Tikkurila is a leading Nordic paint company. It has offices in several countries and a global distribution network.

Our team leads Tikkurila Central Brands – Alcro, Beckers and Tikkurila marketing. We have team members in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. 

A multinational team with few meetings: how to make it a team?

Our team was established a year and a half ago. Face-to-face meetings are rare in an international team, and during the pandemic there have been none. New members have also joined the team this year. Our biggest challenge is to help a group of people from different countries to work as a team.

I chose SmoothTeam, because it was recommended by a colleague. I found it an interesting approach: it’s both playful and useful by helping the team to find ways to function even better.

The simulation involved everyone, even the skeptics

Some of our team members are very skeptical towards team events – “how can we spend hours playing a game?!” Fortunately the simulation succeeded involving everyone fully. It was not only playful, but also practical training and development for us as a team. Everybody commented afterwards that the simulation was useful and enjoyable. For me as the manager it is essential that I get everybody on board on what we are doing as a team.

The simulation revealed what each of us is missing at work

In the simulation, I learned that even if we know each other pretty well, we each think of ourselves in a different way than our colleagues do. SmoothTeam revealed hidden characters and values in everyone that had not been recognised before.

It was also valuable to hear everyone commenting what they miss. These don’t come up very well in regular team meetings, even though our people are generally quite open. The simulation sparked a new level of openness.

What is the team’s shared vision?

After the simulation we agreed on some practical changes to our team’s meeting practices. Some of us don’t work daily so closely together, and understanding our shared goal and its connection to the company vision helps us align our work and work as a team.

A good team needs structure, openness and diversity

A well functioning team should have a well-defined structure. This means everyone knows who decides what and how – and also how much I myself can decide. Unfortunately there are often some missing links.

Openness is another key topic. Knowing you always have support from your colleagues and team leader is important. 

Third key topic I would like to name is diversity: having different kinds of people in the team with a variety of strengths. These three key factors help you get in a good spirit, so you also enjoy spending time together. That is the fourth essential element for an excellent team.

I strongly recommend SmoothTeam especially for international teams

SmoothTeam is great for international teams! It also works for newer teams and situations where new team members have joined an existing team.

It was important that we were able to combine playfulness and practicality. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but you may do concrete practical work together while also having fun together. That’s an amazing combination. We got a lot of great insights out of it. SmoothTeam helped us to get to know each other better, and it also gave us ideas how we can improve the team in the future.

Svea Paju
Svea Paju
Marketing Director, Brands
Tikkurila Oyj