Spotlight on Spinverse Head of People and Culture, Dijana Soininen

Dijana Soininen joined the Spinverse team as Head of People and Culture a few months ago to help us nurture and evolve our company culture in times of rapid growth. We wanted to ask her about her first impressions at Spinverse and her insights into company culture and our work environment.

No two company cultures are alike

Dijana Soininen is a company culture professional with 20 years of experience in senior leadership across multiple industries. She has coached organisations to develop their organisational culture and behaviour through new ways of leading and working.

Dijana starts by saying that she has been very lucky to have had the opportunity to see so many different working environments and company cultures in small and big companies alike. They all are unique, shaped by the company and its people. Exposure to different organisations and years of experience brings you perspectives as you learn to unlock the soul of the culture and how it has been formed. Along the journey, you learn that what works for one company does not necessarily work for others. “Understanding the business needs and what emotionally resonates with people is what makes a difference in the context of culture,” Dijana says.

Dijana continues: “At Spinverse my goal is to build supportive structure for long-term culture development and help Spinverse on its path to growth. I am looking forward to supporting and challenging the team whilst keeping a humble mind as the work always start from afresh — company culture is not something that can be duplicated. This makes my work challenging, but at the same time very interesting.” Dijana has already started her work by carefully listening to the company; its people, strategy, and business priorities — and is looking for ways to anchor desired cultural behaviours and leadership principles into our core processes and communication.

Elements of good company culture

When discussing a good company culture, Dijana says that in short, it refers to values that every employee knows by heart. A good company culture embraces its strengths. In all positive company cultures, the cornerstones are firmly based on the fact that everyone understands why the company exists and what kind of values drive it forward. It is a place where people are emotionally connected with the company values and where leaders can meaningfully describe the experience they want their people to have.

Another important factor to characterise a good company culture is, in Dijana’s opinion, open communication. “Your company ought to be a place where people feel comfortable communicating their ideas, thoughts, opinions and feedback. The leaders must foster this free-flowing, open communication and facilitate collaboration, too,” Dijana says.

Mission-based mindset and other cultural diamonds

Four months at Spinverse have given Dijana an idea about Spinverse already. The groundwork to focus on our company culture started a few months earlier before Dijana joined us, and she says she is delighted to drive the development process from now on. The world may change around us, but the company culture will help us navigate through the changes and enrichen it towards the direction we want it to go.

According to Dijana, she is especially delighted about the special gems she has identified in Spinverse culture: our team has a very strong mission-based mindset that drives us in all what we do. Spinverse’s mission to contribute to a better world by means of supporting sustainable customer projects makes the work very meaningful and it manifests itself in everyone, making Dijana proud to work with such a driven team.

Dijana reminds about the other diamonds, as she likes to call our strengths, diversity and inclusion. We do have more than 10 nationalities, great diversity in age, gender and education, too, but Dijana wants to highlight our cognitive diversity. It is not about demographic diversity itself, but a diversity of thinking combined with the inclusive way of working, which creates the value and helps us solve complex challenges.

Dijana is also very happy about our Great Place to Work certification and how the most recent results support her first impressions. According to employee responses, inclusion is very strongly demonstrated. 93 % of the respondents at Spinverse felt that they are treated as a full team member regardless of their position in the company, whilst 100 % felt treated equally regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, and age.

Scaling up to support the annual growth of 20 %

As for the development work ahead of her, Dijana says that her role as Spinverse’s first Head or People & Culture includes the full spectrum of employee lifecycle, company culture, leadership, people processes, recruitment and onboarding — a great mix of high-level strategy and hands-on people operations.

“We are growing fast, and we are scaling big time. Exciting times and a unique opportunities await us all, also bringing a ton of challenges. Scaling up processes without increasing bureaucracy and elevating leadership across all roles are the elements to focus on. These are the areas we want to invest in during these times of rapid growth at Spinverse and where I want to bring in my experience. As for the culture, I am looking forward to finding ways to nurture our uniqueness and, together, keep developing our culture where we can learn, grow, and enjoy the experience of work,” Dijana sums up.

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