At Qvik, Auntie is part of onboarding and caring – Qvik
Qvik is a Nordic technology company that does software consulting and focuses specifically on digital solutions developed for end-users. According to Susanna Forsberg, Chief People & Culture Officer at Qvik, the general challenge in the industry is the state of the job market — it is difficult to find skilled people and therefore the image of the employer is getting more and more important. Auntie assists employees in the crucial points of both onboarding and customer teamwork.
Susanna Forsberg and her “People team” have a strong focus on developmental angles, meaning culture, well-being, learning, and community. The role of the team is to be a driver of development and change, as well as an enabler of growth, not just an administrative partner.
“Qvik wants to be an attractive and desirable place to work, and for us to be that, we need to take care of our people. As a modern technology company, we offer great career opportunities, interesting projects, and numerous benefits. But that’s not enough for us — we want to take care further. We will develop an increasingly inspiring and safe corporate culture, on-the-job learning, deeper professional skills, and a stronger community. No one is left alone”, says Susanna about the company’s culture.
The current employees in Finland represent more than 10 nationalities from around the world. In addition to Finland, Qvik also has an office in Sweden. “During the onboarding phase, new employees sometimes praise how well Qvik takes care of the people and helps them get started, some say they have never experienced anything like this abroad or in Finland, so maybe it says something about Finnish work culture,” said Susanna.
“Don’t hesitate for a moment to implement Auntie. Building a healthy working life is the responsibility of us all. Well-being is caring and caring is well-being.”
Chief People & Culture Officer, Qvik Oy
Auntie supports during and between projects
In the consulting house, work is done in customer teams. It poses its own challenges to well-being at work when the team has colleagues from different companies. One feature of customer teamwork is that an employee might be working with one project or client from a few days to more than a year, after which there may be either a short or long break before the next project. Being between projects, i.e. “on the bench”, can be a welcomed break and an opportunity for them to develop themselves and their skillset, for example through courses which they may not have had the time to do during projects. For some this can also be stressful, “Am I not good enough, am I a nice person?” At this point, Auntie can step in to help.
People have only one well-being
Well-being at work is seen as a whole at Qvik. People have only one well-being — it is not appropriate to distinguish between well-being at work and other well-being. Well-being starts with the company’s strategy and vision, where well-being is seen as one of the most important elements. “There would be no Qvik without our people,” Susanna emphasizes. “It’s the only resource we have and of course we want to take care of our people.” The strategy working group, which considered well-being matters, included employees from different parts of the company. The working group selected the three most important elements for the “People Strategy”: learning, well-being at work, and community.
Investing in well-being has been a conscious choice and not the result of employees feeling unwell. When Susanna came to Qvik just over a year ago, her main goals were to develop learning and well-being. She used a biweekly well-being survey to monitor the well-being of the staff and according to the surveys, everything seemed to be going well. But at the same time, there were discussions about how people were coping with projects, how people had been treated within them. How can we really figure out if things are going well? Susanna got the impression that people could be supported even better.
100% thumbs up for Auntie after the pilot
With Auntie, Qvik set off with a pilot of about 10 people. Individuals were hand-picked from across the organization by managers. The feedback from the pilot that Qvik was after was whether Auntie could benefit everyone at Qvik. Qvik uses the Auntie Plus service, but in the pilot, it was agreed that on top of an hour-long check-in session, meaning a conversation with an Auntie professional, everyone at Qvik would do a five-session Auntie package. The results were reviewed in the feedback and development meeting together with an Auntie employee, and the result was unanimous: 100% showed thumbs up in favor of continuing. This made it very easy for Susanna to make the decision.
Through occupational healthcare, Qvik has had, among other things, a pop-up psychologist in the office before the pandemic. During the corona period, employees experienced the challenges of mental well-being on a wider scale, so building a connection between occupational healthcare and Auntie brought a great solution.
Auntie is also a low-threshold service for People Team members and managers
The easiness of Auntie and the low threshold nature, as well as the personal trainer type service of the mind, suited the situation. Many members of the People Team have also used Auntie’s service. Qvik’s support function consists of about 20 people and includes several teams: People Team, sales, marketing, as well as the management team. Purpose of the support function is to support staff, remove barriers, enable growth of the company and individuals, and take care of external marketing and communications. Auntie has been a great help to this whole group. Members of the People Team can have a high threshold to contact occupational healthcare about their own matters when they are usually in contact as an employer representative and now need to discuss their own well-being. Auntie is a great fit there as well.
In Qvik, the organization has been changed so that the teams are small and there are now many more Team Leaders. The Leader packages of Auntie can be offered to new Team Leaders to help them benefit from the new perspective they now have. Things to consider include how can I develop as a leader myself and how I can help team members — Auntie can offer support with these questions. Susanna believes this is a good addition, as the main task of a Team Leader is to support people’s learning and well-being.
Openness with well-being of the mind matters is praised
Auntie Plus is now in use throughout the company and has gotten off to a great start. Satisfaction is huge, 99 % recommend and satisfaction with the service is 8.7. Work efficiency has risen by 23 % according to self-assessment. The goal is for everyone to at least go to a check-in session with yearly maintenance in mind. During onboarding, people will already be prompted to attend a check-in to evaluate the situation, as in whether there is a need to start one of the Auntie packages. It is always possible to go back to a check-in session whenever employees feel the need.
The feedback from users praised that the well-being of the mind is talked about openly and that it is great that there is an opportunity to use services like Auntie. Another user of the service commented that it is worth investing in mental health, confidential discussions, and non-goal-oriented mental support. Reflection skills and mental stability developed in conversations. Some people with no experience with this kind of service gave great feedback as well saying it was very useful.
Auntie is easy, simple and fast
The quick start after the pilot was a positive surprise. The virtual service is working well; it was a question mark for us since previously with the pop-up psychologist there was the opportunity to meet face to face. Auntie may not bring much value to those who have previously been or are currently in psychotherapy, but for those who have never been to psychological support, the value can be immense.
The best things about Auntie are that it is easily accessible, simple, fast, and you get support as soon as you need it. According to Susanna, if you are another organization that is considering implementing Auntie, don’t hesitate for a moment. Building a healthy working life is the responsibility of us all. Well-being is caring and caring is well-being. Each of us needs both caring and well-being.
Read also about the experiences of Juha who returned to work after parental leave.