With the economic situation in Latvia regaining stability, a qualified employee, able to move mountains by its enthusiasm, ideas and ardour, becomes an increasingly greater value on the labour market. That is why companies introduce various motivating solutions to attract new employees and take care to keep the current employees motivated, productive and engaged in the company’s processes.
Emotional climate at work place is important
The workforce crisis in Latvia has been driven by the demographic situation, as now we experience the backlash of the deep demographic crisis of the early 90-ties, one that the country has not actually recovered from. Of course, the emigration of population further contributes to the lack of work hands.
Employer requirements on the labour market depend on the overall development level of the country, as well as the position of the employee’s professional skills on the labour market, this is the reason why expectations regarding employers can vary on a large scale. Some find it sufficient, when their primary needs are met – sufficient and stable remuneration, safe working environment, insurance, training. Although, higher level employees consider these quite normal and must-be features, and expect more from the employer. Requirements of employees towards employers keep increasing with each year, just as the competition among employers for good employees.
Zane Čulkstēna, the head of corporate branding company ERDA, points towards a modern tendency – many find good working conditions and the emotional climate in the company important and motivating factors, as well as the sense, the purpose of their work, autonomy and expertise. Apart from just making money, it is important that companies were adding value to their customer lives, development of industry and society. A number of studies suggest that the millennials also find the corporate social responsibility increasingly important.
The Chairman of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA) Management Board Jānis Lucaus shares the company’s experience: “Creating positive emotions in daily operations of employees is very important. Besides, cheering up and motivating colleagues is actually not really that hard. We are trying to manage, despite of the busy daily pace, to congratulate employees in person and appreciate their contribution in various projects. This summer, BTA added another bullet to its staff motivation programme – paid extra leave and a day off on birthday.”
Good relations with employer based on trust
Zane Čulkstēna says that the contemporary employee feels that good relations with the company’s management team and the immediate supervisor are very important and motivating.
For that matter, Jānis Lucaus believes that “For an employee to feel comfortable in his or her work place, just furnishing them with an appropriate salary and good working conditions is not the only thing that matters, it is also important to boost the employee’s inner motivation, supporting to make the employee feel affiliated with the company, to be aware of the importance and purpose of one’s work. We pay particular attention to how new employees do feel, when starting to work for the company. We focus our efforts to improve and make more interactive the processes of acquiring and hiring new employees. I take part in the adaptation lectures to our new colleagues in person, relating on our company goals, on things that matter to us, and what they can expect from us as employer.”
Want to be independent, responsible, make contribution
Zane Čulkstēna says that a top trend in the West and in recent three years also in Latvia is that people are willing to work in companies having good reputation, clear goals and vision. For instance, younger people, who have graduated best universities and who could get well-paid jobs in any company, often prefer to work for start-ups. The resources, staff salaries and other benefits of such companies may be less abundant and inferior to those of large corporations, but people find in essential to be working for a company that creates something new, valuable, with great future prospects. New talents are willing to take the initiative rather than comply with imperative instructions and conveyer-belt assignments. They are willing to be in charge of deciding – how and when they achieve the established goals for themselves.
A motivating aspect in the eyes of younger people also is flexible working hours. It means, if the employee is capable to achieve the goals set by the company and meet the set deadlines, the employer then may loosen certain strict requirements, for instance, permit working remotely from home some part of the working hours.
Jānis Lucaus shares BTA’s corporate goals and values: “BTA is a responsible employer towards its employees. We find increasing employee involvement in company-essential processes very important, their interest in achievement of company’s common results. So that each staff member was aware that the individual work of each has its effects beyond just achieving the department goals, it also impacts the company’s common achievements. Therefore we have clearly defined our company goals, priorities of each department, our mission and values – accessibility, humanity and credibility. We are currently involved in active company-wide pan-Baltic value training sessions to all our employees, to have our values embedded on a broader scale, and to be sure that they permeate each process in our company.”
BTA employs close to 1000 employees in the Baltic States, with more than 400 of them in Latvia. The insurer believes every employer should take time to think about its employees, appreciate them, improve their working conditions and lift their moods at work place. This would contribute to the efficiency of the company’s business processes and hence to the company’s achievements on a long term.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is a major insurance company in the Baltic States, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG, one of the leading insurers in Europe with 190 years of experience in the insurance field. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute the group, which employs 24,000 employees. Vienna Insurance Group AG is a clear leader in its core markets in Europe maintaining high rating of financial stability – Standard & Poor’s A+ (stable outlook), with a listing on the Vienna and the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS