How Nokia is braving the cold

first_img Comments are closed. In the hot seat: Nokia HR director Lynn Rutter talks to Personnel Todayabout her challenging agenda”It’s inevitable that staff morale is affected and there is anadjustment to the fact that staff have their backs to the wall. But Nokia iswell placed for this as we have this Finnish culture – and part of that is toadapt to a tough climate. You don’t get tougher than -37º in Helsinki.” Lynn Rutter, Nokia’s global HR director, is talking about how the company ishelping staff cope under the constant threat of change. This has beenparticularly important since the telecoms sector went into decline. Rutter, who flies between Nokia’s headquarters in Helsinki and her home inAberdeen, believes HR has played a vital role in helping employees to acceptthat change is part of Nokia’s work culture. “HR can support a culture where change is normal. We’ve always been ina culture of change and we help staff to recognise that change is nothing tofear,” she said. This is done by getting staff to understand that no company can offer a40-year career, making them aware of the company’s strategy and giving themcontrol of their careers, she explains. Despite the wide-scale redundancies at Ericsson and Motorola, Rutter claimsthat Nokia is coping well with the market volatility affecting the telecomssector. Rutter, who has been with Nokia for 11 years, regards her biggest challengeas establishing an open communication system, which has been important ininforming staff of what is going on during periods of uncertainty. “Staff need to know what the facts are and what Nokia is trying to do,regardless of what’s going on in the sector,” she said. Nokia’s communication strategy is led by Jorma Ollila, the chief executivewho briefs the top managers and the information is then filtered down throughthe company. “Traditional HR has been seen as keeping information, and there is afeeling of knowledge equalling power, but Nokia has a very open system ofcommunication,” said Rutter. The company launched a site on its intranet over 18 months ago, whichprovides information for staff and line managers and a question and answerforum. “This helps everyone in Nokia understand the basis for decisions madeby the company and also how the company works,” said Rutter. She is adamant that the lay-offs across the telecom sector have made iteasier to address the skills shortages. Rutter said, “It’s still difficultto recruit people with skills in research and development and expertise incertain technology areas.” She adds, “The companies having difficulties are those in which peoplearen’t in line with the business objectives of the company.” Rutter singles out recruitment and retention among the main challenges forthe future. “Recruiting the right people is crucial. We are looking for people withparticular skills and a lot of our recruitment is done online or by word ofmouth. “One price of our success is that we are now on a hit list forheadhunters, so we have to give people reasons to stay,” she said.Rutter fact file – Lynn Rutter started as an executive HR officer, based at BT’s corporatehead office (UK) l 1985 Moves to BT’s Spectrum Division – She joined Nokia in 1990, to set up an HR department when the UK companyemployed only 30 people  – In 1997, she joined Nokia’s global HR team in the Nokia Networks businessdivisions based in Finland, where her key responsibilities include setting upglobal processes and rolling these out to new offices globally – In 1999, Rutter sets up the Nokia HR Communications Divisiont Nokia: the facts behind the telecoms giant– Nokia employs 60,000 staff worldwide, serving customers in 130 countries– It has production facilities in 10 countries and carries out research anddevelopment in 15 countries– There are 107 nationalities among its staff, operating across 57 countries– It has four business groups: Nokia networks; Nokia mobile phones; Nokiaventures organisation and common group functions– Nokia had an operating profit of Euro5.8bn and sales of E30.4bn in 2000– A strategic steering group which consists of 15 representative heads ofeach HR department co-ordinates the company’s HR strategy Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. How Nokia is braving the coldOn 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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