Over the past few years, the project to determine Atria’s values as they relate to the company’s Way of Working has affected the day-to-day work of all employees. To continue this work, the Atria Way of Leading will now be further specified at the Group level.
Since 2012, Atria has been working to define and implement a common way of working across the Group. As a natural continuation of this work, the Group’s management has launched a project to further specify the Atria Way of Leading. Developing a common management style is an excellent way to shape the corporate culture of the entire Group.
“Management styles have been discussed among senior management, as well as the management teams and HR professionals in our countries of operation. This spring, we will be collecting and processing material for supervisors. The implementation phase will begin next autumn. The new Atria Way of Leading will become visible in practice in 2016,” says Tapio Palolahti, HR Director at Atria Finland.
The common management style has now been specified and will be taken into account in appraisal forms, competence studies, recruitment profiles and the evaluation of supervisory work.
According to Palolahti, the purpose of the Way of Leading process is not to come up with new management approaches, but to collect the operating and management practices that are already being used in the Group and shape and condense them into a common management style for the entire Group.
The goal is to crystallise them into management practices that are based on four key themes: communication, participation, development and action. It is believed that following jointly agreed management principles will improve job satisfaction and, consequently, the Group’s performance.
“This process will provide us with a more consistent, more modern management style. In the Atria of the future, we must encourage people to make decisions and put them into practice. To achieve this goal, we need managers who believe in Atria’s shared management principles and live and breathe them in their work,” says Lars Ohlin, HR Director at Atria Scandinavia.
“Our common Way of Leading will facilitate cooperation between different parts of the Group and encourage mobility between operations and countries,” says Ohlin.
Kaija Ketola-Annala, HRD Manager at Atria Finland, agrees with Ohlin. “Serving as a supervisor in Atria’s various units will be easier when supervisors know what is expected of them. Similarly, working in various units will be easier when employees can rely on consistent supervisory work,” says Ketola-Annala. “In addition, it will be easier for supervisors hired from outside the company to integrate into Atria and its management culture.”
The Atria Way of Leading will be defined and implemented gradually. The first group to be affected consists of the all 400 or so supervisors at Atria, who will familiarise themselves with the management principles. Processing and adopting the new principles will take time, but employees will begin to see their effects when the principles are put into practice. Including the principles in personnel practices will help the process.
Maria Belova, HR Director at Atria Russia, emphasises the importance of having a common communication strategy for presenting the new management methods to supervisors. In addition to a smooth flow of information, training and workshops will be needed, among other measures, to put the principles into practice. Similarly, employees must be offered opportunities to participate in the discussion on the management style and its effect on their work.
“Action is the most important key theme in implementing the new management style. It is not enough for supervisors to be familiar with the three other key themes. The themes are meaningless if they are not put into action,” Ohlin points out.