Your first steps as a new supervisor
As a recently hired employee for a supervisorial job at the City of Helsinki, you will follow an onboarding journey best suited to your new position, as well as benefit from various tools the city offers for introducing supervisors to their work. The most helpful of these will be your personal orientation plan. The Startti esihenkilötyöhön (rough translation: Kickstart your supervisory work) training programme from Stadin Akatemia is also at your disposal.
Working as a supervisor at the City of Helsinki
A central tenant of supervisorial work at the City of Helsinki is the idea of success management. This means setting common goals, seeing that they are met successfully, and supporting development.
Success management ensures that our employees have a clear understanding of their work goals, along with the required competence, work ability, motivation and desire to contribute to the joint success of the entire work community.
The City of Helsinki has four common cornerstones that steer staff management: vision, enthusiasm, consistency and implementational ability. These are the properties that unite each of the city’s 2,000 supervisors.
The cornerstones assist supervisors to determine which areas they should concentrate on in their management duties. They are made tangible in different ways for every managerial position, across various organisations. It is important for all supervisors to sometimes stop in the middle of their hectic daily operations and consider what needs to be focused on – whether it be on an individual, communal or citywide level. In these matters, all City of Helsinki supervisors naturally have the support of their own supervisor, as well as the feedback provided in employee surveys, for example.
You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the management cornerstones better at a later phase of your onboarding journey.
Tools for success
As a supervisor, you have several practical tools at your disposal to help you support the wellbeing of your employees and improve their chances of success. The most essential of these are the performance review (onnistumiskeskustelu), 15-minute check-in (varttikeskustelu), workflow assessment (Työn sujuvuus -keskustelu) and early support discussion (varhainen tuen keskestelu). You will have the chance to learn more about these management tools later in your onboarding, but short descriptions of each can be found below.
A performance review (onnistumiskeskustelu) is a discussion of how well an employee has accomplished their goals in the closing period, or in other words, how well they have succeeded in their work. Objectives for the coming period are also set during this discussion. The intention is to ensure that goals are in place and that the employee in question has the necessary skills and resources to complete the tasks required. It is good to schedule at least two performance reviews annually.
The goal of the workflow assessment (työn sujuvuus -keskustelu) is to eliminate work-related problems. The issue at hand could be any one of a wide range of concerns, from individuals to work communities or work-related tools. The initiative for this assessment can come from either the supervisor or the employee. The assessment focuses on coming up with ways to remove the obstacles to optimal workflow and support the employee’s opportunities to succeed in their work.
A 15-minute check-in (varttikeskustelu) is a short discussion to ensure that employees are making good progress towards the goals agreed upon in the performance reviews. These check-ins can be arranged as needed, but supervisors should make sure that enough of them are held throughout the year.
Early support discussion
An early support discussion (varhaisen tuen keskustelu) is initiated when performance reviews, 15-minute check-ins and workflow assessments prove unable to solve certain work-related problems. An accumulation of sick leave days may also trigger this kind of meeting. The early support discussion is a confidential conversation between a supervisor and an employee that aims to come up with a joint plan for supporting future work success. The impetus to engage in the discussion can come from either the supervisor or the employee.
As a supervisor, you have an important role to play in ensuring that you have a sufficient line of dialogue with your employees. Remember that you too have the right to initiate discussions with your supervisor.