Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Pier-glass – Reflection and Learning in Peer Groups
Pier-glass (Työpeili 2017-2020) project develops a novel service model for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to provide a forum for sole entrepreneurs, micro and small size enterprises as target groups for reflection and learning through tutored peer groups. The need for this kind of a novel service concept to combine wellbeing at work and productivity strongly emerged over the Foorumix project (ESF, SAMK).
At present, there are no group services for entrepreneurs’ development services in Satakunta region. Consequently, the region is lacking the benefits provided by peer group services, like: 1) well targeted training as a change agent; 2) optimum coverage of tailor-made services and support for those enterprises most in need; 3) full-scale processes including peer support and coaching to enhance and ensure the transition into everyday life.
Pier-glass project is based on the identified needs in SMEs in regard with limited resources to constantly update their expertise. This project engages experts in the fields concerned to facilitate renewal processes and implementation of new knowledge into practice to achieve empowerment, new means and improved wellbeing at work under increasing pressure and requirements set by the society for small service providers.
The expert support is essential in service structure transitions. Pier-glass pilot studies are targeted firstly on small enterprises on health and social sector services challenged by the current social welfare and health care (SOTE) reform in Finland. Each service provider is challenged with increased demands on digitalised working patterns, means and systematic data handling. This project gathers together groups of sole entrepreneurs and representation of SME owners and company key personnel. A good number of them and company service providers have already committed to this kind of activities in the region.
Pier-glass process consists of:
1) kick-off phase with sole entrepreneurs and SME representatives
2) gathering peer groups (face to face and online)
3) pilot phase of peer groups (1,5 years)
4) data collection and analysis, assessment of transition and other process outcomes
5) modelling, dissemination and support in regional implementation of permanent Pier-glass services
6) preparation of an online trainer course and related pilot study.
The goal is a permanent service model for all kind of SMEs, even if the project activities mainly set focus on processing the novel service provider requirements by SOTE reform, like service package indicators, description of services and service voucher practices. Support in change management will be provided on request (e.g. green care, NLP, health and safety at work). The project aims at supporting SMEs in the region to develop sustainable competitiveness respecting wellbeing at work.
Project manager, Kaarina Latostenmaa
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