We recently published news about AAC Global’s positive development last year. Continuing to implement our strategy this year means focusing on selected key areas. For us at AAC, HR management is one of these important areas. The reason is that we want to ensure that we are able to respond to the challenges that arise from the growth in our business. In our management team, we view all development work from the perspective of the entire workplace community and, above all, work towards further developing AAC as a workplace.
So, what have we achieved in this area?
Well, the development of management and cooperation is, in many ways, at the core of everything.
For us at AAC Global, development work:
- Is inclusive and systematic over the long term
- Encourages participation among employees
- Is customer-focused and supports renewal
It’s quite safe to say that, in terms of management and cooperation, there is always room for improvement. Typically, management and the workplace community either develop on their own or are developed through conscious effort. In workplace community development, it’s important to look at both where we are now and where we want to be in the future. It’s also important to have an honest look at the current situation, which is how everything got started in our case. We wanted to create and develop our management though trust and interaction.
We took the first steps in the fall of 2017, and now we have a clear development path right through to 2019. Our development project is supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund. Their support is an important part of the project, as it enables our intended scope of development work. As our work focuses on our employees, this requires the joint participation of managers, supervisors, and employees.
Milestone has also supported us during this journey and has proven to be an excellent sparring partner. We have a clear progress plan for our project and a good partner which guides and challenges us to view things broadly enough and, at the same time, focus on what is essential.
The development of culture often involves misguided beliefs, with the most typical one being that there is something “nice” and “soft” about it in contrast to pure performance management. However, AAC Global has realized that strategy and culture must be examined as a whole where, in the best case, effective performance management enables the “soft” and “nice” aspects. When we want what is best for the customer, we must also have a very strong, genuine will to collaborate better and succeed.
Elina Aaltolainen-Harjuoja, Milestone
At the beginning of the project in early 2018, one of the most essential aspects was to engage boldly in dialogue about the goals of the project and the related company goals, and how to achieve them. As a result, the project created new types of discussion and exchanges of views on what actions and behaviors would help us improve as a workplace community and achieve our strategic goals.
As part of the project, we are now also seeking to gain clearer insight into our customers and a deeper understanding of the aspects involved in comprehensively creating a good customer experience for them time and time again. Through a strong culture of participation, we can further develop both our services and how we work together. It has been a pleasure to witness the various workshops and inspired, constructive discussions so far. Our journey will continue after the summer break.
In this project, it has been particularly great to see the energy and determination with which supervisors have taken responsibility in a new way for making strategy understandable. They have taken small but courageous steps into unknown territory. Even though it’s impossible to fully predict the final outcome of any work that involves the development of culture, we can already see how, by means of a strong will and impressive professional skills, it’s possible to change, even over a short period of time, the little things that turn out to matter the most in a few years’ time.
Elina Aaltolainen-Harjuoja, Milestone
If you would like to hear more about our development work, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll go into more detail about other areas of development in my next article after the summer holiday season.