The pandemic hit the world at the beginning of the year with a massive and devastating impact on people’s health, lives and daily routines. For us at Fortum, in many ways it has challenged our way of working; already now, we can see that there will be long lasting effects in our corporate way of working. We have therefore initiated a company-wide project, “Workforce 2.0”, to gather insights and to analyse what structured long-term changes we need to implement at Fortum.
In this work, we are looking at four different aspects of “the new normal” and identifying both short-term and long-term actions to be taken.
- Leadership; what kind of leadership is needed in this new reality? How can we maintain high employee engagement when most of us are working remotely? And, in practical terms, what does self-leadership mean to us as individuals?
- Employment and employer branding; in the future, how flexible will the job market be when it comes to remote jobs, and how flexible will Fortum be? How can we create an equal job market, when there is no remote option for some roles? And how will the way in which we meet the upcoming needs and expectations of our employees either strengthen or weaken our employer brand internally?
- Digital transformation; how do we adapt our digital transformation to truly support the most relevant and beneficial processes in the future? Which tools will serve us the best when it comes to collaboration, business development, data security?
- The way of doing work; how do we handle the maintenance work or take the proper safety measures when we are not physically present? Would pop-up office spaces be a complementary solution to traditional offices? And how do we secure productivity and innovation if cross-functional team-ups or workshops are not possible?
We believe that we need to understand the ever-changing needs, both within the organisation as well as in society, to be able to develop our company. Insights, ideas and lessons learned – not only by us, but by other companies and industries – will help us adapt our way of working, our leadership and our practices to build a stronger company.
Internal and external dialogue is key in getting a better understanding about the future. The voices of our employees and our leaders are important and help us to focus. Workshops, employee surveys and leadership polls are all feedback loops that determine the next steps in this work. With this instant feedback, we get an early understanding of what is cooking and which issues we need to handle first.
We are also discussing the future challenges and opportunities with other companies and organisations. By sharing valuable insights and ideas, we can learn from each other and adapt and develop more easily.
The Workforce 2.0 work at Fortum will continue until next autumn, but the long-term changes and scenarios will be mixed with short-term adaptations and actions. I am looking forward to the new ideas and solutions regarding ways of doing work, leadership, digitalisation and cooperation. Only by adapting to new situations in a fast way can we remain competitive, keep the internal engagement high and strengthen our company culture.
Because we are not going back, we are going forward.