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Skills of living with change and building a conversational culture at Fläkt Woods

Fläkt Woods is a Finnish company that manufactures air-conditioners and has around 430 employees. Fläkt Woods set up a new logistics centre in the backwash of major cooperation negotiations. Operations from different offices of the organization were moved to the new logistics centre. At the same time, the whole distribution process was renewed.

Due to the introduction of the new logistics centre, many employees had to change roles and new operation models stirred confusion. People were left in the shadow of the processes and plans, and messages seemed to stop travelling from management to employees and back.

We wanted to bring people together to examine the change we were living amidst, and the effects that interaction has when processes are being renewed, HR manager Tuija Lehesvirta describes.

Humap and Fläkt Woods have cooperated with different development projects for a long time, for example with management trainings. The goal of the previous manager training at Fläkt Woods was creating a peer group, improving mutual interaction and sharing knowledge and know-how.

The manager training carried out with Humap was a great chance for our new managers to reflect and pause: an opportunity to examine their own work and role. For us, personality is the most important management tool. Manager does not always have to know the right answers. Managers too can be unsure, Lehesvirta explains.

At the core of the Fläkt Woods projects has been building a conversational culture. Through these processes, the organization was able to take their first steps towards creating a more dialogic atmosphere.

 

We haven’t, for example, discussed these kinds of themes before with the people at the logistics centre. Employees gained tools for having different kinds of discussions and resolving conflicts.

To an outside partner, we must phrase our thoughts and feelings in a different way. We all have our own internal role and operating method according to which we are accepted to operate. People learn best when they are pushed to the limit. Thus, we needed new perspectives and ways of doing in order to create new operations, Lehesvirta describes.

The cooperation trainings at Fläkt Woods consisted of one-to-one discussions and team workshops. In between the discussions and workshops, the process was supported using Humap’s digital discussion platform.

Before, we did not have time for discussions at work. To us, the process was a step towards a more dialogic culture. We genuinely learnt something new about living amidst change and managing it together.