Steps towards a healthy work community – how we improved wellbeing leadership

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According to the recent Työvire survey, VTTers felt that wellbeing in the workplace and satisfaction with the work of immediate supervisors had improved significantly compared with previous years. Read about how we boosted wellbeing in our workplace.

We listen to the views of VTTers about our work community and work efficiency. The feedback collected through the personnel survey enables us to develop our operations and leadership and strengthen dialogue on important issues. The work of immediate supervisors and wellbeing improved in this year's assessments by 0.3 percentage points compared to the results in 2018.

Thanks to increased resources, functions and communication, wellbeing at work has risen to the place it deserves at the strategic core of our operations. Investment in wellbeing and in developing the work of immediate supervisors shows in the excellent results and in the experience of our personnel, too, as in both of these areas there has been an extremely significant increase. "Improvement of wellbeing at work shows throughout the results of the survey and in the decrease in occupational health care costs. It is great to see that our efforts have led to excellent results in both areas," says Peppi Härme, Wellbeing Team Manager at VTT, delightedly.

Where did we improve?

The highest increase was observed in VTTers experience that at VTT

  • employees are encouraged and supported to do things that improve health and wellbeing;
  • there is a clear plan to improve health and wellbeing;
  • there is genuine interested in wellbeing;
  • their immediate supervisor gives their team stimulating long-term goals.

Improvement was also observed in VTTers experience that

  • they have sufficient time and resources to nurture personal relationships in their free time;
  • the workplace atmosphere is caring;
  • problems and be discussed without fear of consequences;
  • their immediate supervisor supports them in succeeding at work;
  • their immediate supervisor is interested in developing employee know-how
  • their team has the courage to make changes that more clearly support their goals.

How did we accomplish this?

In 2019, we implemented in the area of wellbeing three campaigns under the themes nutrition, exercise and sleep in collaboration with various partners. The campaigns included lectures, guided exercise and various measurements. We increased communication about wellbeing utilising both internal and external channels. In cooperation with Occupational Health Care we implemented health campaigns, visiting different offices and being physically present.

We developed supervisor work by providing supervisors with comprehensive training in various immediate leadership skills. We arranged, for example, training sessions in emotional intelligence and we improved the development discussion process. We also strengthened supervisors' work capacity management competency by organising work ability management training sessions in cooperation with occupational health care and the earnings-related pension provider. We assessed the expertise of supervisors using the 360 assessment method this year, too.

Investments in wellbeing at work and leadership will continue in the future

Based on the results of the survey, the greatest challenge to VTTers work efficiency is posed by the fragmentation of their work, making it harder to plan and concentrate. According to Härme, investment in wellbeing at work and in improving operating practices is still continuing. In future years, the focus will be especially on mental wellbeing and on physical and cognitive ergonomics. In addition, the aim is to further strengthen the capacity of supervisors and the entire work community to react to and intervene in challenges related to work ability. "This spring we are also launching under a completely new concept a Wellbeing Champion network. The aim of these wellbeing champions or 'tutors' is to convey the message of wellbeing from one colleague to another and enhance a sense of community. I look forward to everything that we will achieve together through this network," says Härme.

VTT's wellbeing themes for 2020 are the wellbeing of the brain and good work efficiency.

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