The new unit was built together
The establishment of the commuter services unit in passenger services in June 2014 involved a large number of different parties. The HR unit of the Group supported the establishment and the first stages of the new unit in many ways.
The first months of the new unit were challenging and quite hectic as the preparations for the competitive tendering by HSL were started in earnest. The work to prepare new ways of working for the unit continued day and night and at the start of September, its personnel moved to joint premises, which now houses all professional groups.
Dialogue at development workshops
When the unit was set up, there was extensive discussion with the personnel about the changes that could be expected, while at the same time ideas for developing communications, work shifts and supervisory work were also collected.
Commuter services workshops have been one concrete instrument for increasing exchange of ideas and interaction in the unit. The first workshops were coordinated by the HR unit after which they became the responsibility of the immediate supervisors. According to Topi Simola, Director of Commuter Services in VR Group, it is important that the different personnel groups meet and have discussions. The aim is to provide every commuter services staff member with an opportunity to take part in the workshops. The management of the unit will review the proposals put forward in the development workshops and pick the most useful ones for implementation.
One important aim in the commuter services unit is to ensure better job satisfaction and workplace well-being. The HR unit has taken part in the development of cooperation with occupational health care services and other actors. It has also supported the development of work at management team level and provided assistance in the training of supervisors.
Support in employment matters
Experts of the HR unit were also extensively involved in the formal arrangements in connection with the establishment of the unit, providing support for the unit management and supervisors. The HR Manager has been closely involved in the preparation and implementation of the change projects in the spring and in the autumn, from the establishment of the unit to the renewal of its structures. Head of HR Legal at VR Group has assisted in matters concerning employment law, while the HR Coordinator has served as the first contact to service supervisors in day-to-day employment issues.
New personnel for the Ring Rail Line
After the establishment of the new unit, commuter services have recruited new train drivers and the HR unit has supported the training application rounds in connection with them. The new unit has also recruited conductors so that there would be enough of them for trains on the Ring Rail Line, which is to open in summer 2015. Last autumn, the aim of VR was to, within six months, employ 150 new customer-oriented staff members who like their work and identify with their work community. The stages of the recruitment process were carefully planned in cooperation with commuter services supervisors, the HR unit, the recruitment partner and occupational healthcare services.
In addition to traditional job adverts in newspapers, VR also produced a video and online infographics in collaboration with commuter services supervisors. Information and visibility campaigns were also available online. Information about the job opportunities was also provided in educational institutions. Jonna Juslin-Uotila, HR Manager, Commuter Services, was satisfied with the campaign. The process was quick and made effective use of different channels.