One Centralised Solution Helped the City of Helsinki

Helsinki (FI), August 2023 - The City of Helsinki is the largest employer in Finland, with 38,000 employees. The guiding principle of the City Strategy is that Helsinki is a place of growth. Therefore, Helsinki aims to be an attractive employer offering various exciting career opportunities, and the city encourages continuous learning work rotation and the development of diverse career paths. Consequently, there is an increasing need for ongoing skills development on the job.

At the same time, the digitalisation of public services creates constant pressure on employees to keep skills and competencies up to date while simultaneously performing the work. Therefore, continuous investment in skills is necessary for staff to make the most of the digital opportunities that the city presents.

In this process, the City faced the challenge of offering a flexible solution for varying learning needs to provide learning and development across the organisation to support growth. The largest divisions are Education, Social Services, and Healthcare and Rescue Services. Ilkka Eerola, Development Manager, explained, "We deliver training to many learners with a variety of job roles, differing training needs, diverse backgrounds, and learning preferences. Therefore, every division has its own learning requirements."

Previously, each division had its own learning solutions, which created inefficiencies, as many of these solutions were used for similar needs and requirements. In 2020, the City of Helsinki decided to build a centrally managed learning solution to meet all the requirements across the divisions and the Central Administration. The goal was to move from multiple platforms to one, to provide all employees with a learning journey in the most cost-efficient way.

The City of Helsinki focused on key requirements and needs across all divisions to find the right learning solution. The goal was to find an SaaS platform vendor to be a long-term strategic partner that would support successful implementation and platform use with a skilled services team. In addition, a mobile-first user experience was a key requirement.

They evaluated several learning platforms based on a public tendering and procurement process. The public tender included system requirements and additional requirements. The Valamis platform met all these requirements. As a result, Valamis was selected, as it met all the City of Helsinki’s complex requirements.

One key benefit of having the centralised learning platform for the Helsinki team is employee onboarding. They are improving the onboarding processes and moving a large share of onboarding tasks to online across the organisation. In addition to offering high-quality onboarding, this will create efficiencies and cost savings over time. Nina Suursalmi, Project Manager, said, "The Valamis team has been great at helping us define new processes. They are very responsive and listen to our feedback. They have also added features to the product roadmap based on our requirements."

Now the focus is on increasing the user numbers and platform usage by offering a wide variety of engaging learning content on different topics and improving the learning content creation processes. Suursalmi continued, "Usability is critical, and the Valamis platform is easy to use and flexible, it can be adapted to support our learning processes. We are implementing a distributed content-creation model and are now creating guidelines for content production across the whole organisation. As the City of Helsinki aims to increase employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, we are launching a large amount of new content around that topic. Besides our own content, we provide our learners with content from third-party vendors. It has been straightforward to integrate third-party content into the Valamis platform. We are looking forward to using the Valamis integration with Microsoft Teams to give our employees quick access to learning content in the flow of work."

Since the City of Helsinki implemented Valamis, they have seen a significant increase in learner engagement. In the past few months, learning platform usage has more than doubled and is expected to grow steadily over time when new learning content is added to the platform.

Ilkka Eerola, Development Manager, concludes, "Digital and blended learning will be a significant focus in the coming years. The entire learning offering will be integrated into one learning solution. The Valamis platform offers efficient analytics tools to monitor the increase in learner engagement in our different divisions. Based on the data, we will also optimise and tailor our learning content offering to ensure that the content is always relevant for our learners. 
 "The centralised learning delivery generates cost and time savings. The learning platform allows us to keep the training quality consistent across the organisation. All employees will have easy access to learning content on any device at any time.
"Valamis has been helping us to streamline the online learning processes, content delivery, and reporting. We can always count on the Valamis team to brainstorm with us and explore new ways to use the system. Valamis also has exciting plans, and the product roadmap has plenty of interesting features. We are keen to test new features as soon as they become available."