A good instructor has a big heart and hard-working hands

Roderick Paed works as an independent instructor in the SOL team at Hartwall Arena. His name has come up in positive comments so often that it is worthwhile to find out more about the man and his leadership style.

On the day of the interview, rain and wind batter the front yard of Hartwall Arena but the bleak weather does not affect the warm atmosphere inside. Roderick sits in his usual spot in his room located at the back of an equipment storage room. He starts off by telling his own story, an inspiring example of how a positive attitude and perseverance can get you far.

Always headed forward

Roderick’s journey from the small Filipino village of his childhood to Hartwall Arena in Pasila has been long and eventful. There have been many challenges along the path but also success and joy. Originally, he dreamed of college studies, but that was financially impossible. He simply had to work. However, Roderick’s hard work and eagerness to get ahead was soon also rewarded in working life. The young man started in a factory and moved from there to become a hotel waiter and housekeeper. Soon, he was responsible for serving the most important customers, such as princesses. It was exactly during those years that Roderick learned, as he puts it, the right attitude towards work and customers.

Roderick’s path lead to Finland in 2008, and he started working at SOL about four years ago. As his first work assignment, Roderick worked as the inspector of nightshifts at Hartwall Arena, which is where he still finds himself, but in a very different role. His career has advanced by leaps and bounds and today he is responsible for the entire team of eighteen. A job well done at Hartwall Arena also expanded Roderick’s responsibilities to another location: Telia 5G Areena in Töölö.

Results through positivity

Roderick is thanked for his work as an independent instructor by both customers as well as employees. The one word that is most used in describing him is “positive”. Roderick explains how positivity can be used for good results:

You will always encounter challenges in life, especially in your work. Being positive helps find solutions to those challenges. Being negative makes us blind – we end up blaming others or bad luck. With a positive attitude we can accept the challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

The same attitude is reflected in the way the entire Hartwall team operates. Roderick motivates everyone to do their best and be proud of their work. He demands a lot from everyone, including himself:

I never want to hear disparaging comments about being “only a cleaner”. This is demanding and important work, and when you do it well you deserve a pat on the back. If necessary, I take on the work myself. It is important that I don’t just sit behind my desk but lead by example. I have done this kind of work for a long time, so I can put myself in my team members’ shoes.

Care and influence

The SOL team at Hartwall Arena is constantly working hard to ensure a high quality of work and customer satisfaction. Processes are constantly improved based on feedback. Close attention is paid to the customer’s needs, while also giving the personnel a chance to influence. Roderick holds regular group meetings with his team, where everyone can freely share things on their mind and give development suggestions. He feels good results come out of a good team spirit. And that requires, first and foremost, one thing:

It is absolutely paramount; each person must feel valuable exactly as they are, but also show respect for others. I always tell people to be the kind of an employee that they would like to work with.

A genuine interest in getting to know others is an integral part of respect. Understanding others makes cooperation smoother and increases flexibility. It is exactly these things that a location like Hartwall Arena really requires. Here, incredibly busy situations are an everyday occurrence with only ten minutes to do maintenance cleaning during half times. The requirement level is high, and needs vary as situations change from starting a new hockey season to preparing for the concert of an international superstar. With Roderick’s leadership, the multicultural SOL team manages all of this really well. Sticking together is certainly one of the most important prerequisites of success.

Even though we come from different backgrounds, everyone has similar feelings, aspirations and fears. This team is like another family for me, the well-being of its members is close to my heart and I believe others think the same.

“Be grateful to people who have treated you well. And patient toward those who have not.”

Roderick Paed