December 30, 2020

The health, safety, and well-being of our employees will continue to be a key area for the Kittilä facility, and we have a strong mandate and support from the management.

“Well-being is important for both individuals and the entire community. Healthy employees act more efficiently and safely in the workplace, and they may be able to instill interest in healthy living and well-being in their colleagues too,” explains the Kittilä mine’s HR superintendent, Heini Hämäläinen, adding, “Well-being at work will continue to be a key area for the Kittilä mine, and we have a strong mandate and support from the management.”

The coronavirus pandemic has moved hobbies outdoors

Active, healthy lifestyles are almost a given in the Kittilä area. The region offers a wide range of cultural and sports activities all year round. We support physical activity among our employees in many ways.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had to cancel sports-hall reservations and recreation events that we normally arrange for our employees and their families every year. To compensate for this, we want to encourage our employees to enjoy the great outdoors and outdoor activities, so, to this end, we have organized skiing and trail-running training and have arranged remote fitness and yoga classes.

We support working remotely

In March, many of our employees began to work remotely part of the time, a practice that continues in line with company policy. Remote working has posed certain challenges for supervisors and their teams. In the spring, some employees working from home had their hands full also with children because schools and day-care centers were closed.

“We made concerted efforts to support our supervisors, who suddenly had to lead their teams remotely. It is important to be flexible and support employees who face a challenging situation,” says Heini.

In the spring, we prepared several training courses on matters such as ergonomics in remote work, strain caused by working remotely, and management of remote work. In addition, we offered a separate training course to our COVID-19 group, which was established in March and still convenes weekly to discuss the situation and the measures required by it.

We promote well-being together

A year ago, we implemented a more versatile occupational health-care model and opened an on-site health station. Furthermore, because of Lapland’s long distances, remote services have proven to be an excellent solution for occupational health care in the region. Our employees are now supported by a doctor specializing in occupational health, an occupational-health nurse, and other experts (such as a psychologist, physiotherapist, and dietician).

Members of staff are involved in the development of our health and well-being services. We update our well-being action plan each year in collaboration with employees and health partners alike.

Occupational well-being events make a difference

Last year, we implemented an extensive health and well-being program for our staff. It included two training days, one in the spring and the other in the fall. The training covered central matters related to well-being, such as sleep, diet, exercise, and social skills at work. All participants were given a fitness test, which included various measurements and a walking test.

In addition, we offered our staff the opportunity to take part in recovery tests and training and to make use of the Break Pro workplace exercise app. For office workers, we arranged time-management training. In the spring, a resource group began working to support employees who feel they are struggling to cope.

In October, we held a workplace well-being week, with a view to encouraging all employees to consider how they could make their work days and those of their colleagues even better through their actions. The week culminated in the Positive Friday event, which was part of the national Workday of Dreams campaign. Recently held for the third time, Positive Friday has already established itself as a tradition at the Kittilä mine.