Leadership coaching deepens the culture and interaction

One of the ways in which Alko invested in its personnel in 2021 was the leadership coaching programme that was kicked off in September. Lasting just under two years, the programme covers all supervisors at Alko, about 180 people.

“With this coaching, we seek to further deepen Alko’s good leadership culture. In our flat organisation, employee groups interact with each other frequently – for instance, the head office staff do shifts in the stores during peak seasons. At Alko, people lead people – our culture is about interacting with each other and having discussions,” says Elisa Venäläinen, Alko’s HRD Manager, who is responsible for the coaching together with a partner company. 

The supervisors met up in autumn 2021 to complete a joint introductory section and the first of four modules, which focused on business coaching. The themes of the next modules are responsible, agile and efficient, as well as inspiring and inclusive leadership. 

The leadership coaching bolsters not only the cooperation between the head office and the field units, but also geographical interactions – learning from colleagues over regional boundaries supports the uniformity and consistent quality of the leadership culture. Alko’s Management Team also takes part in the coaching. 

Diverse learning driven by self-knowledge 

The supervisors taking part in the coaching all have their own individual leadership background.  The coaching revolves around strengthening one’s self-knowledge and identifying different kinds of management scenarios. Learning is broken down as follows: 10 per cent consists of training sessions and independent learning, 20 per cent of working with colleagues and 70 per cent of on-the-job activities. The feedback received so far confirms that the practical application of the lessons yields very positive experiences. The trainees can also use Alko’s own digital learning platform, which supports their development along the way. 

The modular training proceeds from four common modules to in-depth studies, during which the trainees form smaller groups to familiarise themselves with the themes of each supervisor’s development objectives. The content of the leadership coaching will be modified as necessary along the way to ensure that the topics are timely and have the greatest impact. One of the means used to monitor the results is a regular Pulse survey, which assesses the performance of Alko’s supervisors from the perspective of their team members. 

“Our aim is to provide world-class customer service. To achieve this goal, we create a good employee experience and seek to ensure high-quality, praiseworthy management encounters,” states Heli Hassinen-Biberger, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Alko.