On 26 October, over 300 participants gathered at the Aalto University School of Business for the Mythbusters of well-being at work seminar organised by Tekes, Sitra, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Aalto University, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.
Myths were busted by a group of successful visionaries: Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes, Reijo Karhinen, CEO of OP Financial Group, Marina Vahtola, Executive in Residence at Aalto University, Mikko Kuitunen, CEO of Vincit Oy, Karoliina Jarenko, CEO of Filosofian Akatemia, and Ari Rämö, Managing Director at SICK Oy.
‘Finland needs growth that is based on innovation’, said Pekka Soini. ‘It is important to bring together start-up companies and established companies so that the work momentum found especially at growth companies can spread to other companies, too.’ Päivi Sillanaukee emphasised the significance of management participation. ‘Management has a big responsibility in managing talent, but not everyone has the power to affect the working atmosphere’, she said.
According to Reijo Karhinen, competitiveness is created by people's will to renew themselves. He also stated that there are many organisations, communities and enterprises that were created in Finland and have now ceased to be. Constant renewal is key. ‘Even the strongest won't be successful if they do not renew themselves as the surroundings change’, he said. In addition, Karhinen defended the positive aspect of teleworking and encouraged everyone who can to take telework days once in a while as they are the most efficient workdays.
According to Marina Vahtola, the most important aspects for the success of companies are a strong brand and high competence capital. She stated that well-being at work is created through a real ‘can do’ spirit and a genuine and appreciative organisational culture.
Good management, emotional intelligence and atmosphere create well-being
Instead of well-being at work, Mikko Kuitunen spoke about comprehensive well-being, although well-being at work is a significant factor. He told that the aim at Vincit is to have ‘happier customers and employees tomorrow than today’. Management has an important role here, too; managing is a service with the goal of removing obstacles on the way to success. As a management tool, the company offers its employees the Vincit 365 management model.
‘You need tools for promoting well-being at work, for taking the psychological leap away from routines’, said Karolina Jarenko. ‘Top teams incorporate emotional intelligence, meaning that they understand what kind of effect their actions and communication have on other people.’ The final presentation of the morning was given by Ari Rämö, who said that every encounter is an opportunity to create a good atmosphere. ‘You should appreciate rather than criticize, since everyone is looking for appreciation rather than criticism in their daily encounters. Small things can create or ruin a good atmosphere, and the atmosphere is what counts’, he summarised.
In the afternoon, the participants were split into four workshops themed innovation capacity, digital change, well-being at work 3.0 and well-being with change management
The seminar was hosted by reporter Kirsi Heikel. The topic also sparked a lot of discussion in social media: In Twitter, over 230 people tweeted a total of over 1 000 tweets with the hashtag #tyhymyytit. ‘I would be failing my task if I weren't active on Twitter’, said Reijo Karhinen.
The seminar preparation group included Aalto University Professor of International Business Rebecca Piekkari who gave heartfelt thanks to all participants and participating organisations.
‘This day was an excellent kick-off for the development of well-being at work. This is a good point to move forward together’, she said.