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Article categories: News

Vaasa awarded for developing working life

Published: 4.12.2023

The City of Vaasa has been awarded for improving local government work at the Tärkeissä Töissä (transl. doing important work) awards. Vaasa won a total of four awards in the category of the most inspiring development projects. The awards aim to highlight municipal work and give recognition to those who are developing the field.

Vaasa aims to give every employee the opportunity to participate in the development of their own work and activities. Therefore, working together and experimentation are encouraged as part of the work routine. The latest staff programme also highlights this objective.

– We have involved our staff more actively than before and have made it our aim to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Investments in continuous improvement and development are bearing fruit, and this is already being recognised at national level,” says HR Director Tuulikki Kruhse-Poutanen.

Fewer inefficient routines

The City of Vaasa’s municipal engineering department was awarded two “inspiring development” prizes for measures related to, for example, staff participation, continuous improvement, and work development.

–We have been successful in engaging our staff and in improving cooperation. Our staff realised the connection to their own influence and gained new enthusiasm for developing their own work,” says Director of Municipal Engineering Jukka Talvi.

The gala also recognised the development achievements of the communications and ICT teams. The ICT team has used tools such as service design, digital solutions, and automation to improve its services.

–Our aim is to create meaningful work for our employees and easily accessible services for our customers. We wanted to identify areas for development and get our staff to share them in an internal campaign. We received more than 100 development suggestions, and in return we offered freshly baked buns at a local bakery,” says ICT Project Manager and Service Designer Tiina Salonen.

(The name used for the campaign, Ilmianna Pakkopulla, translates into “expose a forced bun”. The name makes use of the Finnish metaphor of a forced bun that refers to a laborious routine that, regardless of its relative inefficiency, simply has to be performed.)

The communication team developed a permanent approach to collecting, monitoring, and rewarding ideas.

– We wanted to encourage our team members to share ideas and to make idea collection and follow-ups part of our work. This has been a great success: brainstorming is particularly inspired by the joint processing and rewarding of ideas,” says Communications Planner Eliina Salmela.

The Tärkeissä Töissä gala in Helsinki on 4 December rewarded the most inspiring development ideas in the municipal sector among the ones that were submitted to the Tekojen Tori (transl. Marketplace of Actions) portal over the autumn. Tärkeissä Töissä is the platform for the development of working life of the KT Local Government and County Employers’ Association and the unions representing the personnel in the municipal sector. A total of 247 development activities were reported from 59 organisations in different fields of work and on different themes.