Taking leadership development to the next level
I firmly believe that good leadership creates conditions for improved employee commitment, motivation, productivity, and work well-being. The experience at Teleste has also proved that good leadership development has a positive impact operationally across the entire organization. For this reason, we set out to further develop our leadership culture in a way that empowers each team leader and employee to contribute to building Teleste into the best work-place in the business.
In 2019, our executive team and selected employee focus groups set out to redefine the company’s leadership principles as the foundation for an internal development project aimed to train and upskill all of our employees with leadership and supervisory responsibilities. We wanted to enhance our leadership skills, to not only contribute to productivity at Teleste but also to improve overall well-being at the work, which directly feeds into our ability to better serve our customers.
Encouraging employee development, fostering respect and trust, and leading by example – these are some of the newly defined key principles that reinforce our team’s leaders’ abilities to maximize the potential of each highly talented and skilled individual here at Teleste.
Sharpening the fundamentals of leadership
Before executing our newly defined leadership principles, we wanted to give our team leaders and managers a theoretical foundation upon which to base their leadership skills. Together with Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE), we implemented a leadership program called Teleste Leader, where approximately 130 team leaders and managers across all business units and functions from all operating countries took part in thought-provoking executive education and leadership development courses.
The courses provided a great combination between academic framework and practical experiences, and everything was tailored around Teleste’s specific industry needs, unique business environment and our leadership principles. We not only wanted to create a sustainable framework for leadership, but also wanted to bring about practical tools to our team leaders, managers and executives; to enable them to do their jobs better and to make a positive impact on employee commitment and work well-being in general.
Because the training coincided with the pandemic, the majority of the training took place virtually, with the exception of a few hybrid events. To our surprise, this worked much better than expected. Training sessions were not merely passive listening webinars, but instead they offered a level of cross-country interaction that could not have been achieved otherwise. The training sessions were conducted in smaller groups, which was optimal for allowing for open discussion and a balanced level of interactivity. Not only that, but the training was an excellent opportunity for our managers to network with co-workers from other countries and to gain new perspectives on different business cultures and markets. As a result, our managerial training not only enhanced our leadership skills, it also brought us closer together during an exceptional time.
Creating a culture to bring visions and ideas into reality
As a result of the learnings from leadership training programs and also from our experiences of how the pandemic has changed the way we work, our internal teams have continued to develop their own working methods by utilizing the High-Performing Teams concept and learnings from the Teleste Leaders Program.
In it, a typically tight-knit group of employees with specific backgrounds and roles, and complementary talents and skills, are aligned with and committed to common goals and objectives. For this approach to work, we needed to establish a new kind of culture and work environment with psychological safety for any team member to bring forward ideas, different views, and unique perspectives to improve their daily tasks and routines. In addition to open communication, we also wanted to foster a company culture with as little hierarchy as possible.
While we are still in the early phases of implementing this new approach, we have quickly noticed the positive effects and tangible results not only in terms of productivity but also to workplace well-being. These results can be observed from our bi-annual employee surveys, which have a consistently high response rate of about 80 %. These surveys have now been conducted regularly since 2019 and they will continue to help gauge our employees’ work well-being.
Fueled by a company-wide mindset for customer success
At our core, we are a technology company full of passionate engineers and skilled individuals and we thrive on data, which clearly points out that we’re heading in the right direction. However, there is always more work to be done. Leadership development is not just a one time deal. Our newly defined value-based leadership principles and high engagement level give us the foundation to adapt to evolving day-to-day organizational needs as well the evolution of the industry and our customers.
Our ambition is to cultivate a working environment where each employee has the opportunities to influence, engage, and channel their individual curiosities and passions into what they do. We are committed to continuous development of our employees’ skill and expertise, which directly feeds into our ability to better serve our customers and our underlying mindset for customer success.
As the global head of Teleste HR my goal, together with all Teleste HR professionals, is to develop Teleste to be the best work place in the industry. I firmly believe that good leadership creates conditions for improved employee commitment, motivation, productivity, and work well-being.
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