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Creating a better place to work

Published in People

Written by

Janne Järvinen
People Partner

Janne Järvinen works as a People Partner at Nitor. The role includes everything from recruiting to onboarding and from employee experience measurements to tuning the work culture and practices at Nitor.


November 17, 2022 · 4 min read time

Nitor's focus on work culture has translated into success in various workplace comparisons. We have won the best place to work in Finland title twice and have been awarded as among the best places to work in Europe. In the 2020s, we wanted to do even better. We started looking deeper into our employee experience, aiming for an even more thriving workplace and sustainable well-being for all our employees.

Congratulations to all the awarded organisations in the Great Place to Work listing this year! Nitor participated in the survey from 2015–2019. Every time, we ranked in the top 5 among Finnish workplaces. In 2018 and 2019, we won the award for the best place to work in Finland and came in second and third among all European workplaces.

Participating in the listing was an excellent opportunity to assess our working culture and practices. We got an outside professional panel's perspective on Nitor as a workplace and were able to compare our practices with other companies. In addition, our personnel scored Nitor's employer image from the standpoint of caring, community, benefits, internal communication, and management.

This provided us with a valuable framework for shaping our operations better to meet the wishes and needs of our employees. The Great Place to Work survey proved invaluable also for our employer image. Many job seekers and current employees have told us they originally became interested in Nitor precisely because of the Great Place to Work awards.

Our new survey tells us where we can still improve

Following our success, we contemplated the best way to proceed. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we looked for areas of employee experience where we still missed the high score.

In cooperation with Academy of Philosophy researcher Tapani Riekki, we devised a tailored survey for assessing how Nitor enables experiences of autonomy, responsibility, and competence. These three dimensions play a central role in predicting well-being at work and the level of internal motivation. The Academy of Philosophy has researched motivation within expert organisations for several years, allowing us to compare our results with their research material.

The survey more effectively shows how Nitoreans experience our flat and agile organisation and the opportunities for cooperation and independent decision-making in their work. The survey also accounts for the sometimes challenging dynamics of different roles, both from the perspective of a consultant in our customer organisation and a member of Nitor's work community.

Strengths include self-management and extensive resources

We have been conducting our renewed employee survey since 2020, a total of three times. What do the results reveal about employee experience at Nitor?

The big picture shows that many key areas of employee experience have received excellent scores that well exceed the average for expert organisations. The scores related to autonomy, fair compensation, and the resources Nitor provides have been exceptionally high.

Here, autonomy refers to Nitor's employees' feeling of being able to influence their work and being self-managed. The employees also feel they can influence the decisions made at Nitor, and the information required for their work is easily accessible.  

 Other positive factors are work engagement, work-life balance, and trust between employees. The aforementioned has been consistently strong throughout the measurements, and the recent global events do not seem to have swayed the results in either direction.

Supporting learning and workload management

With our new survey, we set out to find areas of improvement and possible deficiencies. So, what did we find out?

In three areas, the results were around the average compared to other expert organisations. While our results are not below the norm, there are signs indicating mediocre performance that we want to focus on to improve our practices.

Nitor employees are experts in their field, so the bar of competence development and learning new things is already high and thus harder to reach. Work should be suitably challenging and the routine-like repetitiveness minimised. This leaves time for exploring and discovering new things.

Supporting learning is also linked to the need for more effective feedback practices. An ideal feedback culture involves regular feedback from the persons best equipped to provide quality feedback in a timely manner. Feedback from colleagues, team members, and customers is essential for Nitoreans.

While Nitor has various internal and external support services for workload management, such as the Kamu Mindplatter, remote work has highlighted the importance of self-observation of coping. In this situation, it is important to actively offer means to address challenges related to the workload effectively.

From feedback to action

The freedom to use work time for competence development through the so-called Nitor Core is one of our solutions to support learning. Over the last couple of years, we have developed a new tool for defining and guiding everyone’s learning path with concrete steps for reaching set goals. This year, we have also launched a mentoring programme to support Nitor's employees in realising their competence goals with the help of an experienced colleague.

To develop our feedback culture, we set out to test the Teamspective tool, which actively directs users to request feedback. This lowers the threshold for receiving it from the individuals from whom feedback is desired and focuses the feedback on meaningful matters. It will be interesting to see whether the tool makes requesting and giving feedback more of an everyday routine at Nitor.

Our monthly pulse survey nVibe is one of our most effective mechanisms to get a sense of our employee's well-being. The survey is a channel for reporting personal challenges related to the workload and work content. This allows our People Ops team to react promptly. It would appear that a rather simple rule applies to achieving excellent employee experience: make sure that employees' voices are heard.

Read more about how we measure our employees' well-being with the Homefront questionnaire.

Written by

Janne Järvinen
People Partner

Janne Järvinen works as a People Partner at Nitor. The role includes everything from recruiting to onboarding and from employee experience measurements to tuning the work culture and practices at Nitor.