We research: Tools for well-being at work in the logistics industry

10.3.2022Kati LevolaWe research

Satakunta is an export-driven region, and for that, its success and security of supply rely on skilled workforce and the functionality of transport chains. The global field creates business opportunities but at the same time challenges the productivity, the ability for change and the well-being at work of small and medium-sized companies.

Hands on a table working with pieces of a puzzle together.
Photo: Petteri Hyvärinen

In recent years, the logistics industry has faced major challenges that are common throughout the world. The pandemic has revolutionized many things. Environmental protection, climate change and resource efficiency place new demands, but also provide opportunities for those who can develop their activities in a truly green direction.

The change is definite and ongoing, affecting all levels of the logistics chain, from the harbor crane and warehouse to the truck and office work, foremen and company management. It also affects the interface between different actors in the logistics chain.

Well-being at work strengthens the ability to change

Commercial and technological development, as well as political decisions, are very important but productivity also requires people who are enthusiastic about their work, have the possibility to work in a good atmosphere, and possess the ability to change. All these factors are closely related to well-being at work.

Curriculums in the field of logistics do not systematically take well-being at work into account or provide students with tools for handling matters concerning mental health. On the other hand, the operation of logistics chains is based on security, which is closely connected to mental well-being and recovery skills. An equal and non-bullying atmosphere also plays a role in the well-being at work.

The ability to change is part of the resilience of the individual and the organization. Resilience is associated with coping with difficult life events, changes and crises. Resilience is e.g. flexibility, non-discouragement, adaptability and recovery. (Poijula ​​2018, 16-17.)

The goal and progress of the SataMieLo project

In the very masculine logistics industry, the need for an operating model that supports resilience and well-being at work is obvious. The goal of the SataMieLo project is to provide individuals, teams, organizations, and networks of organizations of the industry with tools that help to recognize the importance of well-being at work and the ability to change. The research carried out in the project will create a concept that companies of the field can use to develop their well-being at work.

First, the initial situation and needs of companies and their personnel are mapped through interviews. Based on the results, a training series will be prepared and implemented for selected individuals of the companies. It will include, for example, free work supervision and networking events. With this, the project’s goal is also support better cooperation between the actors in the freight transport chain.

The concept created in the project coaches companies to prepare for change, helps them consider risks and creates operating models for unexpected situations and demands from outside. The operating model is targeted at entrepreneurs and supervisors as well as other personnel.

The concept increases the efficient operation and productivity of transport chains in a timely manner – through well-being at work and the ability to change.

The training kit and other project materials will be available online during and after the project. There will also be open events for anyone interested in the topic.

Did you know?

  • It is estimated that at least 24 billion euros a year is lost due to neglect at work well-being throughout Finland (Manka & Manka 2016). The amount corresponds to well over a third of the state budget!
  • Although musculoskeletal disorders have been the main reason for retiring for health reasons in Finland, they are only the second largest group among all those on disability pension. The main reasons are the mental health issues, retiring 66,500 people in 2015. (Manka & Manka 2016.)
  • According to statistics, Finland is still at the forefront of workplace bullying, although it is no longer at the top of Europe. (Manka & Manka 2016.)
  • The SataMieLo project is looking for ways to develop well-being at work that is suitable for the individuals and companies involved. The concept is available to all other players in the industry.

More about:

Literature related to well-being at work and resilience (in Finnish):

Manka, Marja-Liisa & Manka, Marjut. 2016. Työhyvinvointi. Talentum Pro.
Poijula, Soili. 2018. Resilienssi: Muutosten kohtaamisen taito. Kirjapaja.


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