This past year has been an exceptional time for us all, but FSP’s HR director Mari Rajakallio still maintains a positive outlook. FSP’s employees are flexible professionals who are able to cope with their good attitude and diverse knowhow. Rajakallio’s own work is focused on the issues of work ability and continuous learning. She is herself multi- skilled, making use of her experience in both health care and economics in her work.
– I was originally trained as a midwife, Mari Rajakallio says, surprisingly.
Her education in health care, however, is not so far from the world of industrial surface treatment as it would first seem.
– My background as a nurse gives me a basic understanding of human physiology and psychology, as well as for example the risks related to chemicals, which is crucial in our industry, Rajakallio says.
She has since studied a number of subjects, including financial administration, and completed an MBA degree. Rajakallio started working at FSP fifteen years ago at financial administration and wages, gradually moving to HR duties in which she had previous experience. Mari Rajakallio has worked as FSP’s HR Director since 2009.
– My job description is diverse and fascinating. And as I am working with people, the situations that arise often call for quick actions, making my working days interesting. I naturally have certain familiar routines but, on the other hand, an important part of my work is to look into the future, she describes.
FOCUS ON WORK ABILITY AND WELL-BEING
Surface treatment work is often carried out in physically demanding circumstances. Problems with the musculoskeletal system are quite common in the industry.
– We are paying special attention to the physical challenges of this work. We have developed procedures for reacting as quickly as possible to symptoms that typically presage work ability problems, and for preventing long-term work ability issues, Mari Rajakallio describes.
– We have for example created models for alternative and partial duties and implemented the TULES care pathway for the treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal ailments.
FSP is investing to ensure that working is overall as safe as possible.
– Working in surface treatment facilities and different project sites may subject people to occupational accidents. We do everything we can to pay special attention to occupational safety and to minimize risks. Recognizing risks, observing hazardous situations and reporting them are all preventive measures and part of the daily duties for everybody in FSP. We are also very strict about protection to prevent employees from being exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Mental well-being is very important for one’s work and overall health. The HR Director praises the flexibility, coping and team spirit of FSP’s employees, especially during the corona epidemic.
– We had to make a lot of changes very quickly due to the exceptional situation. Some of the office personnel switched to remote working, but surface treatment itself cannot be done remotely. However, our employees have been very understanding and dependable, doing their job splendidly despite the exceptional circumstances. I have often wondered just how challenging the day-to-day life was for many families in the spring, with parents working and children going to remote school from home, Rajakallio contemplates.
EVERYTHING STARTS WITH KNOWHOW
The HR Director’s agenda includes issues related to professional training and learning.
– We are just beginning our strategy work. We can clearly see that sustaining and increasing knowhow are vital for both the employee and the company. Knowhow is the factor that enables us to differentiate ourselves and succeed, Rajakallio says. – In principle, we are always sympathetic to improving proficiency and learning. We usually don’t say “no” if an employee wishes to attend a training.
There are numerous ways of learning and improving in one’s own work.
– We also encourage job rotation and switching between units. It may first seem that the processes between paint shops are not that different, but a stint in another facility can be quite rewarding. In a different location, you have different customer products and new co-workers. With new things around, one always learns.
It is also important to share new ideas and experiences, and this is done widely in FSP.
– I often listen with pride when our professionals describe their work. They have masses of knowhow!
- Nurse (midwife), also studied financial administration and educational sciences, MBA
- In FSP since 2005, HR Director since 2009
- Mother of two. Spends her pastime being ahockey mum for her younger son and going to rock concerts with her older son: “I listen to all kinds of music, but the more there is rock in it, the better. I sometimes travel abroad with my son for concerts.”
- Own hobbies include walks and gardening