Low hierarchy is characteristic of a healthy workplace community
The Workplace Well-being Award 2020 was presented to the School of Theology, whose scores in the university’s workplace well-being survey have kept on getting better, also during the pandemic. According to the award statement, Head of School Ilkka Huhta has promoted workplace well-being by developing the school’s meeting practices and interaction, and by really putting himself out there. One example is a campaign where he matched the credits completed at the school by riding an equivalent distance on his bike.
“From the viewpoint of workplace well-being, a workplace community is never ready. It is something that requires constant work, as well as the commitment and participation of the entire community. That’s something we may have succeeded in, but it is the result of years, perhaps even decades, of hard work. We have an increasingly strong sense of community that is working for a common goal, despite there being many different degree programmes and subjects in our school,” Huhta says.
“In management, we seek to make sure that everyone gets to do what they are good at. An opportunity to influence one’s own work is an important element in academic work. In a small unit such as ours, it is also possible for the head to hear everyone’s wishes and goals.”
“We have introduced informal weekly coffee sessions to foster communication, and these have now continued online. “We also have a low hierarchy between teachers and students, and common events, such as basketball games and futsal nights, are important. We are now looking into whether e-sports could offer us something similar.”
“My role is to provide support for good ideas, and I’m not the first to turn down crazy ones, either. Our atmosphere is tolerant, and this makes it possible for people to share not only their successes, but also their failures in, for example, funding calls,” Huhta says.
The Rector presented the Workplace Well-being Award at the proposal of a HR working group.