Aleksandr Kutuzov heads Fennovoima’s Complex self-standing equipment sub-unit. In this interview, he is talking about his leadership style, company atmosphere and the main motivating factor.
Aleksandr, I know that you come from Russia. Could you tell me a bit about your background?
Before joining Fennovoima, I had worked at Atomproekt in Saint Petersburg for about 10 years. I was responsible for fuel handling and lifting equipment and took part in several nuclear projects: LAES, Tianwan NPP and Hanhikivi 1. My first position at Fennovoima was Fuel Handling Project Manager. Then, a year later, I got promoted and now lead the sub-unit of complex self-standing equipment.
How big is your team and what do you do?
At the moment, we have two persons and are looking for three more experts. We are responsible for safety classified lifting equipment, fuel handling, airlocks and diesel generators. The scope will grow and include different types of complex equipment that belongs to process systems of our future nuclear power plant, Hanhikivi 1.
What kind of experts are you looking for?
We are searching two different categories of expertise. We need one senior expert with a solid background, who would know the overall specifics of complex equipment. That person will advise and guide our company experts with multidisciplinary tasks.
In addition, we are hiring system responsible experts who will be in charge of particular systems’ technical part. They need to have at least five years of engineering experience, preferably with similar systems (diesel generators, airlocks, fuel handling systems, etc.). They should also be familiar with the legislation and European standards. For personal qualities, we value the ability to take responsibility, develop and learn. We have a lot to share, and our volume of work is larger than our team.
What about language requirements?
Our company language is English, so English fluency required. Finnish or Russian would be an advantage.
How would you characterize your leadership style?
I believe that a supervisor has to listen to subordinates, hear them and understand their needs. It’s important to be available for the team to be able to give answers and set the direction. If a person is stuck in some issue, what they expect from the supervisor is either to make a decision or find a way how to solve the issue. To put it simple, the supervisor has to give either the fish or a fishing rod. People should never be left alone.
At the same time, I don’t like micromanagement, when supervisors control too many things. In our company, the atmosphere is such that most employees are competent in their areas and work independently. The managers set the targets and support experts when a decision is needed.
How do you motivate your team?
A person has to feel interest in work. Sometimes it’s worth to take that into account when we distribute tasks and responsibilities. We have a wide range of equipment and systems and it’s possible to discuss different tasks and let people choose. If people do the tasks they chose, the performance will be better. Actually, this starts already when we select the candidates. We try to find out what kind of tasks would present interest for that concrete person. But this doesn’t mean that all work should be interesting, all of us have some routine tasks.
Now we have 25 nationalities represented in Fennovoima. What is it like to work in a multicultural company?
That’s really inspiring. When people choose Fennovoima, I believe that this multicultural aspect is one of the driving factors for their decision. In our company, experts grow faster because they learn about different working styles, practices and solutions from their foreign colleagues. At the same time, all those people create a unique Fennovoima culture which is different from other companies. Each of us brings a small part of their own, but at the same time accepts the rules that we have here.
Was there anything that surprised you in the company culture?
In the beginning I found working atmosphere more relaxing than in a typical Russian company. Even when some hot issues come up, colleagues deal with them in a calm and respectful way. This brings psychological comfort. Now I got used to that and adjusted my working style.
What motivates you in your work most of all?
Interesting tasks. What motivates me most, is the commitments I made. When I agree to do some volume of work, I feel satisfaction at every milestone that I reach. That’s my main motivation.