Tieto Talks - Sharing our stories in our own words
When I posted my Tieto Talks idea on our intranet last summer, I never would have imagined that in less than one year I would be hosting the first Tieto Talks in Latvia. There I was, standing in front of my colleagues and welcoming them to an event I felt strongly about. I was so happy and proud – my hard work had paid off.
But that’s only half the story, so let’s start from the beginning. As you probably guessed, Tieto Talks is inspired by its big brother, TED Talks, which I love listening to on my way to work at Tieto’s Riga offices. I’ve always liked how TED Talks uses stories to bring people together. Studies show that telling stories builds empathy, and when you tell a good story, I really believe that moment is magical. Suddenly, people can connect with each other on different levels. Listening to a personal story makes you feel special too. So I thought that it would be great to create something similar at Tieto – a way for us to share our experiences and inspiration with colleagues.
As I mentioned earlier, the process from idea to launch took a bit more than 10 months. During that time I also transferred from accounting to HR. It was a dream come true, because I’ve always been interested in human relations and employee-employer experiences. It also meant that I could realize my Tieto Talks idea alongside people who truly inspired me with their open minds and incredible “let’s do it” attitude.
In fact, I love how Tieto's mission – creating value for life – is in line with my personal view of life. I want my life and work to be meaningful, and I want it to add value to other people’s experiences. Our time on this Earth is limited, and I want it to spend wisely, positively and meaningfully. I also strongly believe that positive interaction between people is a great source of value There are so many fantastic and interesting people working in Tieto Latvia that my Tieto Talks idea had to be about all our employees.
The event itself was three hours long and featured unique stories from nine employees. Each speaker had ten minutes to tell their story and after each story there was a five-minute gap for questions and comments. Not only were the stories personal and honest, they also covered an incredible range of topics: procrastination, preparing for a triathlon, sketching on a train, silence meditation, ultra-marathons and even drag racing.
Because the concept behind Tieto Talks is simple and easy to understand, we felt like one big team despite our unique experiences and interests. And what was truly amazing was the instant reaction and feedback we got from the people who attended the event or just heard about the concept.
After the event, everyone filled in a feedback form and the results were fantastic: 97.3% of respondents thought that Tieto Talks should be repeated and that the event added value to their employee experience. They also said that the event was a great way to get to know other colleagues and see them from a different perspective – even admire them more.
Pablo Picasso once said: “Everything you can imagine is real.” What Tieto Talks has taught me is that it all becomes real once you work together and create an environment that is accepting of different experiences. Everything is about communication and positive working environment.
And nothing – absolutely nothing – can take away from the little things we do in our daily lives. Those little things we sometimes ignore can often become as an eye opener and inspiration to others.
I’ll finish here, because it’s time to prepare for the next Tieto Talks event.