As the HR lead at Sievo I think about love a lot, (and not just on Valentine’s Day!)
In Finland, talking about love, or “rakkaus” is a serious thing. When you tell a Finn you love them, it is almost the same as saying that you will spend the rest of your life with them and never have sex with anyone else again. You could imagine that talking about love would not really be a suitable thing at a Finnish office. Yet at Sievo, we’ve started to use the hashtag #loveissievo! when talking about our workplace. Seems a bit weird, right?
Sure, when we talk about love, it does not mean all sweet talk and being covered in flowers each day. Love at Sievo is more like the love of a Finnish engineer (and being a Finnish engineer who is married to a Finnish engineer, I consider myself an expert on the topic). You will never see intense displays of strong emotions, but you can feel the love underneath the surface when you look at how people behave. So let me try to tell you what love is, and how does it show here at Sievo.
Sievonians in the smallest meeting room of Sievonia
What is love (baby don’t hurt me)
Love is accepting people for what they are. Not expecting people to be perfect. Not expecting them to put on a mask when they come to work. It’s allowing people to be human with their great days and sometimes no-so-great ones. It means believing that the other one is trying their best and forgiving them if they occasionally screw up. Love also means giving second chances.
Love means treating others like adults treat each other. It means that you don’t babysit them, watch over their shoulder or patronize them. You trust that they will take care of their responsibilities and know that they trust you to do the same.
At the same time love means that you can count on others to take care of what they are doing. You also know that others are counting on you to do your share – and you will, because the last thing you would want to do is let them down.
Love means respecting others for their good qualities, be it that you recognize yourself in them and find your soulmate in them. Or be it that you respect them for being the total opposite of yourself and therefore being able to do the stuff that you hate and/or suck at.
It’s love when you accept people as individuals who have their own goals and dreams, who want to develop and grow in their own direction. It’s not assuming that you can dictate that growth direction for them. You just need to be there to support them and help them, and to help them find out what they are best at and what they love. My colleague Sammeli calls this approach a career playground.
Love means taking a common path with someone and following it together. It means sharing the moments of joy, common victories and celebrating success. It means providing a shoulder to cry on when everything is going downhill, and pulling together when things get tough.
Love here at Sievo is not the romantic kind, although I do wonder sometimes when Sievonians seem to love cramming themselves into the smallest meeting rooms by the dozen. And that’s not even typical behavior for Finnish engineers either. Well, I guess you cannot explain people only by stereotypes after all. And you’ve got to love that, too.
Now check the hashtag #loveissievo! on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter