The people who feel that they can influence their own job also consider their immediate superior to be good

It is important for the individual worker to have the possibility to influence his/her own job. But the linear correlation between the possibility to influence your job and your opinion on how your immediate superior performs as superior is for many organizations new knowledge.

KivaQ has for two decades used our short KivaQ W questionnaire with only 7 standard questions.

1: Have you enjoyed coming to work in the last weeks?

2: How meaningful do you regard your job?

3: How well do you feel in control of your work?

4: How well do you get on with your fellow-workers?

5: How well does your immediate superior perform as superior?

6: How certain are you that you will keep your job with this employer?

7: How much can you influence factors concerning your job?

We looked at all questionnaires in our reference material 2013-2022 with 29233 answers.

In the picture below you can see a linear correlation. The more influence you have the better you regard your immediate superior.

KivaQ has actively for two decades assisted organizations to increase their work wellbeing and meaningfulness through joint participation using our structured workshop. Implementing the creative and innovative KivaQ workshop results in concrete, custom-made, practical actions for improving wellbeing at work and a strong feeling of possibility to influence your job and work environment. The statistics in the picture clearly indicate that leadership improves when the possibility to influence your job gets better.
The top management´s task is to allocate resources to make it possible for employees and their immediate superior to work together and enhance the perception of possibility to influence your job and improve the leadership.

KivaQ recommends: Leadership can be developed in other than traditional ways. Try methods improving the possibility of the employees to influence factors concerning their job.

The leadership in cities and municipalities in Finland are better than in other organizations contrary to what we believe

In Finland there seems to be a preconceived and commonly accepted opinion that the leadership is at a lower level in cities and municipalities compared with especially the private sector. In KivaQ´s statistics from 20 years with 36218 answers it is not possible to compare cities and municipalities with the private sector because some of the enterprises are owned by municipalities. But it is possible to compare cities and municipalities with all others and we found that the leadership measured with our Question 5 (see below) is on the contrary better in cities and municipalities.

KivaQ has for two decades used our short KivaQ W questionnaire with only 7 standard questions.

1: Have you enjoyed coming to work in the last weeks?
2: How meaningful do you regard your job?
3: How well do you feel in control of your work?
4: How well do you get on with your fellow-workers?
5: How well does your immediate superior perform as superior?
6: How certain are you that you will keep your job with this employer?
7: How much can you influence factors concerning your job?

KivaQ recommends: Other organizations could more often take examples from cities and municipalities. Things are not always better done in other organizations including private enterprises than in cities and municipalities.

Radical changes of leadership in the Finnish National ice-hockey team

It has been extremely interesting to follow the achievements of the Finnish National ice-hockey team under many decades since I was the medical doctor for the team in 10 years during the period 1974-1988. My commission ended with the silver medal in the Olympic games in Calgary 1988. It took 34 years before the medal was upgraded to gold. Now it has happened. CONGRATULATIONS to the whole team!
During the beginning of my 10 years the head coach was close to a dictator and I was amused when leadership consultants started to talk about a coaching leadership and had ice-hockey as an example. These consultants had no idea of the real situation in ice-hockey at that time. The main focus at that time when Finland was playing against the best countries was to avoid mistakes and achieve a bearable loss. Between the periods the head coach pointed out the mistakes that had been done and often shouted. His word was the law.
Before the leadership started to change there was another development that is not always taken into account. The Finnish junior players started to win over also the ”big” countries and they took this habit with them when they grew up and reached the National team. The culture had changed and the players believed in the possibility to win over any other team.
I have not any longer any inside information from the National ice-hockey team but so much has been written and said that I`m certain that today they really have a coaching leadership focusing on every member´s strengths and the objective as a team. Even the greatest successor in a game shares the personal achievements with everybody in the team. Next time the successor is a different player. Nobody seems to try to enlarge his own ego, not even the head coach. Focus is on positive achievements as a team and celebrating together.
Even if you are not a sports fan or not interested in ice-hockey it is worth thinking about developing your own self-directedness and team-directedness especially if you are a leader or manager at your workplace. This applies even more so if the culture is authoritative and leaders/managers think they know best what to do because of their position or title.
Good luck to everybody who wants to achieve something big in their working life together with the team!

Ove Näsman, KivaQ

Developing leadership is a matter for the entire work community

Ove Näsman

Each of us has listened to excellent leadership development lectures and read good books on leadership with great lists of the qualities of a good leader/manager. How often do these teachings go into practice? For me, suspicion arose in the last millennium. At the time, I was an occupational health doctor at a steel plant, and the foremen participated in reputable rather long internment training on topics such as management. After the course, an experienced foreman told me about his “ahaa” experience and how he tried to implement the new management methods he learned in the course in his shift. After a while, the employees gave depressing feedback: “Don’t pretend, you’re not like that!”

After this event, I have strongly believed that leadership should also be developed together at the team level. Otherwise, it could be like the case I described above. As the importance of self-managing/team-managing increases, I have become increasingly convinced that leadership will take a big step forward if leadership is developed together with everybody in the team. Management is therefore not just a matter for the leaders. You can’t lead well unless the people you’re leading are in for it 100%.

In one of the day-care centre’s workplace well-being development workshops, the level of management of the supervisor increased significantly during the follow-up. I asked the team the reason for this positive development, but the participants found no reasons. The team had remained the same and the supervisor was the same and did not act differently compared to before the follow-up.  After reflection, one participant came up with a reason that others agreed with: “It has become evident to everyone that everyone must participate, the supervisor cannot manage things alone”.

I do not underestimate the training of supervisors/managers or the importance of strategic decisions by top management of a large organization. However, I strongly believe that there has not been enough focus on the development of leadership at team level, which is the most important level in terms of work well-being, meaningfulness, influence and the result of work.

There are often very different teams in a larger organization. Perhaps the most sensible way is not to micromanage the way different teams are run by the senior management. Should the organization allow team-level management/leadership diversity? Can the team, together with their immediate supervisor, decide: “How do we want to be led?”.  In my experience, the things agreed together in the team are also implemented in practice. We know that we defend things that we have been able to influence, but we are opposed to instructions and regulations from outside.

Few are the supervisors/managers who meet all the criteria of a good leader. Do such people even exist? Would it be worth saying that management is such an important and difficult issue that it must not be left solely to the leaders?

To reach the best results in a team even leadership should be developed all together in the team.

The Finnish Work Environment Fund

Long-term effects of the work well-being project in a municipal health care unit

The Finnish Work Environment Fund has granted 10,000 € for the project. Work well-being affects, for example, sick leave and the productivity of work. A lot of work well-being projects are carried out in the workplace, but research data on long-term effects are limited. This project examines work well-being variables (KivaQ) in municipal health care with 1000 persons, 47 units at baseline  and two and four years after the development workshops that involve personnel from 8 units. The results are compared with control units and national reference data.

ALM Partners tunnisti kehityskohteet KivaQ E:n avulla

Finanssialalla toimiva, reilut 40 henkeä työllistävä ALM Partners oli mukana pilotoimassa KivaQ E-kyselyä syksyllä 2016. Yritys halusi tehdä huolella lakisääteiset tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuussunnitelmat ja päätti selvittää henkilöstön kokemukset nykytilasta.

– Saimme kattavan tilannekuvan ja myös epäkohdat tulivat esiin. Konkreettisten toimenpiteiden laatiminen kyselyn tulosten perusteella oli helppoa, kertoo ALM Partnersin hallinto- ja hr-asioista vastaava Kristiina Nieminen.
Henkilöstölle oli esimerkiksi epäselvää, kenen puoleen kääntyä, jos kokee tai havaitsee syrjintää tai epäasiallista kohtelua. Nyt yrityksessä on selkeä ohjeistus ja neljä eri tahoa, joihin voi olla yhteydessä.

– Korjasimme myös välittömästi tiettyihin työsuhde-etuihin liittyviä menettelyjä, jotka olivat kyselyssä nousseet esiin. Lisäksi kävimme henkilöstöinfossa läpi, miten esimerkiksi kahvipöytäkeskusteluissa tulee ottaa huomioon ihmisten erilaisuus niin, ettei puheillaan loukkaa toista. Haluamme, että kukaan ei koe jäävänsä työyhteisössä sivulliseksi, korostaa Nieminen.

