Kirsi Kähkönen, head of production, has been at Innokas Medical for a long time, already. Still, she is just as enthusiastic about her work as ever. Or how many can say they voluntarily show up for work even on Saturday?
Originally, Kirsi Kähkönen was not supposed to become the head of production. She was employed as a practical nurse in Jyväskylä before she moved to Oulu in 1999 with her husband, who was employed by Nokia. However, since there was no need for a practical nurse in the Oulu market, she was faced with a career change.
“I completed my vocational qualification in electronics at OAKK (Oulu Adult Education Center). I came to Innokas Medical via my practical training. I didn’t want to work in too large a company, because my husband worked at Nokia. My friend recommended Innokas Medical. I called Jouni, attended an interview, and was accepted for practical training. And I’m still here,” Kähkönen laughs.
The first six weeks she was a trainee in assembly. From there she was transferred to testing when she was given a permanent job at the end of her training. Kähkönen recalls that she was the first tester at Innokas Medical. She became the head of production last autumn, although testing is still one part of her work.
A hectic person requires hectic work
Although it is hard to believe considering her hobbies—jogging with her dog, working out, and fishing—Kirsi Kähkönen says she needs variation. Her work offers good opportunities to satisfy this need.
“Last autumn production was divided into three sections. First is the PCB section with machine lines and PCB assembly. The second section consists of post-assembly and testing, which is my responsibility. Then there is the module section,” Kähkönen explains.
“In my own area of responsibility I arrange work for weeks ahead so that everyone knows the right thing to do at the right time. However, we do teamwork in that if my side is quieter, I can join another team. This makes work flexible and there is no need to ponder about what to do.”
A good work environment is inspiring
Kähkönen says she has enjoyed being at Innokas Medical, and it is the work community that makes it enjoyable.
“I have really enjoyed working at Innokas Medical, because it is a workplace that takes its employees into consideration. Not many technology companies have flexible working hours anymore, but we still do. The management and superiors are easy to approach and feedback flows in both directions. My workmates are enthusiastic and because of them it’s great to come to work,” Kähkönen says.
Innokas Medical’s values have been condensed into the Finnish acronym LAKKI. Kirsi mentions two of these values—quality and enthusiasm—which she feels are most apparent in her own work. The work is done for the customers, and it inspires her to do quality work.
“The outcome of testing has to be of high quality. For us, quality is number one. Because the products go directly to the customers, we don’t want to have to deal with complaints. Nevertheless, errors do happen—after all, we are only humans,” Kähkönen ponders.
She feels enthusiasm reflects the employees’ attitude toward their work.
“Sometimes when we have noticed that a certain product needs to be ready quickly, we ourselves have suggested to the management that we could come to work on Saturday. I think this is a positive message from our employees. Our employer surely does its own part to ensure a pleasant work environment. The company has organized recreation days and education days, and they give a boost to our work. That’s why I have the feeling that our work is appreciated,” Kähkönen sums up.