Innoman acted as an expert in the process development of Verkkoasema’s teams (digital marketing and software team) and in the entire company’s strategy work. The need for change management arose to continue the earlier cooperation at Verkkoasema: process control could be developed to a new level by giving superiors tutoring and coaching. The development project proved that you can see better from a distance. In order to close the coaching carried out as remote one, it was ascertained at Verkkoasema, how important it is to get expert view from outside of one’s own inner circle.
Time for several changes
The conference room walls at Verkkoasema are decorated by pictures where there are in addition to happy people doing their tasks also value texts: positivity and openness. Sari Lehtoaro, the expert leading Innoman’s project, feels that: ’In the middle of change, you must have a foundation on which you can build the development. In case of Verkkoasema, the foundations are laid by clear values, and they are given specific shape when you discuss them with the staff. The communication was very open, honest and it became evident that they had a positive attitude towards the desire for change’.
According to Jyrki Sundström, technology leader at Verkkoasema Oy, there was a clear need for outside help in the company: ’To specify superiors’ roles, a new division of responsibilities, employees’ coping in the workplace – via the development of processes, we realized that we need outside opinions to develop management.”
– In addition to renewing processes, the new ERP was about to be launched, and for this reason, superiors were facing several new challenges. And besides all this, Covid-19 brought insecurity factors of its own to our operations. Values, well-being at work and operational efficiency were challenged from several different viewpoints, Innoman’s Sari Lehtoaro describes the point of departure.
Open attitude helps
Innoman’s Venla Berg has been developing processes and leading strategy workshops during 2020 for the management and superiors of Verkkoasema. Sari obtained the company level underlying data and personnel level operational requirements from her. Personal discussions with superiors brought further in-depth information about the operation of Verkkoasema. Open discussions clarified also information about roles and the way how each individual experiences his or her job description. The initial stage of change always causes doubts and insecurity. Sari’s experience and personality made doubts disappear and replaced them soon with trust.
– In discussions with Sari, it was easy to be open and trusting. The goals of one’s own activities became clear, and at the same time, it was also possible to ascertain that an outside person is needed to make people to get out of their own ‘foxholes’ and to break routines, admits Joni Norring, leader of the software team.
– We certainly could notice that Innoman had experience of working with an expert organization. It became tangible in how well they adopted the operating modes and culture in Verkkoasema. Therefore, it was easy to unravel one’s own feelings to Sari, Outi Arontie, operations manager in digital marketing, accompanies Joni.
New tools for development, bringing positive approach back to daily work
– It became evident in discussions that the entire structure of Verkkoasema needs to be examined in a new light. At the level of superiors, there were overlapping functions, and also roles need clarification and defining, sums up Sari Lehtoaro.
– Previously, my core task was sales, and now, it is the management of a software team. Of course, sales work still is a part of my job description. I could be able to free Jyrki’s time, and on the other hand, to specify my own role. Now I can focus on the way how I use my time, and also be able to pay better attention to other people. As a whole, I think I got concrete tools for my daily activities and for developing quality, Joni sums up the yield of mentoring and coaching he has received.
– As a tangible outcome of the development project, we have now documented the company’s general policies and superiors’ roles. I think the best contribution of the sparring was bringing positive approach back to daily work, Outi clarifies Innoman’s contribution. Yes. Positivity – that stands also on the value chart in the conference room.
Change is a permanent state
Additional personnel brought about by the growth, changing technologies and trends of the line of business as well as nuances of daily work belong to the everyday of a growth company. There will be variables also in the future, even without pandemics. The development enabled by growth will be part of full-time activities. Verkkoasema will have their main principle to rely on.
– It has already become clear that we have got value for our investment, even though one should never evaluate an unfinished job. We have our recipe. The practical realization of the development work depends on ourselves. In order to ensure the increasing trend of our operations, we’ll continue the cooperation with Innoman, to some extent and in some form, says Jyrki Sundström, who has seen the entire life span of Verkkoasema Oy.
Daily activities as the basis for success
In the world of the past, we would here refer to the different organizational levels, hierarchy and power granted by responsibility in relation to the person on the next step below.
– Today everyone with their liabilities, responsibilities and rights is on the same level. Titles, job descriptions and responsibilities naturally vary; it, however, is about team play where everyone’s responsibility is to support his or her colleague, Sari Lehtoaro describes the functioning of a working community at its best.
Even though there are two teams within the house, and the line of business with its requirements is continuously changing, as far as Verkkoasema is concerned, the company is the same as one team. This became evident to Sari on several occasions.
– A thing that came up in an enquiry directed to the whole personnel and in both personal and group discussions, was the coping of others. Perhaps, this illustrates best the culture of the company, Sari highlights the important attitude refining daily work.
– When the foundation and its values are in good condition, there is no doubt that the culture and values of Verkkoasema would remain present in daily work, interaction, and management. This is the way it is, even though the requirements of growth and development may change, Innoman’s Sari Lehtoaro highlights the basic reasons for the success.
Contents of the change management coaching executed at Verkkoasema:
- strategy workshops
- discussions with superiors
- enquiry to the whole personnel
- group discussions with the personnel
- documentation of the company’s general policies
- defining of superiors’ roles
- documentation of superiors’ job descriptions
- own ABM framework
- orientation guide
- work continues
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