Haukur Ómarsson CFO of VSO Consulting is one of the managers who take great pride in making the working environment in the company attractive and comfortable. He says that in times of the coronavirus, it is more important than before to have all the company's employees on the same page, as it is difficult to sail the company ship in the right direction if everyone is rowing in a different direction.
“In the time of the coronavirus, we also see the importance of our human resources being happy. Because it makes little sense to try to compress the group now if it was not in agreement before.”
VSÓ Consulting is a company with a 60-year history. The company has gone through all sorts of periods like others in their field. The company's human resources consist mainly of professionals who are highly educated people with good knowledge in their field.
Put a lot of effort into training the staff
“We are a comprehensive engineering firm that provides advice in most aspects of construction in the country. The company's customers are of all kinds, individuals, companies, municipalities, and the state. We provide great service and at the same time aim at having a working environment that is first-class for our staff.”
What is interesting about Haukur's position is that he manages the company's finances and operations and also has human resources on his desk. He believes that the money spent on human resources pays off many times over.
“I am very interested in our human resources. We have eight managers in the company and use HR Monitor as their tool to respond to personnel matters. HR Monitor measures the satisfaction and attitudes of all employees and reminds us that everyone matters.”
What do you mean by that?
“Many of the questions remind us that good management is important, and managers need to be reminded to be present for the people in the company. I find that unique. Of course, all individuals within the company are just as important and we must work as a whole, not as small different groups.”
Haukur, who is educated in business, went straight from the university in the year 1997 to work for the company.
“We have a lot of experience in making realistic demands to our people. When we get people straight out of school, we train them and start them off slowly in the projects ahead.
“The demand for our people increases over the years and we don´t want to lose good people at all when they are fully trained. My opinion is that it does not take much effort to praise people and make them feel good. But to be able to do that, we need a powerful measuring device to measure job satisfaction. We measure job satisfaction many times a year and on regular basis. Once a year is not enough in my opinion.
“The thing is, we do not solve everything with good salaries. People do well if they feel good at work and the work culture should be embracing for everyone. A positive attitude and permission to be yourself, allow people to do the best they can at work in my opinion.”
Increased emphasis on employee satisfaction
Haukur says that this human resource-based attitude is increasing over the years.
“If we look at our human resources as a machine, then the machine will not run properly without taking good care of it. I do not believe in pushing people forward without knowing the well-being of the staff at work. After all, we want our machine to last and in good condition always.
“We use HR Monitor to monitor the status of the machine. People do not always find it comfortable to be measured this way. The measurements at HR Monitor are color-coded, as the managers of the company can be green, yellow, and red. Of course, it´s great to get the color green, but there are many interesting opportunities in the other colors as well. All managers have received good results, but when the challenges appear (yellow or red answers), they usually call for action that benefits the company as a whole, so there is no shame in getting a red or yellow color, but an opportunity to do better so that both management and staff can grow and the company as well.”
Everyone in the company matters
Haukur says that in the days of the coronavirus, it is more important than ever to have a cohesive group of staff. Especially since the whole group has at some point been at home and now the company can only have a small part of the staff at the establishment at a time. We are grateful for the successful staff and work ethic for this, and it can be said that previous RU measurements have supported this well.
“We have had to find the right rhythm with our measurements. At first, we measured monthly, but then we found out that we wanted to measure every other month and then go carefully into the results and change accordingly.
“HR Monitor is a kind of thermometer and I think it is of little use to know the heat in the company a few months ago or to take the heat in the company after a few months. I want to know how the company is doing now and have reliable measurements of it regularly.
“I highly doubt we would be where we are today if the group had not been as dense and the people in the group so positive and glad as we saw before the virus. Despite the coronavirus, we are doing as well or even better than before, because of our unique staff and decades of experience of sailing through all kinds of weather, both good and bad.”
Do you think every CFO in the country feels the same way?
“I hope so considering that we CFOs aren't the ones creating the income, the employees are.”