Osuuskauppa Maakunta: Wellbeing in Finland's most inspiring workplace

Seven teams of Osuuskauppa Maakunta co-operative have joined the expert coaches of Wellbeing Superstars by Liikkuva Suomi on a journey towards a better everyday life. 

Tiina Ven, Head of Coaching for Wellbeing Superstars, explains the background of the coaching: “For us, wellbeing is about both internal and external movement, as well as about rest and recovery. I have been working with rehabilitation and exercise for over 30 years and have seen how challenging it is sometimes to find a good work-life balance.”  

“In Osuuskauppa Maakunta, wellbeing at work has been identified as one of the most important issues at work. It’s great to be involved in this project to inspire and motivate all members of the pilot project teams to exercise, rest, eat healthier, and feel better with expert guidance.” 

The monthly themes and weekly exercises of the Wellbeing Superstars coaching focus on balancing rest, exercise, and the mind. Wellbeing at work and fitness for work are a common concern for the whole team. 

“We humans holistic beings, and when our everyday life is in balance, our balance at work follows. We can all take better care of ourselves, and this is also something we focus on in our coaching. Sustainable lifestyle changes rarely succeed if they are motivated by big disruptions. The path to genuine change is taken one step at a time,” Tiina explains the Wellbeing Superstars coaching philosophy. 

For Osuuskauppa Maakunta, the collaboration with Wellbeing Superstars is the next step in their long-term development aimed at supporting their personnel’s wellbeing, and winning the 2022 Finland's Most Inspiring Workplace competition. 

Maakunta’s 500 employees do demanding, physical shift work, which is why keeping healthy and staying fit for work is of paramount importance. Osuuskauppa Maakunta is also a growing organisation that wants to profile itself as a well-liked and desirable place to work. 

Out of all of Maakunta’s employees, 80% work part-time and 20% full-time, but the new wellbeing coaching programme, as well as other staff benefits, are the same for all – because part-time employees are just as important as full-time ones. 

Maakunta’s Managing Director Hannu Pelkonen is delighted with the new coaching programme: “People are our most important asset, and we want to take care of them. Shift work, customer service, and the hectic pace of the grocery business make it challenging to cope with everyday life, so we want to focus on developing wellbeing in a holistic and balanced way across the whole team.” 

Maakunta’s seven volunteer pilot teams started their coaching with the Steps to better everyday theme. Many team members have already started using the HeiaHeia platform, which makes it easy to track your own wellbeing actions and the changes brought about by small everyday decisions. The app and team meetings are also an opportunity to encourage and inspire friends – and maybe even playfully compete with other teams at some point! 

“Wellbeing at work is a really important issue for Osuuskauppa Maakunta, but it doesn't have to be serious,” laughs HR Manager Pia Tuomivaara. “We want to be one of the best places to work in Finland, and to spread the good news of wellbeing at work. We want our people to be energetic both at work and outside it.” 

Check out the video shot at the new Raatikeskus S-market in Kajaani and the staff's thoughts on what makes their work meaningful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdkiQSlWUOg.