The merger of Hansel and KL-Kuntahankinnat took a little over a year to prepare, which allowed the employees plenty of time to get to know each other and the operations of the companies. In the summer of 2018, the HR Manager personally met all of the KL-Kuntahankinnat employees, and the entire team convened for the first time in August. The establishment of a Teams channel for discussion and exchange of information was also one of the first steps taken.
During the autumn of 2018, the KL-Kuntahankinnat employees visited the renewed working environment at the head office in the main post office building, and everybody attended a change and strategy workshop. There was a small break in the meetings after a Christmas party when a timeout was taken in the preparation of the merger and the change was postponed to September 2019. The Hansel employees continued to visit Kuntatalo to familiarise themselves with the different functions and the status of the merger was discussed at all of the personnel information events, however.
New speed in the summer of 2019
As the merger approached, the KL-Kuntahankinnat and Hansel employees celebrated the start of the summer holiday season with a shared lunch on 20 June 2019. In August 2019, it was time to meet to discuss the story of the new Hansel, as well as internal and stakeholder communications. There was another more informal meeting in the summer where the participants spent time together and discussed their own attitude towards the future with para-athlete Toni Piispanen.
The great deal finally came on Monday, 2 September, when the new Hansel employees arrived at the head office. They were warmly welcomed and offered information on their new tools and other practical matters as early as the first day. They were given survival packages including “power food”, such as Finnish Sisu drops, and a stress ball to get through any difficult moments.
Now that the joint life at Hansel has started, the change management will continue with value discussions and by offering supervisors tools to support the employees. Furthermore, the HR Manager interviewed all the new Hansel employees after a couple of months to find out how they are feeling.
Collective agreement and cooperation with employee associations
Hansel’s collective labour agreement was negotiated with Service Sector Employers Palta and the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff YTN. Until 31 March 2020, the collective agreement of the employer organisation Avaintyönantajat Avainta ry (AVAINTES) will apply to employees who transferred to Hansel from KL-Kuntahankinnat Oy. Negotiations on a new collective agreement for all the employees are ongoing with Palta and YTN. The agreement will apply to all Hansel’s employees except the Managing Director. As specified in the collective agreement, personnel will be represented by an employee representative and their deputy, selected from amongst the personnel. Interests of the personnel are also promoted by a personnel association (Hanselin ylemmät toimihenkilöt ry), which is a member of YTN. Roughly half of Hansel’s employees are trade union members. The collective agreement and employment guidelines are available on the company’s intranet.