Yritys aikoo selvittää henkilöstön kokemuksia myös jatkossa.

– Mittaaminen on ainoa tapa selvittää, missä mennään. Mutu-tuntuma voi olla toinen kuin todellisuus. KivaQ E osoittautui helppokäyttöiseksi ja riittävän lyhyeksi. Vastausprosentti oli lähes sata. Aiomme toteuttaa kyselyn jatkossa kerran vuodessa, kertoo tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuussuunitelman kirjoittaja, ALM Partnersin Minna Taivalantti.

KivaQ E-kyselyä on pilotoitu myös Kristiinankaupungissa sekä mm. Ylempien toimihenkilöiden neuvottelujärjestön Järjestöalan koulutuksessa.


Kristiina Nieminen 040 358 1863
Tarja Arkio 040 508 3731
Ove Näsman 0400 218537

The following KivaQ facilitator training in Helsinki 10.1.2019 (In Finnish).

Jos uskot työtiimin voimaan, kun parannetaan työhyvinvointia, tuottavuutta, tuloksellisuutta ja kannattavuutta niin osallistu tähän koulutukseen, jonka jälkeen voit käyttää KivaQ-menetelmää ilman lisenssimaksua.

KivaQ menetelmä koostuu kahdesta osasta, työhyvinvointikyselystä (7 kysymystä) ja kehittämisworkshopista. Kyselyn tarkoitus on kartoittaa työpaikan nykyisen työhyvinvoinnin tilaa, sekä toimia työhyvinvoinnin kehittämisen mittarina. Workshop on aktiivinen vaihe, joka aktivoi ja tuo kaikki tiimin jäsenet oman työpaikan työhyvinvointiasian ja yhteisen hyvän kehittämisen äärelle. Systemaattinen seuranta (2-3 kertaa noin 3-6 kuukauden välein) antaa tarvittavaa tukea ja varmistaa yhdessä sovittujen toimenpiteiden toteutuksen.

Aika: Torstai 10.1.2019 klo 08.30-16.30

Paikka: KivaQ-fasilitaattorikoulutus järjestetään yhteistyössä HENRY ry:n kanssa.

Osoite: HENRYn Oivallusverstas, Pohjoisesplanadi 33 A, 3.krs, Helsinki

Ilmoittautumiset 3.1.2019 mennessä tästä Koulutukseen otetaan mukaan enintään 14 osallistujaa ilmoittautumisjärjestyksessä.          

Kouluttajat: Kouluttajina toimivat KivaQ-menetelmän kehittäjä, työterveyshuollon erikoislääkäri Ove Näsman ja kehityspsykologian maisteri Sabina Simola-Ström.

Koulutuksen hinta on HENRY ry:n jäsenille 300 €/henkilö + alv 24% (ei-jäsenet 450€/henkilö) ja se sisältää koulutuksen, workshop-oppaan, 7 ppt-lomaketta, sekä aamiaisen, lounaan ja iltapäiväkahvin. Koulutuksen materiaali on saatavana myös ruotsiksi ja englanniksi. Ilmoittautuneet saavat s-postitse etukäteen KivaQ-oppaan ja mahdollisuuden vastata KivaQ-työhyvinvointikyselyyn.

Lisätiedot:  044 5596947                 0400 218537

Tervetuloa mukaan!


KivaQ Oy Ab launches new KivaQ E equality questionnaire to promote equality at workplace

Press release 23.2.2017

 – We want to encourage workplaces to promote equal treatment of all employees. Diversity can be an asset: the broader the variety of genders, nationalities, minorities or various ages etc., the better the possibilities to innovate and develop, said KivaQs CEO Ove Näsman at a press conference in Helsinki.

KivaQ E questionnaire has 9 standard questions and is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.  With the KivaQ E questionnaire it is easy to identify possible experiences of discrimination or inappropriate treatment. The questionnaire also demonstrates the different roles played by top-management, middle managers and employees in promoting equality.

– With the KivaQ E it is easy to evaluate the current situation and plan concrete actions for promoting equality. When employees are treated fairly and all workplace actors from top down understand their own responsibilities, it is much easier to develop pleasant work environment. This in turn improves productivity and profitability, emphasized KivaQs Development Director Tarja Arkio.

