Riitta-Elina is a familiar sight at the offices and meeting rooms of Ouneva Group. She has been in the service of the company already since 1989. She started working in the group taking care of sales and purchasing invoices, and salaries at Jotwire. In 2007, she got her first managerial duties and in 2010 Riitta-Elina became the driving force behind developing and maintaining the HR matters of Ouneva Group through a leadership degree.
“In 1989 employee benefits in practice were equivalent to the legally required medical care”, Riitta-Elina tells us with a laugh. From her viewpoint, the working life has been in a turmoil for quite some time already, and that requires quick adaptability from all the players. HR work has entered the centre of business operations, and the well-being of staff is paid more attention to, for example. The challenging labour market highlights the importance of being able to attract and retain talented people.
According to Riitta-Elina, you must recreate yourself constantly and really think about the state of the staff, and what could be improved. HR work is challenging when employing more than 700 people. It is very important, that the staff is aware that they are a very important part of operations. Involving staff in development work is integral, and responsibility is given to the employees happily.
Riitta-Elina has seen many changes during her long career. Nowadays, people are educated on higher levels than in the early days of her career. The importance of a smooth working community has increased, and the amount of challenge and responsibility in each one’s own work has increased due to changes in management culture. The ability to retain employees has increased. One way for engaging and retaining staff can be for example the constant development and maintaining of the expertise of staff through tailored training. Attention is paid in engagement already before signing a work contract, in the recruitment stage. The process must be smooth, utilizing the latest technologies, in Riitta-Elina’s opinion. Modern solutions also offer more possibilities for collecting data, that in turn enables better measurement for our HR development work. Riitta-Elina is determined that the financial significance and measurability of HR work must be improved.
We asked Riitta-Elina, how she sees human resources work at Ouneva Group in 5 years. Her first point was that the better the dialogue is between HR and business development-related decision-making, the more successful we will be as a group in the future. She also sees development in support functions for supervisors and middle management. Work is done in a huge team, all together and towards the same goal. Riitta-Elina also sees the improvement of remote management as important. This is to ensure that our remote locations will not be an obstacle in hiring talented individuals.
Riitta-Elina is grateful for many things in her career. One of them, as she mentioned, is that the top management of the group has given the opportunity for changing HR work and company culture from the ground up. Today, HR is an integral part of business operations. The voice of our HR team has been heard and the ideas and their value has been noticed through the whole group. According to Riitta-Elina, you become a human expert in her role, without even noticing. And here we are, doing business with and for humans!
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