250 Unikie-employees, international operations in nine different locations, and on top of that, some twenty client locations. This is the field of action where Unikie’s people-team works to bring people together, create order and flow for the work day and improve job satisfaction and overall wellbeing.
HR & People experts Laura Eve and Roope Tassberg form a fairly new partnership. Laura started working for Unikie in May, Roope has a 1.5 year history with the company. They have, however, already reached a common vision: “Roope does the thinking and Laura executes,” they reply, with a twinkle in their eyes. As the cheerful and articulate Laura is all for instant implementation, Roope, acting systematically, brings the team perseverance and a development perspective. The team’s office is located in Tampere.
Unikie’s People team is working under the strategic guidance of Talent Coach Annika Hautamäki. In addition to heading the team, Annika is responsible for, among other things, carrying out the employment and career coaching of the Unikie employees, together with Roope and Laura. HR administrative -duties are also carried out by Noora Mykkänen. In a commendable and precise manner, Noora manages, from the Turku office, invoicing and employee payroll issues, as well as deals with labor management issues, together with CFO Perttu Eerola.
Unikie’s rapid growth increases the workload
Unikie’s impressive growth is particularly evident in the workload of the People team. The People team welcomes new employees and manages their orientation and all background work throughout the various phases of the employment.
“During my 1.5-year of employment, Unikie’s headcount has increased from a hundred to 250 persons. The recruitment process of new employees requires a lot of our time. Registrations into various systems, equipment procurement, orientation discussions, etc.,” Roope explains, outlining the field of work involved in new hires.
Laura emphasizes the importance of the People team especially when it comes to new hires: “In the initial stage, we connect with the employees and introduce our team. It is important that the employees feel that we can be contacted in connection with more or less any issue.”
Accessibility, openness and approachability are qualities that the People team wants to invest in. In addition, there is a willingness to provide service and the ability to tackle one issue after another.
“No two days are the same. Often, the to-do list I have planned for the day is completely changed, when acute issues require my attention”, Laura explains.
A sense of community and job satisfaction
The wellbeing concept and creating a sense of community are continuously on the People team’s agenda. The team’s goal is to create a team spirit and strengthen the Unikie brand among the employees.
“Our goal is to have Unikie employees who are proud of their jobs and express their pride of their employer when with clients,” Laura says.
Unikie’s demanding customer projects require a high level of expertise. This is reflected in the fact that there are hardly any junior graduates in the company. This has its own impact on the corporate culture. Many Unikie-employees are experiencing their busiest years, principally lacking leisure time. Although there is a demand for the company’s recreational activity groups, the team spirit is developed in the middle of the day by organizing team lunches and joint in-house events.
Unikie’s four annual events are the company’s most visible means of creating a sense of community. The ‘Unikie Events’ play an important role in the employees’ interacting with each other.
“When the days are spent in the customers’ premises, it is important to create opportunities to come together as a team,” Laura believes.
“Our extended weekend at Ruka has already become an annual tradition, and we intend to team up with a big group again in January. In addition to the official program, we play games, ski and hang out together,” Roope explains.
Being part of Unikie is a matter of honor
There is still plenty to develop and fine-tune, in the 4-year old startup, including in the areas the People team manages. In addition to the daily routine work, Roope is particularly interested in strategic thinking and building systematics.
“I started at Unikie 1.5 years ago by doing an assignment in human resource management, at the University of Vaasa. Many of the developments identified at that time have been put into practice, we have introduced intranet, and systemized the orientation process, but many issues are still in progress. In addition, new ideas and development needs surface as the company grows,” says Roope.
Laura has an equally strong interest in development areas, for which she draws fresh content through her ongoing MBA studies. Despite the development needs, the rapid growth and low turnover are indications of Unikie’s job satisfaction. People are also, according to a recent employee survey, enjoying working at Unikie.
Unikie employees form a unique network of experts. Unikie is also about common values. Unikie employees convey a high degree of professionalism, a good attitude and dedication to their work.
“The most important thing for top professionals, is the interest in and challenge of the project,” Roope says.
“The salary model, awarding a fixed amount from the customer billing, is certainly also valued by the software experts. You can, as a result, influence your own level of income, and the salary is often better than the competitors”, Roope explains.