How to grow leaders? Fennovoima’s approach

Good bosses empower people. Bad bosses make people leave their jobs. Companies that invest in leadership will benefit in the long run. Not only will they keep expertise, but they will also attract talent and create a working atmosphere where people want to do their work well.

Is it possible to develop leadership skills? Fennovoima senior managers believe that yes.

“Two years ago, our company launched a massive restructuring and development program. It aimed to improve company processes and cooperation, define clear responsibilities, establish strong ownership and empower leaders. Now we can see the objective results,” explains HR Director Eija Salo.

An independent agency has recently conducted a leadership survey, where 279 Fennovoima’s employees evaluated different leadership aspects of their immediate bosses. The overall score was 4 on a scale 1-5. The results were quite even in different departments of the company.

“We are proud that we have a good working environment according to this feedback. Survey results show that our leaders are moving in the right direction. They are able to listen to other people, perform and bring results,” Eija adds.

What makes a manager a leader?

Different companies and situations may need different types of leaders. At Fennovoima, six main areas were singled out and survey questions were tailored to meet them.

  1. Decisions

A leader needs to make good decisions, justify and communicate them well. That makes everyone feel good.

  1. Clarity

A leader needs to communicate well and openly and keep pointing the direction, because people can’t be led when the direction changes all the time.

  1. Results

A leader needs to set targets, give feedback to people and check the results.

  1. People

A leader has to be interested in people. A good leader supports and inspires the team and generates opportunities for professional development.

  1. Suppliers

A leader needs to build bridges with important stakeholders and find solutions.

  1. Future

A leader needs to pave the way forward. It’s not enough to focus on daily activities, a leader should see a longer perspective.

How to empower managers to become leaders

Each year several experts at Fennovoima who have shown their leadership potential are promoted to managerial roles. Fennovoima supports leaders, e.g. by training, coaching and mentoring. In addition, the company arranges Manager days for all the supervisors. During them, managers meet in a relaxed atmosphere and discuss company direction and leadership aspects.

“Such two-day activity allows us to align different perspectives and think of what we need to achieve. When people move away from daily routine, they can get a strategic view and get empowered with new energy, ”Eija says.

Growth never stops

Even when people feel motivated and happy with their supervisors, development should continue. Young leaders will need guidance. Experienced leaders will need to polish their soft skills by experimenting and listening to feedback from their teams. It’s a never-ending journey of professional growth, but it is necessary for the whole company and each employee.