annually, intermediate results are more
SnapShot™ express surveys can be carried out as often as required, the frequency usually depending
on the importance of the matter concerned and the impact of the measures. A quarterly schedule is
most common, but check-ups can also be monthly or even more frequent.
“ The combination of international
benchmark data, a wide variety
of languages both for data
collection and reporting, sectorspecific content and a toolbox
for implementing survey results
together with locally organised
utilisation workshops is what
makes AirPeople™ the
survey for airports.”
Agile survey for independent units
SnapShot™ surveys may be taken for units of 5 to 99 respondents. It is ideal for individual team
leaders and department heads in order to ensure that development measures are progressing in the
focus areas chosen by the unit.
The results may be viewed already the day after the survey ends. SnapShot™ is available in 43 languages
in our Cixtranet3® survey system, where the progress of measures can be tracked by comparing
SnapShot™ results with one another and with the results of the full-scale PeoplePower™ survey.
SnapShot™ surveys are sold in bundles of 20. One bundle allows companies to carry out e.g. one
interim survey in 20 units or two interim surveys in ten units.
Faces & Places
Corporate Spirit has appointed
the following specialists:
Head of Consulting
Would you believe it?
Yrjänä is retiring!
Corporate Spirit would like to
wish all clients, collaborators,
research professionals and
readers of this newsletter
a very merry Christmas
and a successful New Year!
It may be hard to believe, but the Grand Man
of Research, Yrjänä Lehti, is set to retire at the
turn of the year! Yrjänä began his illustrious
career back in 1971 at a company whose
research operations were later acquired by
Corporate Spirit, so in fact he has been with
the same employer for his entire career!
Needless to say, a career spanning 42 years
is bound to include plenty of milestones
and highlights. Computers and the Internet
have redefined the way we work, but
human expertise has been essential as well.
Yrjänä believes that smartphones and other
technological breakthroughs will very much
influence the way the research industry
operates in the future. Innovative ways to
utilise research data and ways to make it
more relevant to the customer are examples
of ideas that Yrjänä has worked with and that
have taken the entire industry forward. The
customer has always been in the centre, and
so it should remain, Yrjänä emphasises.
As to what he plans to do in retirement –
grandchildren, travelling and well-deserved
relaxing at his summer cottage are bound to
be part of it!
Corporate Spirit would like to say a big thank
you to Yrjänä for his invaluable contribution
and wonderful companionship – and wish him
all the best in his new “career” as a pensioner!
MEET US AT
29.1.2014 600 Min HR - Helsinki, Finland
“Work capacity management in
relation to economic indicators”
by HR director Antero Levänen from HOK-Elanto
Editor-in-chief: Jukka Pohjola | Editor: Mari Kaarnavaara-Puutio | Layout: Mainostoimisto Dynastia | Printed by: TEMA-TEAM 12824-13 | Circulation: 7 000
Valkjärventie 7 A, 02130 Espoo, Finland, ☎ +358 9 452 0730
Läntinen Pitkäkatu 33, 20100 Turku, 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. Golf de Manquehue 9750, Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile, ☎ +56 9 5628 8292
360 ° assessments
Internal co-operation surveys
solutions for utilising the surveys