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1.9.2022 | Career stories

At Kojamo, summer workers are involved in business development through a traditional idea competition

Each year, Kojamo launches an idea competition for summer workers. The best ideas for improving the employee experience and customer experience will be rewarded at the end of the summer, and some of the development ideas will be implemented right away.

Summer workers are an important resource for Kojamo, especially as they allow permanent employees to take summer holidays, but also because of their fresh insights.

Every year, Kojamo organises an idea competition for its summer workers with the idea of challenging new Kojamo employees to develop existing solutions and innovate new ones. Idea generation takes place in teams, which means that development work is carried out first and foremost together.

This year, the summer workers were divided into ten teams. On the basis of the proposed development ideas, the Management Team shortlisted six teams to present their ideas in person at the end of the summer.

The development proposals included both ideas that have been discussed in the past and projects that are already being worked on, as well as plenty of interesting new ideas for developing both the customer and employee experiences.

The summer workers proposed, among other things, furnished Lumo homes, new shared-use vehicles and “carrots” for residents to improve the recycling rate and the efficiency of moving-out cleaning. There was also discussion on a four-day working week and a renovation of the head office in order to increase work efficiency and improve well-being at work.

The Management Team did not let the innovators get off easy; they challenged them to further develop good ideas by linking them more closely to Kojamo’s strategy and to assess the pricing of new service proposals. Discussion on the ideas was active, and the summer workers answered the clarifying questions very well.

Henna Haarala, an interior design student who has worked as an office assistant at Kojamo for several summers, thoroughly justified her development idea regarding the need to renovate the office and tackled some of the possible counterarguments before they could even be presented. Henna had also put a lot of effort into the visual appearance of her presentation, and she even had the headlines for the news on the completion of the project ready for Kojamo’s marketing and communications team.

Kojamo’s summer workers of 2022 were also rewarded at the closing event of the idea competition.

Visualisation of the renovation of Kojamo’s head office. “Kojamo’s value Courage to change is also reflected in the company’s head office – work is done in the company’s colours and boldly decorated premises.” Execution: Henna Haarala

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to use the skills I’ve learned in school at work, and the idea competition also fuelled my eagerness to develop my space planning skills. I will definitely include the idea competition entry in my portfolio,” says Henna.

Henna also knew how to take advantage of the support provided by permanent employees in idea generation.

“I asked one of my team members for the floor plans of the building and got good background information and valuable sparring from them along the way. Everyone in our office services team and the idea generation team in the idea competition was really excited about my development idea. I didn’t do this alone,” says Henna, happy with the outcome.

At the end of the presentation event, Kojamo’s Management Team decided to reward two teams. Henna and her team were among the rewarded ones. The other members of the team were Siiri Suuronen, Anna Gebel, Eetu Tuovinen and Vilma Pelkonen. The other rewarded team’s list of ideas contained plenty of development proposals related to the sustainability theme important for Kojamo. The credit for the ideas belong to Mikael Liikanen, Maisa Jaaksola, Silvia Leinonen and Julius Paloranta.

The Management Team praised everyone who participated in the idea competition, particularly for their courage to change that is typical of Kojamo’s corporate culture. Among the proposals, they found a wide range of big and small development ideas to be implemented, which will have a large impact on the everyday lives of the residents of Lumo homes.

Kojamo’s agile corporate culture is well illustrated by the fact that some of the ideas discussed at the closing event of the idea competition were put into implementation the very next day.

Kojamo’s summer workers of 2022 were also announced at the closing event of the idea competition.