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Employees are actively involved in developing Granlund’s diversity efforts

Employees are actively involved in developing Granlund’s diversity efforts

15.2.2024 – Granlund's international employees are a valuable resource in developing the diversity of the work community and expanding expertise. Four Granlund employees who moved to Finland share their experiences

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In the autumn of 2022, Granlund launched a more extensive version of its Diversity and Inclusion efforts with a personnel-wide survey. Language practices were identified as one of the development targets. Last year, the company set up a Diversity and Inclusion team that includes international employees.

“In the team, we can speak for all international Granlund employees and influence aspects such as the language question and the inclusion of women,” says Junior Project Manager Priyanka Thapa from the Data Centre department.

She hopes for more open attitudes towards international employees as a different cultural background does not in any way affect the employee’s competence. She also finds it important to highlight the diversity of the employees.

Internationality becomes more and more valued

Priyanka appreciates Granlund for recognising the issues related to diversity and for seeking development. Understanding the problem is the first step in fixing it.

AI Lead Davor Stjelja from Granlund’s Innovation department witnesses the company’s wide-ranging international pioneership in his daily work. That is why he finds it a shame that some of the expertise is hidden by a language barrier.

Datakeskus-osaston nuorempi projektipäällikkö Priyanka Thapa
Priyanka Thapa

We can influence aspects such as the language question and the inclusion of women

Priyanka Thapa

Davor is an advocate of using Finnish and English flexibly in meetings, for example, and he hopes that the company does not focus too much on Finnish language skills when recruiting new employees.

“The actual work and skills are much more important, and the language skills will develop over time, if necessary.”

Davor finds it encouraging to see how Granlund increasingly appreciates international points of view and people from diverse backgrounds. It is a positive step towards the future.

“After all, appreciating foreign expertise has brought success to the Finnish IT industry for decades.”

Nhung Nguyen

Promoting diversity will attract talented international workers to Granlund.

Nhung Nguyen

Energy Specialist Nhung Nguyen also believes that promoting diversity will attract talented international workers to Granlund, which will promote success and the retention of top experts.

“The diversity and inclusion efforts also make us international Granlund employees feel welcome and appreciated.”

Network of talent brings people together

International employees also have an informal network at Granlund. A year ago, Davor set up a talent network where international workers get to know one another and share their experiences.

“Previously, we were aware of the existence of other international employees but had no efficient means of communication,” says Davor.

While Granlund’s internationalisation strategy has sparked an upward trend in the numbers of foreign employees, there is a great deal of information that is obvious to native Finns and is not explained in English. Data Analyst Anna Korolyuk from the Innovation department finds it important that representatives of Granlund’s HR department and communications have visited the talent network’s meetings.

Priyanka believes that the talent network is a great way of getting to know other international employees outside your department. Nhung, in turn, thinks that participating in a multidisciplinary talent network is a great stepping stone to expert cooperation in projects as well.

Nhung is a member of a Teams group bringing together international employees in Uusimaa. In the future, he would also like to set up a personnel resource group as a platform for shared experiences and mutual support.

“The group could also support initiatives related to professional development, well-being and integration.”

More English-language communications

Granlund is increasingly producing English-language communications, training and other materials, and the social language practices of the work community are also slowly changing. Speaking English is starting to feel easier.

“The coworkers’ attitudes towards international employees have changed in a couple of years, and my Finnish coworkers are now more active in contacting me,” says Priyanka with a smile.

Granlund has organised Finnish language courses for several years. They offer the chance to practise the language and talk casually about various topics. Anna emphasises that shared events, lunch events and evening events are also needed to enable Finnish-speaking employees and international employees to meet and talk face to face.

“Openness reduces everyone’s loneliness, and learning about other cultures is fun. People who think differently also make great, innovative teams.”

Anna mentions small ways of supporting Finnish as a second language in informal situations. Having native Finnish speakers speak slowly and simply, just like in Finnish language courses, makes it easier for international employees to understand them.

More information

Davor Stjelja, Anna Korolyuk ja Nhung Nguyen
The network has sparred with communications and HR in paying attention to international talents, say Davor Stjelja, Anna Korolyuk, and Nhung Nguyen.

Minna Lappalainen

Director of Human Resources
Granlund Oy

Maila Herva

Quality and Sustainability Director
Granlund Oy

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