Pirja Aarnio

By Pirja Aarnio

Work ability and Well-being Manager

pirja.aarnio@vincit.fi
+358 40 750 2700

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Not long ago, Vincit once again rose to the podium as Finland’s Best Workplace in the Great Place to Work listing after several years of not taking part in the survey. This was our first time in the Large Companies category for businesses with over 250 employees, and our participation was driven by our desire to identify our current strengths and points of development. Having Vincit come out on top was a wonderful recognition of the work we do and confirmed to us that we’ve been focusing on the right things and the right people. After a couple of years of teleworking, strong growth and changes in the organization, winning still managed to catch us by surprise. This led me thinking: What special qualities contributed to Vincit being chosen as Finland’s best place to work for the fourth time? In the article below, I share some of my thoughts on the topic.

Freedom and trust

“Freedom.”

Freedom is one of the first things you notice when you come to work at Vincit. Each new Vincitizen has the freedom to choose their own tools without budget limits. In addition, Vincitizens get to freely decide where they want to work. If working entirely remotely is something you want to do, Vincit will provide your home office with a complete workstation (tools, an electric standing desk and a desk chair). Most of us prefer hybrid work and choosing the most convenient place to work on a day-to-day basis. All our offices feature so-called VincitFlex™ workstations, which allow you to work flexibly at any Vincit office.

Our employees are encouraged to make their daily work run as smoothly as possible. Whether it’s about juggling all the comings and goings of your family, scheduling your workout regime, making bigger lifestyle changes or even just getting your car serviced, our principle is that your day-to-day life should be in your own hands. The way we see it, no one is more equipped to know how you should manage your own work than you.

There is naturally no freedom without responsibility. Having the freedom to decide means simultaneously having responsibility over one’s own work and clients as well as competence development and work community advancement. Every decision made should always take into consideration how it affects the team and the client.

A sense of community

For many, being surrounded by great people is what makes Vincit so alluring. At Vincit, everyone is free to take part in community building and group activities in a manner that they feel comfortable with, as the company fosters a sense of community in a wide variety of ways.

There are dozens of groups, so-called Vincit clubs, that Vincitizens can join. Vincit supports the clubs financially and anyone is free to establish a club of their own. Each year, a group of ice-hockey enthusiasts organizes a tournament that determines Vincit’s ice-hockey champion for the year. Board game club members meet regularly to play together in a laid-back atmosphere. Other Vincit clubs include interests such as geocaching, chess, running, badminton, floorball and padel, to name but a few.

Various events are also organized with the help of Vincitizen Fun Squads, which are responsible for ensuring that having fun is not forgotten during the daily grind and for engaging employees in coming up with ideas for events and activities that interest them. Past events the Fun Squads have organized include skiing trips to Himos (ski resort in central Finland), family outings and trying out various sports and games.

A sense of community is furthermore supported by various Vincit-run competence development efforts including study circles, project lead training, mentoring, and buddy activities aimed at new Vincitizens. Vincit’s own internal training unit Univincity is also a great example of people’s community spirit: the majority of the content is both designed and carried out by Vincitizens themselves.

Well-being

We invest in the wellbeing of our Vincitizens in terms of both time and money. At Vincit, well-being is based on truly knowing our employees and how they are feeling. Our monthly How’s it going? questionnaires and regularly held 1-2-1 discussions are designed to gauge the Vincitizens’ mood. Our people professionals (formerly HR), managers and team leaders of various units – “cells” – stay informed about their teams’ well-being, and all Vincitizens have easy access to help and support whenever they encounter challenges not only in their work but also in their personal life.

At Vincit, well-being forms a big and visible part of the work we do. My own work as the Work Ability & Well-Being Manager means that I’m responsible for matters related to well-being at work as well as for work ability management and development. Vincit cooperates closely with occupational health and various types of coaches and offers customizable support, such as Auntie services, career coaches and Academy of Brain videos, to its Vincitizens.

Rebuilding culture

We may boast the best workplace in Finland but that’s not to say there aren’t things we should keep working on.

The GPTW survey provided great data on Vincit’s employee experience. It has allowed us to identify points of development which we have since then discussed and worked on together with our Vincitizens. The work continues at workshops that aim at discovering practical ways of making Vincit an even better place to work in the future. As in every company I’ve ever work at, internal communication is one of the things in need of further development.

The coronavirus robbed us of the most important element of our work culture, working together, and simultaneously weakened our sense of community and belonging. Before the pandemic, the daily work at Vincit was centered around the office and various work communities, but this changed drastically with the necessity to telework. Now that working remotely is no longer obligatory, we’ve had to think about how to bring people back to the office.

We’ve had to lure people in by making office spaces suitable for hybrid work, by introducing company breakfasts and meet-and-greets with new employees over coffee and above all by emphasizing the fact that office is a place where you get to meet your colleagues. The pandemic didn’t stop us from opening new offices in Kuopio, Tampere and Arizona or investing in the renovations of our existing offices because we want our Vincitizens to have a place where they can have meaningful encounters and be exposed to various ideas and skills.

The secret to building a good place to work can be found in our daily activities. A great workplace consists of everyday encounters, fleeting moments in time, appreciation of others and respect for our coworkers. A good employee experience also requires trust, good listening skills and numerous ways of engaging people in the company’s operations.

At the moment, Vincit employs over 600 professionals willing to commit to the company and its development. In the summer, through the merger of Vincit and Bilot, we will be welcoming 250 new colleagues to our community. Placing emphasis on the rebuilding of company culture will become more important than before.

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