Quality together – Supporting Aalto community in well-being and in coping with work

At the Wellbeing Desk, professionals representing many fields are available to help Aaltonians
Tiina Pylkkönen seisomassa palvelupisteen ovella.
Tiina Pylkkönen welcomes Aalto personnel to visit the Wellbeing Desk at the Undergraduate Centre

A healthy community consists of healthy individuals. When teachers are feeling well, they can also take care of their students’ coping. The team can succeed when its members feel appreciated, when they can participate and when diversity is taken into consideration. There are numerous examples of the importance of wellbeing.

Oasis of Radical Wellbeing is an Aalto University development project which, for over a year, has been bringing forward new operating models that create wellbeing and testing them, as well as developing services that support well-being. Information is shared with the community through different channels such as websites, blogs, videos and social media.

The Wellbeing Desk provides guidance as well as a forum for discussion

One of the services created within the Oasis project is the Wellbeing Desk at the Undergraduate Centre. It provides Aalto staff with advice and guidance in matters related to well-being at work and work ability. The activities have also included monthly discussions with staff on promoting inclusion, diversity and equality in the work community.

Community developer Tiina Pylkkönen has worked in the Oasis project since its beginning and is now involved in the activities of the Wellbeing Desk that started in March.

‘We want to keep our threshold very low, the customer does not have to have a problem to come here. You can come and discuss with us ideas related to teaching, for example, or to share the joy of being successful at work or to reflect on your own coping skills. We have on-call professionals representing different fields, such as experts in pedagogy, harassment contact persons and shop stewards,’ says Tiina Pylkkönen.

The Wellbeing Desk staff continuously gathers feedback from clients and tests different methods and practices.

‘We consciously follow the practices of quality work, collect feedback and proceed in small steps, constantly developing our operations. For example, starting at the beginning of January, we will reform our on-call practice based on the experience gained during the autumn,’ says Pylkkänen.

As the activities involve a wide range of professionals from different parts of the university, effective coordination and open sharing of information is important. When the activities were started, experiences gathered from a corresponding students’ service point over a period of several years were utilised.

‘An important step forward is also that we have been able to build a development network of people interested in well-being themes’, Pylkkönen says.

Is there something you still have to develop? ‘At least we should make our activities better known, as information about the Wellbeing Desk has not yet reached everybody in the Aalto community, and more customers could be accommodated. During the spring, we intend to be more visible in the daily life of staff around Aalto’, Tiina Pylkkönen says.

The service point is located at Otakaari 1, Room Y163. You can stop by during opening hours, and also contact us remotely.

Wellbeing at work is important throughout the university

Riitta Silvennoinen, Chief Human Resources Officer at Aalto University considers community spirit and well-being at work to be of primary importance throughout the university.

‘Based on the previous survey on well-being at work, two university-wide development targets were identified: coping and thriving in the changing work environment and inclusive workplace. The Wellbeing Desk is one concrete measure to support coping and well-being.’

‘The time of the pandemic was a straining experience, and our work has changed in many ways. It is now important to take care of ourselves, each other and the entire community so that we all feel good at work and in our studies,’ Silvennoinen says.

* * *

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) will audit the quality system of Aalto University in January 2023. The university submitted the self-evaluation report for the audit in November. The report assesses good practices to maintain and develop the quality of operations. How we take care of our well-being in one example of these practices.

Read more

Keys to Your Wellbeing

Oasis of Radical Wellbeing

On these page you will find information and interesting references to improve wellbeing at Aalto University!

Wellbeing Desk

Wellbeing Desk

Wellbeing Desk is a low-threshold service point for all Aalto personnel.

Keys to your wellbeing

Keys To Your Wellbeing series is here

Keys To Your Wellbeing series by Oasis of Radical Wellbeing collects wellbeing materials (science-based articles, podcasts, videos, trainings and exercises) on monthly changing topics.

Aalto University campus

Quality system audit 2022

According to the University Act, Finnish universities shall regularly participate in the evaluation of their activities and quality systems. Aalto University's quality system was last audited in January 2016, and the next system audit will be in January 2023.

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