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

Competence needs are identified in dialogue based on strategy objectives

Personnel’s competence needs are discussed in an ongoing dialogue in conjunction with the strategy process and the planning of operations as well as in permanent groups established for management (leadership forum, superior forum, unit management teams). They identify strategic needs (such as supervisory work with a coaching approach, sustainable development competence) and needs arisen from changes in the operating environment (e.g. teachers’ digital skills and the practices of hybrid work). Sector-specific and substance-related competence needs are identified in connection with the units’ and teams’ annual objective setting and operations planning. In Education, the networks for pedagogic staff members, digital mentors and guidance assemble information on pedagogic needs and needs related to guidance competence.

The needs are specified further and transformed into development plans as part of operations management. These plans find their concrete form on the level of employees in development discussions. Metropolia has renewed its development discussions by switching from one annual performance and development discussion to the practice of two separate discussions. The autumn target and performance review include the targets for the past period and the upcoming period, performance and the related strengths and development needs. The spring development discussion focuses on the factors motivating the employee, their well-being as well as professional competence and development needs.

The most important method of competence development is learning on the job.  Professional development arises from meaningful job duties, international mobility, job rotation and career orientation. In addition to degree teaching, the teaching staff can work in the education solutions within Continuing Education and Enterprise Services and in RDI projects, for example. This is also in line with the RDIL operating model (see e.g. 2.1). Employees learn from colleagues in both daily work and regular peer forums (e.g. the leadership forum and sparring forums for superiors). Competence development is supported through internal and external coaching and training. The units are responsible for procuring competence related to their own operations and substance. Training that supports key competencies (e.g. the Digiope coaching to develop the digital competence of teaching staff, project management training, sustainable development) is provided in a centralised manner.  A policy is in place for supporting employees’ independent training, and Metropolia’s shared principles have been established, reviewed jointly and communicated to the superiors.

Proactive planning of recruitment

Metropolia’s units can carry out recruitment that is necessary and in line with their confirmed budget by means of proactive resource planning. Proactive planning is linked to other annual planning and budgeting. This provides a shared and open view into HR planning matters. It helps direct the use of resources in such a way that it becomes more systematic and makes the permission processes of recruitment lighter. The units are supported in resource planning and recruitment by the designated HR partner and finance controller. The principles and operating practices of recruitment are described in the OMA intranet. As a rule, the positions are also opened for internal recruitment and internal applicants are interviewed, if possible.

Metropolia builds a sustainable way to work with balanced work requirements and resources.

At Metropolia, the proactive enhancement of well-being at work is intertwined with finding balance between the available work resources and the requirements inherent in everyday work. The main enablers in the development of workplace well-being are the superiors and the management with the support of HR but it is most important to involve all the teams and individuals themselves in the development work. Because the quality of supervisory work has a profound impact on workplace well-being, HR has launched regular sparring forums, coaching and peer activities to support the superiors as well as increased HR business partner services available to superiors. The main tool to monitor and develop employee experience and workplace well-being is the annual People Power personnel survey. Metropolia has invested in the overall development of the employee experience – and well-being at work – by ensuring that the People Power results are processed together and prioritized into 1-3 development measures on all organisational levels: teams, units and Metropolia.  As a result of this process, the digital People Power reporting system has more than 100 different development measures which all aim to enhance everyday work conditions and well-being at work.

Metropolia’s workplace well-being services can be roughly divided into more permanent type of basic services (see Table 1) and more situational or changing well-being services (interventions).

Information table with several text boxes

Table 1 Basic workplace well-being services

The more situational or changing services (situation-specific interventions and pilots) include supervision/coaching for groups during the pandemic, short-term psychotherapy and the low-threshold Auntie service being launched to support good mental health and stress management. Superiors and experts have been supported by means of the virtual Onnistu hybridityössä (Successful hybrid work) learning path. In addition, superiors have been provided with a regular sparring forum, and the team leaders have crafted their jobs in Tiiminvetäjien työn muotoilu (Job Crafting for Team leaders) program.

Metropolia offers a wealth of services, models, and instructions on workplace wellbeing in a centralized manner. Their application and monitoring are the responsibility of the management and superiors of each unit. The HR partners assigned to the units could in future have a larger role in supporting the units. There are also plans for a ‘sounding board,’ consisting of representatives of HR and the units, to promote the dissemination of information, dialogue, and joint development.

The objectives and activities of equal and non-discriminating treatment are described in the Equality and non-discrimination plan that is updated bi-annually. The plan is drawn up by a working group consisting of Metropolia’s union representatives and the representatives of the occupational safety and health service, various personnel groups as well as students and HR. The measures in the plan and their implementation have been incorporated in HEI’s daily activities. The responsibility for implementing the measures is divided in accordance with management responsibilities. The success of the equality and non-discrimination work is the responsibility of the university community as a whole – every member of the community is responsible for their own conduct and actions. In 2021, a permanent equality and non-discrimination group was established to monitor the realization of the plan.


Strengths Enhancement areas
Flexible solutions for balancing work, family, and leisure in various stages of life. E.g. flextime, a work hour bank, partial exchange of holiday bonuses with time off, and opportunities provided by hybrid work. The identification of competence needs on various levels should be made more systematic by modelling or by describing the sources of identification and the process itself in greater detail. Unit- and team-specific, more systematic identification of competence needs might require some clarification and centralized support in the future.
A sound process increases the transparency and fairness of recruitment as the process implementation is harmonised in various parts of the organization in accordance with the agreed policies. The development of proactive resource planning and related tools in connection with annual planning.
The process prioritising the results of the personnel survey (People Power) and converting them jointly into development measures regarding the team, unit, and company (the implementation of which is monitored in the Cixtranet system) is strong and functions well. The units do not have resources expressly designated for well-being at work. Rather, launching and monitoring the operations is largely the responsibility of the busy superiors in each unit.
In the future, instead of focusing on the basic recruitment process, more attention should be paid to applicant communication and the development of employer image and visibility. This would help recruit the best possible experts for each position. Internal employer image should also be improved.
Organization of induction