Intervening is caring
At work, we have permission to discuss challenges in all areas of life, because stress in private life affects the ability to work, says Terhi Jaakonsaari, HR Director at Solita.
Work ability management is an integral element of our corporate culture, just like business management: when people thrive, business thrives.
Leaders must set an example. It matters what kinds of business decisions we make, what projects we accept, how we talk about various matters and at what time we send messages – if an employee receives an e-mail at midnight, they might feel the pressure to work late.
Supervisors and colleagues, for their part, may notice that a person or their behaviour has changed. It is then natural to ask how they are doing, which begins the assessment and help process. In our view, intervening is caring.
Sharing experiences is extremely useful, and often, working is easier when one does have to hide one’s problems.
In knowledge work, it is typical that people continue to work for a long time after their working ability has deteriorated, until they hit the wall – and often they hit it hard.
Challenges in private life affect the ability to work, which is why we discuss stress factors openly and want to point out that our wellbeing at home is as important as our wellbeing at work.
We have an in-house coach who holds regular meetings on all situations in life and topical themes, such as the feelings caused by the war, coping and so forth. Sharing experiences is extremely useful, and often, working is easier when one does have to hide one’s problems.
The employer can, for example, help in a difficult situation in life be reducing the working hours or arranging care for a sick child.
Encounters and discussions with colleagues at the office are important, helping employees to compare their wellbeing with others and notice if they are not well, although they could not find words to describe it earlier. Addressing the problem with the supervisor is a way to receive help at an early stage, for example, through occupational health.
Even challenges in private life can often be solved. The employer can, for example, help in a difficult situation in life be reducing the working hours or arranging care for a sick child.
In addition to occupational healthcare, employees have access to Auntie, a low-threshold mental welfare service. It is particularly aimed at challenges in private life, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. Thus, employees do not have to share everything with their colleagues and supervisor, they can seek help themselves.
This spring, we have developed management practices that promote work ability with our customers.
As a consultancy company, we cooperate closely with our customers. This spring, we have developed management practices that promote work ability with our customers, analysing what must be taken into account and verified in order to make people succeed in projects and feel great while performing project work.
For example, all our products now include start-up meetings where we also discuss the thoughts and worries caused by the project and what the employees need to successfully carry out the project.