Human Values and Respect Must Always Be at the Forefront

Human Values and Respect Must Always Be at the Forefront - Pétur Ó Einarsson

Pétur Ó Einarsson is the Head of Human Resources at the Financial Management Authority (FJS). He is 57-year-old from Reykjavík, a husband, father, and grandfather. Pétur became interested in human resources management early in his career when he worked for Landsbankinn as a training manager. Alongside working for Landsbankinn, Pétur completed a BSc degree in Business Administration, subsequently completing a master's degree in Human Resources Management. Since 2008, he has worked as the Head of Human Resources at FJS.

The activities and functions of FJS are diverse and extensive. Pétur describes FJS as a service and knowledge driven workplace.

“FJS is a workplace full of challenges and opportunities because the changes and demands of both the internal and external environment have never been greater. FJS has much wealth in the knowledge of the staff, their skills, communication skills and general good spirit. In my opinion it is a good workplace, with excellent people who make an effort to do a good job.”

Workplaces Compete for Qualified and Good Staff

The main priorities of FJS in human resources are teamwork, job satisfaction, mutual respect and maintaining a good working environment.

“It may sound a bit cliché, but it is simply true that qualified staff, their ambition, knowledge, and drive are the keys to successful management and good service. Workplaces are in competition with each other for qualified and good staff and to keep them to achieve their goals.”

“The workplace is almost like our second home. All employees have the right to feel good at the workplace, and no one should be anxious about coming to work or having to tiptoe around other colleagues.”

Pétur says there must also be understanding and flexibility during times when it is really needed. FJS therefore has a specific policy on the integration of private life and work.

“Flexibility is something that our staff have always been happy with at FJS and receives good ratings in HR Monitor and the Organization of the Year survey. Trust and fairness need to be prioritised in the workplace and must be reciprocal. Of course, there must be a certain framework or discipline in the workplace, but human values and respect must always be at the forefront.”

Irregular Internal Surveys Were Not Enough

FJS has made use of HR Monitor since the beginning of 2017.

“Starting to use HR Monitor was a great improvement. Prior to it we had only carried out internal surveys irregularly and found out attitudes and wishes of employees through annual staff interviews, staff meetings and the Organization of the Year survey. This was simply not enough, and we found that we had to do better.”

“We needed a powerful and flexible tool to be able to make assessments on a regular basis and analyse specific things when there was a need to. We found HR Monitor, which fulfilled this need. It is a management tool that has served us very well.”

In which ways have the HR Monitor results proven useful to you?

“All of the results are interesting, but especially interesting are results from certain key questions that we ask regularly and to delve into developments, why the answers are changing and to act if there is a need, for example with further analysis or policy change. Heads of departments always review the results of each survey with their colleagues, and often, various issues are addressed.”

A Revolution of Attitudes in the Labour Market

Pétur shares that the last few months and years have been eventful at FJS, as well as in the labour market as a whole.

“More accurate would be to talk about a revolution, rather than changes. A revolution in attitudes. Increased flexibility and allowances for working remotely, better working hours, open workspaces, jobs without locations, and a shift in focusing on results rather than presence. Also of course, an increase in electronic service channels and all kinds of automation possibilities.”

“Employers, trade unions and the legislator all have a great responsibility to adapt this new reality to collective agreements and labour law, and it must happen as soon as possible. The FJS, like other workplaces needs to adapt to new ways of organizing and managing the workplace. That is the challenge we are facing and measuring factors relating to human resources and employee attitudes is an important part of that process.”

What is your vision for human resources and personnel matters at FJS?

“I want to see FJS as a modern and task-oriented, not presence-oriented, workplace. That the freedom of employees to do their tasks is as flexible as possible without ever losing sight of our service role. I want to see a working environment where our employees see opportunities and take the initiative to seek continuing education and professional development. I want the working environment to be people-oriented and for staff to experience safety and wellbeing at work. That they see purpose in and are proud of their tasks and projects. Finally, that they are proud to work at the Financial Management Authority.”