3.2 Supporting the competence development and well-being of the staff

Auditointiryhmän arvio

Based on the audit material the audit team considers that Haaga-Helia has established functioning procedures for well-being, equality, non-discrimination of students and staff supporting individual competence development. Haaga-Helia’s positive culture towards competence development and opportunities to learn from each other got many positive remarks in the interviews.   

Equality and non-discrimination are part of Haaga-Helia’s everyday life

Haaga-Helia has an equality and non-discrimination plan, which can easily be found both in Haaga-Helia’s Finnish and English intranet as well as in public webpages. The functionality of the equality and non-discrimination plan is followed by the Occupational Safety Committee that is composed of both staff and student members. The interviewees described equality and non-discrimination as a normal part of everyday work. One issue concerning equality that came out in the student interviews was the insufficient English language skills of some teachers and equal opportunities for students to get information also in English. In addition, the fact that some of the personnel trainings are only in Finnish prevents international personnel from participating in them.

The audit team encourages Haaga-Helia to invest in the accessibility of the trainings, to motivate staff members to participate in systematic training even more and to ensure that the trainings offered are organized so that teachers’ schedules also allow participation in them. One of the staff’s demands for additional training that were mentioned during the audit visit was English language courses for teachers of international students.

The audit team was also told that Haaga-Helia has a process for preventing inappropriate behaviour and that there is an appointed harassment contact person, but neither the process nor the contact information could be easily found on Haaga-Helia’s intranet. The audit team recommends that this information be added on the intranet so that it is easily found. Recruitment procedures were described as transparent and functioning in the interviews.  

Haaga-Helia offers many opportunities for competence development

During the site visit, Haaga-Helia’s interviewed staff evaluated opportunities and atmosphere related to competence development to be positive. Other available material supported this view, as according to the personnel survey of 2021 80 % of the personnel who answered the survey were satisfied with Haaga-Helia’s support of professional development. According to the interviewed HR representatives, development needs and individual competence requirements have been addressed in performance and development discussions, group discussions and in different one-to-one discussions. The general comment from the interviewed staff members was that there are a lot of opportunities for competence development, but sometimes teachers’ schedules are difficult to combine with trainings. Also there were signals that the criteria for getting into paid trainings were not fully clear to all the staff members.

In the teaching staff’s working hour plan, there are 50 hours per year allocated to training and there’s a possibility for different kinds of trainings depending on the needs of the staff members. Haaga-Helia offers also the administrative and support staff in addition to normal internal or external trainings supporting their work, a possibility to take five extra paid days per year for studies leading to a degree or similar. According to the personnel survey of 2021, an average Haaga-Helian spent five days per year on training. Haaga-Helia offers a lot of possibilities for competence development and according the interviews this is highly appreciated by the staff.

Haaga-Helia has a very strong learning by doing culture. One of the interviewees described it as “teaching students teachers teach teaching”, which means that unexperienced teachers learn from professional and experienced teachers. Also, co-planning, team-teaching and co-operation with colleagues was often described in the interviews as a way to learn from peers. Haaga-Helia’s library services were described by the interviewed staff as being excellent. The audit team finds it positive that Haaga-Helia’s teachers described in the interviews that they were encouraged by management to go on a work life period to learn and to take part in RDI projects as part of their competence development.

Well-being services are appreciated

Haaga-Helia provides a lot of support related to health & wellbeing, sports and culture benefits, sports opportunities, mental and physical break exercises, ergonomics guidance, soft skills training and wellbeing seminars. Haaga-Helia does a personnel survey every second year. The services offered by Haaga-Helia are mainly based on the personnel surveys, continuous dialogue and feedback and partially on cooperation with occupational healthcare. According to the self-assessment report, Haaga-Helia has preventive wellbeing practices such as an early support process. The feedback from the staff concerning health and wellbeing services was positive both in the 2021 personnel survey as well as in the interviews: “A lot of support related to health & wellbeing is provided to the staff.” The flexible multilocation work and the flex time model were mentioned to the audit team as a factor that enables coordination and combining work and personal life. Another positive factor that was named in the interviews was that Haaga-Helia looks to provide its staff opportunities for sabbaticals, study leave and work-life experience.