Work Happiness: Paula and Juho Found Their Place at the Kempower Factory
Modern facilities and a working culture of professional growth and well-being have impressed Juho Härkönen and Paula Hämäläinen. Juho and Paula both work in production at the Kempower factory in Lahti. Working in production at Kempower is different than traditional factory work. Here are 6 reasons why.
There’s a neat line of pre-packaged charging Power Units, ready to be delivered to different corners of the world. The blue ones are headed to France, the light gray ones to Spain. All are made in Lahti.
We are at the Kempower factory, where fast charging solutions for electric vehicles are manufactured. The first thing that catches your eye is the spaciousness, then the calm atmosphere. This is what caught the attention of Kempower employee Juho Härkönen when he first entered the factory 18 months ago.
“I was astonished by the tranquility of the factory. It’s very different from many other jobs in manufacturing. Here you don’t have an angle grinder screaming next to you, and people aren’t running around like headless chickens. I was immediately left feeling like I belong here.”Juho Härkönen, Production Inspector
Härkönen, working in production, has a background in mechanics. However, the work also suits career changers, such as former baker Paula Hämäläinen.
Paula works on the assembly line in production, and Juho works as a team leader in the testing room for ready charging units. In this article, they share what they’ve found surprising in the workplace and what makes them enjoy work at Kempower.
1. An employee truly has an impact on the company’s growth
At Kempower, the past five years have been a time of strong growth.
“It’s been great to be able to join a growing company like this,” says Juho Härkönen.
“Here, one gets to build the future and, in some respects, even have an impact on it. As a tech fanatic, I find electric cars and their charging systems really interesting, and the industry is moving forward globally. We’re creating important technology that shapes the future,” he says enthusiastically.
Even popular news media have noted the growth. On these occasions, Juho feels particularly proud.
“When I see that the awards we’ve won get mentioned in the news, I take pride in thinking that without us, those products would’ve never been sent out to the world.”
2. Old stereotypes don’t apply
In general, some people may have varying preconceptions when it comes to factory work, but those old stereotypes don’t apply at Kempower. When Paula started to work at the Kempower factory in Satellite subassembly, her friends wondered about her choice as they had a preconceived view of production work.
“They assumed I’d be coming to work on an assembly line in a noisy factory within a predominately-male field.”
The assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth at the Kempower factory in Lahti.
“The work is really rewarding. Here we have workers from many kinds of backgrounds, men as well as women. This industry isn’t gender-specific, and the working environment is quiet and calm,” Paula praises.
Kempower is aiming to break stereotypes even further.
“At my job interview, my supervisor said that women are hesitant when it comes to applying for a job like this. The thought that electrical engineering is only for men is etched on a lot of people’s minds. That’s not true, and I hope that more and more women will have the courage to apply.”Paula Hämäläinen, Production Worker
3. Making a career change was easy
Paula Hämäläinen switched career paths to work at Kempower. Prior to Kempower, she worked in a bakery with background training as a baker and confectioner. Prior to this, she was a salesperson in a jewelry store. The constantly changing work schedule and weekend working hours in baking put an excessive strain on her everyday life.
“I was looking for change in my everyday life. I wanted ease, regular working hours, and weekends and bank holidays off,” she summarizes. “I have small children, and I want to be present in daily life.”
She pondered on the idea in her head for almost a year.
“I have a lot of manual skills, but even so, I was still nervous and thought, ‘what if I can’t do it?’ But already in the interview I was told that many people at Kempower changed their career paths coming here also.”
In the end, leaping into a new career was surprisingly easy.
“I’m a pretty hasty person, but I’ve been told to take it easy. It’s been emphasized that here it’s okay to take your time, and in meticulous work, quality comes first. It’s lovely to be allowed to focus and do my job well.”
4. Learning new things and professional growth are supported
A comprehensive onboarding helped Paula in learning new things. Support hasn’t stopped there; instead, it’s part of daily life at Kempower.
“Although we all have a personal workstation, we work so closely together that I’ve always been able to ask for help even after the introductory period. Every time it’s been given,” Paula says.
Learning new things leads to a cycle of positive experiences.
“I often feel a sense of achievement. I love it when my work runs smoothly and without issues and the finished product is perfect to a T and shows what you’ve been able to make.”
Juho Härkönen came to Kempower from a bus manufacturing firm approximately 18 months ago. Initially, he was hired to work as a tester in assembly. At Kempower, it’s typical that regardless of background, a new employee starts in assembly. This encourages production workers to get to know the products in depth. Juho finds this development process sensible.
“In many other production jobs, you’re just handed tools. Here we first really get to understand the products we make.”
Juho is also thankful for the opportunity for rapid career progress. During his 18 months at Kempower, he’s been promoted to a team leader in testing.
“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to change positions or be able to develop in different areas here. Here you can try out other things too, not just the one you came here for at first. Unfortunately, in many places people end up turning the same screw for 20 years.”
5. A low hierarchy and good atmosphere that supports wellbeing
Although the number of staff at the Kempower factory in Lahti has grown almost exponentially in recent years, the same can-do attitude from the early years is still present everywhere. The hierarchy is also low.
“This is a really modern and friendly workplace. Everyone’s got a clear role, but even so, regardless of position, anyone can raise an issue and it will be dealt with in one way or another,” Juho tells.
“People’s wellbeing is exceptionally cared for, and we have plenty of benefits. You’re treated appropriately regardless of job title, background, or education. Equality is materialized here exceptionally well.”Juho Härkönen, Production Inspector
Paula, too, has already noticed the great atmosphere.
“The team is really nice here, and people say good morning to each other with a smile on their faces. Every week, we have a meeting for the entire production, where we go through general things. That’s where you get a sense of unity. As an employer, Kempower really wants people to get to know each other and they look after us employees.”
6. Balancing work and family life is easy
Both Juho and Paula have small children. At Kempower, balancing work and family life is well supported, and that has helped them both in their daily lives.
“When I’ve needed to, for example, take my kids to the doctor’s, it’s been easy and flexible to organize. As a new dad, that’s really important to me,” Härkönen says. Paternity leave was also easy to arrange as he hoped.
Hämäläinen is relieved by and thankful for the change the new job has brought about in her daily life to her and her entire family. She says she feels much better now than she did at her old job.
“I’m really happy I changed jobs. It’s been a great thing and has had a big impact on my life,” she rejoices.
“I come to work feeling good and leave feeling good, and I don’t need to think about work at home. Regular days off are also incredible, and during them I genuinely recover. Flexible working hours make it possible to run personal errands in the daytime.”
Would you like to join us in building the future of electric cars? See open vacancies and come be a part of the Kempower story