Since the requirements of legislation on equality as well as research from the field were taken into account when planning the questionnaire, the KivaE is also a usefull tool for drafting the mandatory equality plan at workplace. During the development phase KivaQ E was successfully piloted in the company ALM Partners and the municipality Kristinestad and became accepted in the 100 acts for gender equality project in Finland.

The questionnaire can be ordered from KivaQs webpages. The fee includes the right to use the KivaQ analysis module that enables engaging presentation of the results to the personnel. The client can also add 1-20 tailor-made additional questions to the questionnaire.

Read more on KivaQ-E questionnaire

Further information:

Ove Näsman,, +358 (0)400 218537

Medical doctor on openness

This article was first published in Finnish by HENRY ry

Are you surprised that a medical doctor writes about openness? Usually doctors are very strict with their professional confidentiality!

Professional confidentiality is a sacred matter to doctors and it must be respected. Professional confidentiality concerns information on patient-doctor relationship that can be given to manager or management only with the permission of the patient. However, an occupational health doctor and the entire occupational health team have much more information on working life, working conditions and personnel. This information could – I personally believe that it should – be given not only to the management, but to the entire personnel to improve work wellbeing, productivity and profitability.

After my 30-year long career as an occupational health specialist I have focused on developing work wellbeing for the past 7 years. I have developed questionnaires and workshops that rely on the principles of openness and transparency.

In Finland the well-functioning occupational health system focuses on the individual, whereas human resources focus on developing the entire organisation. However, to guarantee the wellbeing of an individual employee and that the job runs smoothly it is very important to focus on the team. I believe that even more attention should be paid to teams in the future since colleagues and managers have crucial importance on wellbeing.

Demands to create new innovations lead nowhere without action. According to KivaQ’s experience the teams themselves are able to make the jobs run smoothly when they are given the possibility to do so. An open and structured workshop that involves all the team members and the superior is effective and promotes openness and trust in the work community. These bottom-up workshops are an excellent method to develop innovative culture in the entire work community and as a result the number of innovations increases.

An excellent example of openness is the municipality of Kimitoön that used the KivaQ work wellbeing questionnaire in 2016 and 2017. The municipality decided, according to its strategy that aims at increasing openness, that all the municipal employees have access to the results of the surveys and can analyse them with the help of the user-friendly KivaQ analysis module.

In practice the HR department sent each employee the code and password to access the analysis mode. The questionnaires did not include questions with open text box to avoid personal remarks and personified discussions. The personnel was divided according to sectors so that each group had more than one manager.

According to the 2017 questionnaire, 27,6 % of the respondents had used the possibility to analyse the results themselves in 2016. 69,2 % of the respondents valued the open questionnaire as good or excellent. Only 1,5% thought that the open questionnaire was poor or very poor. 29,3% respondents decided not to take a stand on openness.

The response rate rose by 10 percentage points from 2016 to 2017 and was 58,4. We are waiting for the 2018 results with great interest. The response rate can be increased significantly. It would be interesting to know if the relatively low response rate 48,4 in 2016 was due to openness or if it increased despite of openness?

The municipality will try to increase employees interest toward the questionnaire by publishing the results one question at a time. We believe that people read these short bulletins that consist of few lines more often than long reports.

KivaQ’s vision is that in the future the superior takes more and more responsibility for developing the work wellbeing of his or her team. Could it be so that the team independently decides on how and when to execute a work wellbeing questionnaire? This kind of own-initiative questionnaire could supplement the questionnaire for the entire organisation that is usually carried out by the human resources department.

What do you think is the most important goal for a work wellbeing questionnaire? Could it be that a) every employee understands the importance of work wellbeing and b) becomes enthusiastic and engages in developing work wellbeing in the team? I am convinced that if these goals are met by increasing openness, also work wellbeing, productivity and profitability improve. Should you also try to increase openness in your next work wellbeing questionnaire?

Ove Näsman
Medical doctor and specialist in occupational health
KivaQ Oy Ab

KivaQ and HENRY ry organise a facilitator course on November 9th 2017 (In Finnish). If you are interested in a facilitator course in English or Swedish please contact ove.nasman(at)