Annual Report: Personnel and culture 2021

HH kuvitus

Lead paragraph

In 2021, we made our values part of our everyday lives and succeeded together. We started a new strategy period in the reformed organisation and even operated remotely under emergency conditions as the pandemic continued.


We started a new strategy period in the reformed organisation. At the heart of our reformed organisation’s structure is competence, and the aim of the reformation is a future-proof organisation that supports the strategy. The reformation enhances the smoothness and internal cooperation of our main processes – teaching and guidance, research and development, and local impact.

At the same time, we took the first steps in the operations pursuant to our education reform and towards the key targets of our strategy – an excellent student and employee experience. The reform challenges every member of our community to renew together!

Community spirit

The good result of the personnel survey acted as an inspiring start for the new period. The personnel survey, which measured the prerequisites for the implementation of the strategy and the internal functionality, gave a comprehensive overview of the starting point for the strategy period in the reformed organisation. In the survey, Haaga-Helia employees gave the most positive feedback (which surpasses the general expert norm by a wide margin) on work motivation and immediate leadership.

The employees were the most critical about group-level and inter-group operations. As a whole, the results were a clear improvement from the previous survey (2018). The most improved areas included caring for the personnel’s well-being, listening to the personnel in decision-making concerning them, and the successful implementation of changes.

The results prove that in the challenging pandemic situation we have succeeded in supporting our personnel. In additionally, in the targets for development selected in the previous survey – change management through dialogue – we have developed in the right direction, and grouping as well as organisational and educational reforms are still underway.  

In line with supporting our strategy, the strengths identified from the results as things to foster are still the significance of work, the employer’s support for professional development, and protecting Haaga-Helia’s bright future.

By clarifying the objectives and enhancing the duties, we confirmed the completion of the organisational and educational reforms as a common target for development. In order to enable this, we enhanced change management even further by focusing on continuous dialog and collective direction.

In the processing of group-specific results, we piloted as a conversation starter the so-called change map, and each group identified its strengths and prioritised a target for development for its 2022 activity plan. In addition, every Haaga-Helia employee recognised results by comparing their personal development steps to their next performance and development review.  


We built our well-being in an equal and non-discriminatory manner. For the 2021–2023 period, we renewed our equality and non-discrimination plan, into which we recorded the targets and measures for promoting equality and non-discrimination within our community. Our aim was to have an innovative and healthy university community of students and personnel.

We provided themes training, drafted an operations model for our work community for preventing inappropriate treatment, and appointed a designated harassment contact person for the personnel to support the equal and non-discriminatory treatment within our community.

Through equality and non-discrimination work, we highlighted diversity in our work community. In relation to our target, we enhanced, for example, the recruitment of international labour markets and the impact of international professionals in our community through measures such as the European Ulysseus university alliance and networks.  

We invested in occupational well-being in a diverse way, with online coaching in well-being and lectures about energy and wellness in everyday life, for example. We provided the personnel and students with a breaktime gymnastics application to support well-being, especially on remote days. We also promoted our occupational well-being with sports and culture benefits and by recommending remote service forms, with comprehensive occupational healthcare, and by allocating recreational funds for communal use.

We improved superiors’ preparedness in management of remote work and ability to work. We turned our gaze to the next normal. We drafted instructions for multi-location work and updated the flexible working hours and remote work model by increasing our personnel’s opportunities for flexible working hours arrangements.

Respect and transparency

We enhanced our research and rewarded and thanked our colleagues. Regarding our target of enhancing our applied research operations and impactful national and international networks, since 2014 we have made a sustained investment in the doctoral programme implemented in cooperation with the University of Westminster. The doctoral programme has made it possible for eleven Haaga-Helia employees to enhance their expertise while working. Those in the programme have found peer support from colleagues to be an important element during the studies.

The PhDs who graduated in 2021 could celebrate their accomplishment even during the pandemic, first in London and then with their colleagues at Haaga-Helia.  At the same time, we also celebrated the achievement of all the PhDs who graduated in 2020 and 2021.

In order to enhance our research operations, in 2021 we created a model to support the career advancement of researcher roles. The aim of the model is to provide and highlight an attractive, motivational and transparent career advancement path for those working in research positions. The model will be introduced and it will be developed further in the spirit of open science and research in 2022.  

At Haaga-Helia, the rewards were particularly diverse in 2021. They included both collective and individual forms of material reward. For our joint success and digital leap in the unusual 2020 pandemic period, we, the entire community, received a one-time raise in the sports and culture benefit to support our well-being. Later in the year, we also provided a one-time commuting allowance as a welcoming gesture when people returned to the campus.

With particular recreational funds to be used by groups, we promoted occupational well-being and community spirit to balance out the remote work and studies. The local item pursuant to the collective labour agreement was distributed as one-time items for the best performers of 2020, i.e. to over 200 Haaga-Helia employees. The names and achievements of the recipients were a shared source of joy on the intranet.

In late 2021, we celebrated the winners of the “Deed of the Year” prize who were selected by their colleagues. The prizes were awarded in the areas of teaching, research, societal impact and community spirit. As a thank you, all colleagues who proposed an award were also recognised on a smaller scale. Another positive aspect was that the “Deeds of the Year” were achieved by both individuals and groups: a total of 28 Haaga-Helia employees.

Our regenerating and competent personnel 2021

an average of training days per year / person
teachers completed a 2-month-long working life period
specialists continued in the doctoral programme of the University of Westminster

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