The Bank of Finland’s operations and strategy
1.4 Strong expertise is the currency of stability
The COVID-19 pandemic meant that 2020 was a challenging year for all employers and employees. During the prolonged pandemic, the Bank of Finland helped our staff through the crisis in many different ways. During 2020, the Bank of Finland also reviewed our employer image and drafted an employee value proposition.
The Bank of Finland is a stable, responsible employer that employs 359 staff in a versatile range of tasks. Staff wellbeing is important at the Bank of Finland.
The constant development of staff competences, good management, a positive atmosphere at work and a healthy balance between work and leisure are all important priorities in this area.
Management are expected to show professionalism, leadership and a commitment to the continuous development of management skills.
Each year the Bank of Finland monitors the quality of management by means of management surveys and uses the results to improve leadership, supervision, corporate culture and internal processes.
In 2020, the leadership index rose slightly compared with the previous year, reaching 72.6 on a scale from 0 to 100. As we had hoped, the result exceeded the index for comparable organisations, which is 71.7.
Teleworking is the new normal – the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on working practices
On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to guarantee a safe and healthy work environment, in mid-March staff of the Bank of Finland began as a rule to work from home. Only work that could not be undertaken at home has been done on site. When working with others, everyone has had to follow the rules on social distancing, washing hands, cough hygiene and wearing a mask.
Early in the year the Bank set up an internal coordination group, among whose tasks was monitoring COVID-19 developments and providing instructions for the workplace in response to official guidelines.
The Bank has helped staff cope with the crisis by providing snapshots of the pandemic and instructions to staff on a regular basis, meanwhile showing a flexible approach to adopting new working practices, organising training sessions, supplying the tools and equipment needed for teleworking and making improvements to teleworking ergonomics.
The experiences the staff had gained prior to the pandemic of teleworking and learning how to use the technology for virtual meetings made it easier to adapt.
A survey was also conducted on general staff wellbeing.
The Bank of Finland as an employer is #SoundButNotSerious
We have reviewed our employer profile and the way we advertise vacancies, and we have drawn up an employee value proposition.
Our new employer brand emphasises people and working at the central bank. On our website and our job vacancy advertisements, the Bank clearly states what a central bank actually does, the sort of employer we are, and the sort of career opportunities we offer.
Employee advocates from the Bank of Finland’s various departments and representing a variety of positions also tell in their career stories about themselves, the work they do, their opportunities for enhancing their skills and knowledge, the work’s global dimension, club activities, and opportunities for combining work and leisure.
Our employer value proposition is an element in the Bank of Finland’s transparency as a responsible employer. The commitment crystallises what sort of employer the Bank of Finland is and what we as an employer offer our staff.
‘The Bank of Finland is a stable and responsible employer, offering socially significant, varied and challenging positions. We invest in developing the competence of our staff and in good management. International cooperation is part of our everyday work. For us, the wellbeing of our staff and the balance between work and leisure are important. We value each other and have a good atmosphere at work.’
We took care of the wellbeing of our staff and the continuity of our operations during the pandemic by communicating actively and flexibly introducing new operational and working methods.
We drew up an employee value proposition to encapsulate what sort of employer the Bank of Finland is and what it offers to its employees as an employer.
The Bank of Finland’s values emerged from a shared value journey
In the autumn, the Bank of Finland initiated a values debate, to which all staff members were invited.
The aim was to update the organisation’s values to reflect what everyone thought the workplace community at the Bank of Finland should be like.
The values journey that the staff of the Bank embarked upon took the form of virtual coffee mornings, questionnaires and team discussions. Staff were actively involved in the values debate and the Bank’s values eventually emerged as below.
‘At the Bank of Finland
we learn continuously both individually and from each other,
we value the expertise of each of our colleagues,
we work together as equals,
we bear responsibility for building a sustainable economy and stability.’
Young Professionals programme for future finance professionals
The Young Professionals programme organised jointly between the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) ended in February 2020.
The programme was launched in autumn 2018. Nine trainees were selected on the basis of an open application process. For 18 months they worked for periods of around six months in different departments and offices at the Bank of Finland and the FIN-FSA.
The Young Professionals programme was designed for young university students who had recently graduated or for specialists who had been in working life for a few years already.
The programme offered an opportunity to become a finance professional, work at the heart of the Eurosystem and learn about the core functions of the central bank and the financial and insurance supervisory authority, the work of the European Central Bank and European cooperation in matters of financial supervision.
Both participants and their supervisors had positive experiences of the programme. The trainees quickly found employment after the programme ended and some even continued in their new posts at the Bank of Finland and the FIN-FSA.
Responsible summer jobs
The Bank of Finland is one of the favourite employers for students of business studies and the most popular employer in the public sector. For the Bank of Finland, the employment of young people is an important part of the Bank’s work in the area of social responsibility and our function as a responsible employer.
The Bank of Finland is involved in the nationwide Responsible Summer Jobs campaign to help young people find responsible summertime employment. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank provided around 40 students with a summer job in 2020.
The summer jobs and the training for them were also a success for those working remotely. The summer employees gave the Bank of Finland a general score of 3.7 (on a scale from 1 to 4) for their summer job. What they thought was best about the work were the responsible and interesting tasks involved, their friendly colleagues and the working atmosphere.