New ambassador network spreads the message of wellbeing at VTT

News, People stories

Wellbeing at work is a central part of VTT’s strategy. New network of Wellbeing Champions will now spread the message of wellbeing in their work environment. Small reminders help everyone to take care of themselves during their daily work.

The wellbeing of VTT’s employees is essential for all the activities of the organisation. Thus, it has management’s full support and enough resources. Excellent leadership, self-management, physical and psychological health, and safe work environment have been identified as the fundaments of wellbeing at VTT. Wellbeing is also in the core of VTT’s Employer Value Proposition and included in the key performance indicators.

VTT’s own wellbeing team is focused on building wellbeing at work. Together with its partners, the team plans and executes activities that support different elements of wellbeing. The network of Wellbeing Champions is a new model and tool for this work. Employees from different parts of the organisation and interested in wellbeing have been chosen to join this network. 

”To support our employees’ wellbeing, it’s essential to be around our them and encounter them directly”, says Peppi Härme, manager of VTT’s wellbeing team. ”Through our Wellbeing Champions, the information about current themes, activities and tools related to wellbeing will reach our employees better than before. The network will also give our team updates about the needs of our employees.”

Enthusiasm about wellbeing is a must

The first Wellbeing Champions have started in their role. They will receive coaching about wellbeing, and they can participate and have an influence on wellbeing activities. The ambassadors will be offered information, know-how, networks, and tools that help to improve their own and their colleagues’ wellbeing at work.

One of the ambassadors is Merja Laamanen from VTT’s Tampere unit. ” As Wellbeing Champion, I would like to promote psychological wellbeing and recovery. Although you are drawn by the flow and you have a lot to do, you need to take micro breaks regularly.” 

Another ambassador, Research Scientist Heba Sourkatti agrees. ”I think it’s important to realise there is a connection between psychological and physical stress. When thinking is your work, you also need to move and take a break sometimes. This has clearly an effect on our psychological resources.”

The activities of the network will be adapted to the schedules and possibilities of each ambassador. What is most important is their genuine interest towards wellbeing. Positive attitude and will to inspire others are elementary.

Initially, the network was supposed to get an informal start. The idea was to speak out for wellbeing in team reunions, at the coffee machine or on lunch breaks, for example. The corona crisis changed this a bit since these informal meetings were replaced by with virtual ones.  This has not stopped from starting the activities – we can speak out for wellbeing in Teams meetings as well. Merja Laamanen, for example, has organised virtual mindfulness sessions for everyone to join in. 

Ergonomics first on the agenda

Remote work has put ergonomics in the spotlight in wellbeing. At the home office, physical ergonomics is often forgotten while we sit at our kitchen table. Cognitive ergonomics, on the other hand, needs attention due to the scattered work environment. 

The coaching provided to our Wellbeing Champions has started with training of ergonomics provided by work physiotherapists from Mehiläinen. By giving small tips about regulating our seats or by reminding us to take a break our ambassadors can spread the message of wellbeing at work or home offices.