Exemplary supervisor work

Maija Kauppinen

The measurement of supervisor work began at Premico a year ago. Maija Kauppinen, Chief People & Operating Officer, shares the results obtained from the supervisor barometer, how they guided action planning, and what is planned for the future.
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At Premico, our HR calendar includes regular assessments of supervisor work and employee well-being. We measure well-being with a quick overview three times a year and focus on supervisor work in January. We initiated a concise seven-question supervisor barometer survey a year ago, aiming to have a measurement that is easy to fill out yet comprehensive enough to guide us in the development of supervisor work. The results of the supervisor barometer serve as a guide for our coaching sessions and internal practices that we uphold.

Key development areas for supervisor training

In January 2023, our supervisor barometer average was 8.6. Two clear areas for improvement emerged from the results: “My supervisor has set clear measurable goals for me” and “I regularly receive feedback from my supervisor that supports my work performance and development.” These guided us in planning the supervisor training program for 2023. Quality supervisor work is integral to achieving our annual goals.

In January, we sat down together, delving into the significance of goal-setting and contemplating what SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) practically entails. In June, Jari Saarenpää enlightened us on the secrets of giving feedback. We realized that giving praise is easier, but providing corrective or constructive feedback can be quite challenging. Not necessarily because we are afraid to address the issue, but sometimes it feels like there’s no corrective feedback to give. In these moments, it helps to look at the bigger picture: Is there a work approach that could help the team member handle their tasks more efficiently? As a supervisor, have you noticed that a particular situation significantly burdens someone, and with better preparation, the perceived stress would be lower? Meaningful feedback sometimes requires addressing difficult issues; this can be practiced, and with each iteration, it becomes more natural, if not necessarily easier—you realize the significance yourself.

As autumn set in, interaction coach and doctoral researcher Tommi Mäkinen coached us on communication, highlighting how conflicting values and preconceptions may influence our actions. Once again, we revisited giving feedback and learned how our presence and reactions may affect our team members in unexpected ways. Throughout the year, we also reviewed labor legislation and the role of a supervisor from the perspective of responsibilities and obligations, with assistance from Riikka Autio of DLA Piper.

Successful supervisor work reflects in well-being and job satisfaction

Why do we measure and coach? The spirit of Premico is something worth nurturing. We maintain a positive and uncomplicated atmosphere, where we discuss and are not afraid to express our opinions. Ultimately, our most valuable assets are the Premico employees; we offer their expertise and work directly and indirectly to our clients. Through effective supervisor work, we ensure that everyone understands their expectations and feels heard in their daily work. Successful supervisor work directly reflects in an individual’s well-being and job satisfaction. The role of a supervisor is a position of trust that cannot be outsourced. It can be learned; however, learning requires repetition, review, and reminders.

And what results did we achieve this year? In 2024, we embark with a supervisor work average of 9.1, goal setting has risen from 7.6 to 8.7, and feedback from 7.7 to 8.6. This year, we will continue emphasizing feedback, reinforcing our 1:1 practices, and likely introducing leadership in action as a new theme in our coaching kit.

Maija Kauppinen

Chief People & Operating Officer | CPOO
+358 40 683 7887

Maija Kauppinen