Futurice is an IT company developing online- and mobile software and is one of the fastest-growing companies in Finnish information technology market. The report considers three human resource and operation strategies that are important for the success and profitability of Futurice: information transparency, non-hierarchy work system, and enhancement of employee values. The conclusion drawn from the analysis is that Futurice has been following a right path that allows employees to show their ability and potentials as well as financially benefits the company. The idea of creating a work environment without hierarchy, nonetheless, may not be efficient and suitable for Futurice. Some recommendation is that giving people more autonomy may be a better alternative to non-hierarchy system.
Futurice Oy is a Finnish company that provides software, development, online service and consultants. Founded in 2002, Futurice has become one Europe’s fastest growing tech companies with an average annual growth of approximately 95%. It currently employs roughly 170 employees and has topped the European list of middle sized enterprises for workplace excellence, beating out 2,119 other companies from 19 countries across Europe.
The purpose of this report is to provide information about key human resource management tools that need to be considered and enhanced to align employees’ interest with company’s interest, improve working environment, and ensure the success and profitability of the company.
2.1. Information transparency
Futurice attempts to make all company information transparent to all employees, based on the belief that an organization culture without information sharing is a failure. People are encouraged to do some research by themselves before acting, not just follow instructions. In order to facilitate people to share and reach information, training and workshops are held and all technical barriers are removed. In additions, the company has several communication channels providing information. Monthly newsletters would enable updates of company budget figures, revenues, and HR projects. An internal social network tool is used to prepare board meeting between CEO and employees. The IT team always shares its service status on the internet, and all presentations are filmed and shared on the intranet.
Through such many information sources, employees are able to access to any information they need to assist their work and understanding about the company. Setting up these efficient IT services and organising these events actually incur a small cost compared to the benefits it brings. In Futurice, as the aim is to “not run faster but walk shorter distance”, information transparency plays a key role in reducing project duration. Thanks to better access to information and greater intra-company support and coordination, wandering and wasteful work are eliminated which saves time and cost for the organisation.
Considering some possible drawbacks, as Futurice wishes to adopt new information technology and change the communication system to achieve continuous improvement, adequate skills and knowledge are required and investment could be expensive compared to the improvement, especially in the case of a medium-sized company (so that diminishing returns are likely to occur). Therefore, it is important that planners and strategists find out the optimal level of investment and whether any implementation is suitable and beneficial in terms of management, finance, and working style.
2.2. Hierarchy removal
Futurice plans to create a workplace with the power of hierarchies more difficult to see. It aims to give freedom to employees and therefore increases their responsibility awareness, motivation and productivity.
While this proposal seems attractive for employees, in fact it could be more efficient when people with more experience provide guidance to less