• Well-being at Work and Culture
  • December 29, 2014

2014 – The Year of Emotions

Yet another year is coming to an end. The past year has been filled with a lot of joy, laughter, and wonderful moments. At the same time, we have also experienced tears, sorrow, and emotionally extremely hard decisions.

During the past autumn, I have struggled with the controversial roles of a smiling HR officer and a cold strategic business maker. Both the hard and the soft sides, however, are part of today's Human Resource Management. In HR Management, people can be treated as resources that make it possible for companies to follow their strategy. On the other side, the focus of the HR is also very much on supporting employees' abilities, caring about your employees, as well as inspiring them in their everyday work. Furthermore, when you add everything related to work relationships and labour market issues to this combination, it is safe to say that combining the different HR Management roles is challenging to say the least.

Expressing emotions

Emotions lead our actions and are part of everything that we do. Also, emotions give us energy when at the same time taking the energy away from us. Especially when suffocated, the emotions take away an alarming amount of our energy resources. Thus, we need to express our feelings both at work and at home in a constructive way. No matter how long I have been in a working life, one thing seems to remain: the emotional moments are the ones that make my heart bound with a speeding pace. The feelings experienced in these particular moments follow me a long way to my everyday life even after the situations themselves have already become a history.

I often find myself thinking about the challenging work of priests. They need to be able to move from one emotion to another: from funerals to weddings. When emotional moments are related to your work, it is clear that the business-related justifications become particularly difficult to give, not to mention how hard it is for the listener to hear and understand them.

Maintaining the ability to work

In the future, the work-life includes an increasing amount of challenges and requires more and more from the employees as well. You have to be able to live with ever-changing situations, even though at the same time you need to plan well ahead to the future. Therefore we should all remember to take a good care of ourselves. Feelings, both positive and negative, are easier to recognize and deal with when the foundations of our lives are in a good condition. Each employee is responsible for taking care of him/herself and of making sure that everything will be done in order to maintain one's work. As the year is now about to change into another, each of us as employees should take a moment to think about the following:

  • Are you taking advantage of the health-related support provided by your employer (e.g. exercise vouchers and common hobby possibilities)?
  • Are you eating healthy?
  • Are you sleeping and relaxing enough?
  • Are you making sure your professional know-how is being updated?
  • Are you taking care of your overall ability to work?

New Year's resolution

In addition to the previously mentioned checklist, as my New Year's resolution, I promise the following: As a manager, I am an employee among the others and through my own example I also promise to act as an authority without rising above anyone. Through my management skills I inspire others to get excited about their work and by giving my all to my own work, I lead my team to great accomplishments together. My upcoming year 2015 will include lots of listening, reflecting, honesty, supporting others' abilities, and continuous development in order to become a better human being.

What is your New Year's resolution?

About The Author

Maria Vihtkari, Chief Human Resource Officer

Maria Vihtkari

Chief Human Resource Officer

+358 44 525 0932

Maria Vihtkari is an internationally experienced HR professional with a specialty in labour law and maintaining and developing organisational culture during mergers and acquisitions. Maria has over 13 years of experience in Human Resources in the private sector. She holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Education and another one in Economics, a combination that gives her a deep understanding of the significance of a strong corporate culture and employee well-being for a successful business.