Renewal is vital
When working life structures break down, the work community faces the challenge of renewal. Technology is helpful, but it is attitude that counts.
“The data systems of many organisations remain at a level that the preparation of travel expense statements is not an addictive or even comfortable process,” says Mervi Hasu, Senior Researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Her comments are related to the redistribution of working life, which for a long time has already increased the scope of self-service by employees and customers and continues to do so. In the best-case scenario, easy-to-use applications inspire people to adopt new operating methods, but sometimes even an excellent renewal will fail.
“There are organisations that do not carry out actions to combat employees refusing to learn something new, even though they have a long career ahead,” says Hasu. She does not directly blame the employees, but instead seeks answers in the working community as a whole and in how it is managed. What would motivate people towards renewal?
Winners offer daily flexibility
Marko Rissanen, SVP, HR, reviews the motivation of people in his organisation. He believes that work already becomes meaningful by automating simple things so that employees can focus on the more interesting and challenging tasks. He adds that there should be individual freedom to use personal working methods and tools in the environment that best suits you.
“Employers who offer daily flexibility are the winners. Those in the second wave will lose. They are forced to change,” says Rissanen. He emphasises that freedom always involves responsibility and the “rationing” of freedom depends on the individual.
“The main thing is that everyone has a very clear goal that has been agreed together”, says Rissanen.
Hasu points out that efficiency improvements and cost-cutting are not goals of the organisation or individual as such.
“They cannot be used to motivate people to give 100 per cent.”
The working community is the best consultant
Financial concerns cast a shadow over noble goals and bright ideas in many organisations. They may not have the money to hire consultants or buy advanced data systems. What then should be done?
“It is important to consciously build the working community. It may be extremely significant, especially when cost-cutting causes difficulties in reaching goals,” says Hasu.
Rissanen has also noticed that the views and experience of the working community should be used whenever possible.
DNA, for example, has recruited eager employees to drive change. They lead discussions where employees consider opportunities for developing operations. In addition, trained in-house specialists are the leads in supervisory coaching, instead of external consultants.
To boldly experiment
Rissanen says that promising ideas should be boldly experimented, but on a small scale and in a group with a limited number of people, regardless of whether an operating method or product is addressed. Ideas should be rejected if they are not going to work in practice.
In her studies, Hasu has encountered working communities burdened by simultaneous gigantic projects implemented at the same time. That affects quality in a negative way and motivation fades.
“Focus areas should be decided in a clear way. After that, you can pick up the speed.”