FutuStories - Meet Maiju, Culture Consultant and Service Designer
Maiju is a culture consultant and service designer who brings empathy into everything she does. She believes in always being true to herself, which has given her the clarity needed to make bold career moves that have helped to make the most of her people skills.
How does your day begin?
I’m really not a morning person so I snooze a lot and get up slowly – it takes me two cups of coffee before I can do anything! Then I prepare breakfast and watch some TV with my daughter, who turns three this month. At some point I’ll realise I’m late and have to get ready quickly to be at work on time. Luckily I’m still working from home at the moment so it’s not a long commute!
What does your role involve at Futurice?
I’m a service designer as well as a culture consultant so I can be working on anything from designing websites to supporting organisations on their culture change journey. The roles support each other, and both rely on design thinking and empathy. When I’m consulting on culture change I find that my service design perspective allows me to help people from different roles and backgrounds to understand and learn from one another.
Is this what you’ve always done?
Not at all! I started at Futurice in 2016 as an office coordinator, but quickly moved to a human care (HC) role – HC is what we call human resources at Futurice, because people are far more than just a resource. I soon became an HC specialist focusing on employee experience, which has been helpful in my current role. Throughout my time here – and in my 15 years in tourism and hospitality before joining Futurice – the customer or employee experience has always been central.
How did you end up in your current roles?
I was always interested in service design, so when I began my master’s degree in 2017 I focused on service design, leadership and human resource management. After my maternity leave I drove my move to a service design role with lots of support from my colleagues, including my current supervisor who brought me into her team. I also had a mentor who helped me create networks in different parts of Futurice, finding the right people to talk to about my career goals and dreams.
Is changing roles easy at Futurice?
I wouldn’t say it’s easy, at least when changing from an internal role to customer work – it took me almost a year and you need to be really active and broaden your network if you want to follow your dreams. But people here are super supportive and trusted my skills and knowledge, which gave me the courage to push myself. My experience reflects the culture at Futurice – everyone trusts and supports each other to be the best version of themselves. I’ve learned a lot; it was definitely worth the effort and I’ve had some amazing feedback and support.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Learning by doing is really satisfying and I love the sense of accomplishment – I’m constantly learning new things and I always feel like I’m doing something meaningful, which brings a lot of joy and motivation even when the pace is fast. I enjoy problem solving and that feeling you get when you start out lost but end up knowing exactly what to do and ultimately receive great feedback! The quote “Always leave things better than you found them” really resonates with me – that’s what I want to do in my work and as part of that I love to help others learn and grow. I also really like the way we co-create so closely with our customers and the Futurice team.
What do you wish more people understood about company culture?
I think the main thing is that you can’t just add a good company culture. It’s within the company, how the company lives and breathes, not just what they say – you might have great company values on paper, but you also need to make sure you’re actually following those values in everything you do. In an employee-first company, where employee experience is taken seriously, the employees will be happy and that will lead to happy customers.
What’s your secret to making employees and clients happy?
Just being myself, no matter where I am or what I do. I listen to and respect other people’s opinions and perspectives and give room for people to share their thoughts. I don’t pretend to be anything other than what I am.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Getting my bathroom and kitchen renovation finished! That and going on a vacation with my family somewhere warm once the COVID situation is better. Somewhere we can sit under palm trees and eat ice cream!
How do you unwind at the end of a busy day?
I just goof around with my family at home – that’s the best way to get your thoughts away from work at the end of the day. I like to go with the flow – when I have a busy schedule at work, I don’t want any schedule at home!
Interested in reading more stories about us and our people? At Futurice, we celebrate diversity and cherish everyone's unique journey. Check out our Welcome Home page and get inspired by more journeys shaping our culture. If you would like to read more stories and get to know our people, our sites and the community better, check out the global version of our FutuStories Booklet.
- Pia HämäriMarketing Lead, Finland