Sharing knowledge: Kiilto’s staff paired up to learn from each other

Kiilto Finland’s staff were divided into learning buddy pairs who visited each other to observe each other's work. The learning buddy programme has been successfully carried out in Kiilto for several years.

“The aim is not only to network among the Kiiltonians, but also to increase understanding among the staff of the wide variety of work that is done at the company,” says Kiilto’s Chief People Officer Kati Korolainen-Kujala. At Kiilto, developing a sense of community and cooperation has been chosen as a common development goals. The learning buddy programme supports this. The buddies get to know each other and each other’s work, participate for about half a day in their partner’s work, such as line work, meetings or events.

“The learning buddy programme breaks down hierarchies and bubbles. It feeds ideas and new perspectives across local and team boundaries,” says Korolainen-Kujala.

The group’s management also takes part. Kiilto Family Oy’s Managing Director Arto Raivio and Manufacturing Manager Virpi Viitanen were each other’s buddies. “It was useful to learn about day-to-day production planning and development ideas they had, for example in relation to the ERP system,” Raivio said of his visit to Viitanen. For Viitanen, who works close to the hectic production every day, it was also interesting to see what goes on in the management of Kiilto. “It was eye-opening to see a piece of how bigger picture issues are managed and ensure continuous improvement of Kiilto’s operations, including by taking forward important development projects,” says Viitanen.

Staff can express their wishes for their buddy. This year, the wishes of production employees were taken into account. Next year, it will be the turn of office workers to make their wishes known.

“We have received excellent feedback from the people that have taken part in the learning buddy programme. Kiiltonians are excited to learn from each other and share their knowledge,” Korolainen-Kujala sums up.