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Changes in the baking industry, economically challenging times and the rapid pace of change made Elonen Oy Leipomo understand that staff is the company’s most important investment.

As the pace of change has increased, it has become crucial to understand the change and make the whole organization aware of it. Together with Humap, we began to reflect what we at Elonen actually needed to develop in order to cope with the change, CEO Jari Elonen explains.

Humap became Elonen’s development partner through the MUKA initiative at JAMK University of Applied Sciences. We defined our main goal which was to strengthen customer orientation and listening to the customer as well as increasing understanding of the importance of customer experience.

The most essential realization was that development work is not done by management only. Instead, we need the wisdom and experience of each employee in developing and renewing business, says HR manager Tuire Elonen.

Almost the entire staff of Elonen’s bakery in Jämsä participated in customer listenings. Both the staff and the customers found the listenings useful and inspiring. It provided the staff with important information on how customers perceive Elonen’s operations.

The intense development process has occasionally been though. We have succeeded in creating a strong base for developing our change capacity which is a good starting point. The biggest challenge has been combining the development process with everyday work in a sufficiently light and agile way. Luckily enough, the cooperation continues, Jari says.