Adil Khan has been appointed as SOL’s first international tutor. Khan’s role is particularly important in regard to the long-term equality work that SOL has been doing for many years. His tasks include assisting SOL employees with foreign backgrounds in adjusting to the Finnish work culture, supporting them and helping them with communication. Currently, SOL employs more than 3,000 people with foreign backgrounds, and the number of languages spoken in the work community is over 60. With SOL’s growth targets, the number is likely to double in the coming years. The role of the international tutor is an extension of the work of SOL’s multicultural development group.
At SOL, we have been working hard for equality, multiculturalism and non-discrimination for years. Over the course of a decade, the multicultural development group has been laying the groundwork for the employment and equality of foreign employees in order to ensure the availability of labour in the future as well. The international tutor will continue this work and put the development group’s strategy into practice. Equality along with other values have also been promoted through a work culture with a low level of hierarchy that does not seek to distinguish between employees, supervisors and management. In this way, employees are encouraged to openly communicate about the challenges they face, for which solutions are then sought together. Our operations are guided by we-centred thinking; working together, solving problems together and succeeding together encourages the entire SOL work community.
International tutor supports acculturation
Adil Khan started his career at SOL as a service provider for cleaning services, and now he works as a supervisor for a 70-person team. Khan’s tasks as SOL’s international tutor will start in autumn 2021. Khan is a great example of how SOL offers opportunities for all to develop their competence, receive training and advance in their careers.
I’m excited about the role of the international tutor. I want to help employees with a foreign background so that they feel comfortable at SOL.
Foreign employees often have questions or problems occupying their minds related to employment issues, such as working hours, contracts, duties and rights. My task is to help them with these issues. I have been part of the multicultural development group for approximately eight years, and as the international tutor I have the opportunity to put into practice what we have been working on in the group”, says Adil Khan, service supervisor and the first international tutor at SOL.
The role of the international tutor includes supporting employees with foreign backgrounds to adjust to the Finnish work culture as well as acting as a negotiator, when necessary. The task also includes developing solutions for better communication as well as providing support for supervisors. At this moment, one of the biggest challenges at SOL is communication and its inefficiency. Language barriers are common obstacles, as SOL employs people from many different cultures and language areas. To solve language issues, SOL has already started to provide Finnish language training for employees with a foreign background in several locations. However, the majority of all communication takes place in English.
“When it comes to conveying messages, my role is central, as I work in cooperation with both employees and management. The task of the international tutor smoothly combines my passion for finding solutions to communication challenges brought by multiculturalism and working. In my role, I can really make a difference, and I hope that I’m able to ease the acculturation of foreign employees with my work”, says Khan.
“At SOL, we work together to make everyone feel comfortable at work. Offering everyone a chance regardless of their age, gender and background is at the heart of SOL’s operations. For us, equality is at the centre of everything we do. SOL’s business operations are founded on a positive image of humankind: we believe that everyone wants to do good work and succeed. Everyone should have the opportunity to find employment, receive training and advance in their careers. Since the founding of SOL, we have always strived to employ foreign people who may have had difficulty finding employment in Finland in the past. Equality and non-discrimination are essential to us, and we want to promote them. SOL has an absolute zero tolerance for any form of discrimination.
In addition, SOL has a group called Yellow Panthers, dedicated particularly for older employees, which aims to provide employment for those who have already reached retirement age. With these various solutions, we want to guarantee everyone the opportunity to work”, tells Timo Sairanen, Director of HR and Legal Issues at SOL.