Port of Turku heads towards a new kind of operating culture

The Port’s HR Manager since August 2020, Sari Koskinen (Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration) describes herself as a “happy, solution-oriented and passionate HR type for whom well-being at work and development of the HR sector are matters of the heart”. She has diverse experience in HR duties.

Industry professional

Sari Koskinen feels that she was received well. The Port has not had a full-time HR Manager before, so the significance of the HR function in the organisation and business operations needed to be built consciously. The building of the framework and way of working was indeed started systematically.

“This has required putting my own job and the centralised HR function into words for the rest of the organisation. I see it as a positive thing that based on my own interest and expertise I have been able to prioritise the matters that I set out to improve further”, she says.

At the very beginning, Ms. Koskinen noticed that the professional pride of the Port employees is at a very high level.

“People work closely together within the units and want to reach the common goals. For example, the standard of customer service is excellent in the Port. I have rarely seen as high customer satisfaction ratings as we get”, she points out.

Sari Koskinen considers the Port of Turku basically a good workplace. The employees receive e.g. personnel benefits that are thought over with a focus diversely on health and well-being on the whole.

“In my opinion that’s great, because personnel lies at the heart of all activities, without people there’s no business, either”, she says.

The Port of Turku is seen as a safe and long-term workplace with a positive employer image. The number of personnel will decrease quite significantly through retirements over the next five years.

Sustainable and attractive workplace. All those working in the Port of Turku consider the port a positive workplace.”
From the Port of Turku’s strategy.

“We are not seeking strong growth regarding the number of personnel, but rather an optimal personnel structure. In the future, we will need to invest in new recruitments and consequently also attractiveness. We will try to reach for such job descriptions for everyone where you can be motivated and inspired about your work, and develop your own expertise. In a small organisation each employee’s role is important to the whole”, Ms. Koskinen contemplates.

In the future, the Port will hire new kind of expertise and build a modern working culture. Digitalisation will also considerably change the ways of working.

In the future, The Port will seek an optimal personnel structure instead of strong growth, says HR Manager Sari Koskinen.

The working culture affects a great deal on how we can attract new employees and also keep them. The youth of today may have many other expectations for a job than just salary.

“It may be more important, for example, how they thrive at work and what kind of a working community and culture there is. Thus we cannot stop moving on, but need to keep up with the change. We will need expert employees in the future as well, which is why we need to be an attractive workplace in the future, too”, Ms. Koskinen says.

The Port has decided to take a trip for changing the culture together with the personnel, to build the port of the future, to create an even more pleasant workplace.

“An external partner provides us with know-how and resources to forward the project of change. The change of culture will take place over a long period of time, the project is just a starting place. Maybe three years from now we will have reached our goal. During the project, we will determine the culture towards which we are heading. When there are clear objectives that you can reach, then it’s easier for everyone to understand them, commit themselves to them, and move towards them. I believe that the whole personnel wants us to have a positive atmosphere and that people like to seek jobs in the Port”, Sari Koskinen says.

Text: Heli Kaijansalo
Photos: Heli Kaijansalo