Student project gave insight to Konecranes about young employee experience

The students found out that young employees have high preferences for continuous learning and development opportunities at work
Photo: Konecranes

The research conducted by two students, Aada Kervinen (M.Sc. People Management and Organizational Development) and Petriina Heikkinen (M.Sc. Data Analytics), gave insight to Konecranes on young employee experience and retention. The customized student business project aimed to gain a better understanding of how young employees enjoy working at Konecranes, why employees have left the organization and what are the possible areas on improvement in employee experience. 

As service technicians are at the core of Konecranes’ business processes they became one of the focus groups of the study. A major part of the project was a broad data-analysis of exit survey data and the employee engagement data the company had gathered during the past few years before the project. In addition to the data-analysis, to gain insights also on an individual level, the students interviewed the Finnish service technicians. Also, literature relevant to the topic and benchmarking how other companies have solved similar issues were researched. The project started at the end of March 2023 and was finalized in the middle of June.

The insights found during the research were supported by literature

The students found that many of the key theories on employment engagement and retention hold true also on an organizational level. Most importantly the students found out that young employees have high preferences for continuous learning and development opportunities at work. Also, professional development opportunities were ranked high in importance within young employees. Supporting the on-going general discussion on the importance of finding purpose and deeper meaning at work, it was found, that it is important for young employees to feel that their day-to-day work contributes to the general goals and purposes of the company and matches with their personal values and career and life aspirations.

‘We were very positively surprised how insightful and harmonized recommendations the students were able to create given the amount and variety of data,’ says Margie Nijs, Director, Talent Management and Engagement.

The business project improved the students’ project management and client interfacing skills

The project gave the students a unique opportunity to take a role as both the managers as well as the executors of the project and taught the students important project management and client interaction skills. Being able to take this responsibility enhanced the learning of the students along the project.

In addition to giving a great exposure to the project management and client interaction, the project also gave a very interesting viewpoint to Konecranes as an organization. As the topic of employee engagement and retention touch upon several corporate processes the students were able to get to know Konecranes and its operations well during the project.

‘It feels like the students have worked at Konecranes for a long time. They understood the organization and gave recommendations which are really useful,’ says Jannie Chen, Manager Stakeholder experience and Talents Analytics.

The students were very satisfied with the collaboration with Konecranes. Also, the representatives of Konecranes found the collaboration rewarding and were very satisfied with the deep level of actionable insights the students were able to generate along the project. Working together with Konecranes the students were assured that their findings were valued and welcomed by the organization.

‘We were very satisfied with the results, and we will share them internally with our colleagues. The presentation was also very professional,’ comments Maria Lehto, Engagement Specialist.

Overall, both students highly recommend participating in a customised student business project.


The project team with the steering group (in the picture below):
Academic supervisor of the project, Associate Professor Alexei Koveshnik (Aalto), Project Specialist Tommi Vihervaara (Aalto), Elena Knyazeva (Director HR, BU ISE EMEA Region), students Aada Kervinen and Petriina Heikkinen, Maria Lehto (Engagement Specialist), Jannie Chen (Stakeholder Experience and Talent Analytics Manager), and Margie Nijs (Director, Talent Management and Engagement).

Opiskelijaprojektin Team Konecranes

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