‘Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.’

HR Specialist Hanna Laavainen, who works at the head office of Kesko in Helsinki, has had a variety of duties focusing on competence development of Kesko employees during her career.

"I joined the K-Group in 2001 as Training Manager of the K-Retailers’ Association, in which position I was responsible for the development and organization of the Master Sales Assistant training. We were a team of young and enthusiastic specialists in the K-Retailers’ Association. ‘Blenders’, the term our Managing Director of that time used to refer to us, described well our pace at work and willingness for changes.

We newcomers to the K-Group were given a sufficient amount of responsibility and offered a chance to think creatively. When working for the K-Retailers’ Association, I became familiar with retail stores’ daily life, their staff and retailers. We also had close contacts with the commercial divisions of Kesko. Our whole Master Sales Assistant team was later transferred to the K-instituutti training centre, where competence development of the K-Group’s personnel was centralised. 

In K-instituutti, I’ve had a variety of duties focusing on competence development of Kesko employees. I’m now responsible for training provided to all staff in the organisation entitled Kesko HR, Shared Services. The purpose of shared HR services is to produce common business-driven basic services in HR administration, HR development and wellbeing at work for all Kesko companies and chains.

Our work is very development-oriented and forward-looking

In my work, the most important stakeholders include Kesko companies’ HR units, Kesko’s strategic training partners who are in charge of the implementation of training, and my colleagues who work at the shared HR services unit.

Kesko employees have excellent opportunities to maintain and deepen their competencies as the employer supports occupational development of management, supervisors and specialists alike. Training supply is varied and about 1,100 Kesko employees annually attend courses available for all. The most popular courses include supervisory training, and IT and language courses.

Over the course of my career, I have been some years at home raising new purchasing power for K-stores and on a study leave for my second university degree, I have always been welcomed back to the K-Group by new interesting challenges and nice colleagues.

I have my work and leisure well in balance – I also have energy distributed evenly among family, friends and my own hobbies. Parents of three sons to encourage in basketball and drive to and from training sessions and games surely appreciate evenings off. 

My objective both at work and leisure is not only to be good but to become better; in Andy Rooney’s words: ‘Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.’

 

 

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