CoE Group applies people-oriented thinking to their personnel management and leadership. In addition to technical expertise, the employee’s personal values, interests, goals, experience, hobbies and their situation in life are taken into consideration in choosing work tasks and projects. With work life being in transition and the line between work and personal time becoming more blurred, it is more important than ever that employees are able to work with topics that are meaningful to them while adhering to their personal values.

“When projects feel pleasant and meaningful, the employee’s motivation and interest stay at a high level. It not only positively affects the employee’s job satisfaction and commitment, but also their expertise and the quality of their work. This means that the positive effects are witnessed by the employee, the customer and the employer”, says Mikko Lindström, Business Unit Director at CoE Group.

Lindström states that an engineering office’s product is its employees and their expertise. That is why they, their workplace well-being and their motivation need to be taken care of.

“It can be compared to product development – if neglected, the company will not have an up-to-date product to sell in the future.”

Influence on work tasks continues throughout career

At CoE Group, the influence design engineers have on their work tasks continues throughout their careers. Design engineers are encouraged to move on to new projects once their expertise and development have reached their peaks. However, transitioning into a new project does not happen right away – it is carefully planned in order to best benefit the engineer and the customer. The industry or the customer relationship where the next interesting project might await is assessed together with the engineer.

“We request permission from the customer for bringing another person in for knowledge absorption. The phase can take several months. Once the new designer’s expertise is at the required level, the original designer can move on to the next task. The process ensures that the transition is smooth for all parties and that there are no dips or breaks in the expertise we provide or in the continuation of the project.”

Fresh ways of thinking secure the industry’s appeal

According to Lindström, people-centered thinking is not yet widely applied in engineering sectors, but it is becoming more widespread. Traditional engineering sectors might not be as appealing to today’s young professionals, meaning that news ways of operating and fresh ways of thinking are crucial for securing the industry’s appeal. Engineering education is becoming more focused on larger frameworks and more abstract topics, such as sustainability. At times, engineers are trained to have a solution-oriented approach rather than a technical approach. With this, the engineer’s personal values and interests play a more significant role in their work.

“Technical expertise is always the foundation of engineering. However, it is noteworthy that any hinges in work performance almost never occur due to lack of technical skills. We at CoE Group have turned around the execution of projects so that the engineer as a person and the added value they bring to the customer are at the core. The end result is a people-oriented engineering office whose employees embrace their tasks with genuine interest and motivation.”

Mikko’s speech on the subject at Alihankinta subcontracting fair (in Finnish)

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