The Ollaan ihmisiksi campaign that takes place during Christmastime seeks to awaken citizens to think about their own role in enhancing the occupational well-being of customer service professionals. According to research, customers’ inappropriate behaviour towards salespersons and customer service professionals has increased in the industry.*
Commerce is the largest employer in the economy and the largest employer of young people. Ensuring positive working life experiences for young people who are only at the beginning of their careers is particularly important. For employers, it is also a question of personnel health and safety at work and, in a broader sense, it is a question of responsibility, ”says Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
The Finnish Commerce Federation and PAM launched their first Ollaan ihmisiksi campaign at the end of 2017. Unfortunately, many professionals in the commerce sector are still faced with inappropriate behaviour in their work.
“The campaign is still very topical, as the verbal abuse, sexual harassment and other threatening behaviour encountered at work affect those working in customer service extensively. Cyberbullying has also brought new forms of inappropriate behaviour as customer service professionals may be filmed, and the videos are distributed on social media with unpleasant texts, ”says Erika Kähärä, Occupational Health and Safety Advisor at Service Union United PAM.
The Ollaan ihmisiksi campaign renewed its look from animal characters to people
The Ollaan ihmisiksi campaign by the Finnish Commerce Federation and PAM takes place during the busiest Christmas shopping season with a renewed campaign look. The animal characters that have become familiar in previous years have been replaced by the customer service professionals, who are much more than just their work roles — above all, real people with feelings.
“Behind a smooth customer experience is a lot of invisible work – and people. All diverse and equally valuable. These people are also mothers, sons or other loved ones, whose feelings one could identify with,” Kähärä says.
The aim of the campaign is to make the consumer see and encounter people working in customer service as equals and to promote the well-being generated by positive encounters.
The unions recommend that people maintain a relaxed Christmas cheer when shopping.
“The work and competence of customer service should be respected. A positive cycle is created when employees feel good and the customer has a positive service experience,” Lavikkala reminds.
The campaign will be featured on social media channels and in stores before, during and after Christmas
The campaign of the Finnish Commerce Federation and PAM is visible on social media and in stores during December and the days between Christmas and New Year. On social media, the following campaign tags are used: #ollaanihmisiksi, #vänligtbemött and #letsbehave.
The Ollaan ihmisiksi website has information about the campaign, campaign materials, related studies, guides and online trainings produced by unions for companies and employees, as well as articles and statements promoting a safer service environment.
The campaign is carried out in cooperation with the advertising agency Smoy.
Check the campaign at ollaanihmisiksi.fi >
Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0) 400 406 088, anna.lavikkala(at)kauppa.fi
Erika Kähärä, Occupational Health and Safety Advisor, Service Union United PAM, tel. +358 (0)40 764 5295, erika.kahara(at)pam.fi
For more information on the Ollaan ihmisiksi campaign:
Pia Pere-Vanhanen, Communications and Responsibility Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0) 40 867 1708, pia.pere-vanhanen(at)kauppa.fi
* According to a Consumer Survey of the Finnish Commerce Federation (2022), 23 per cent of other customers have observed disruptive behaviour, compared to 15 per cent five years earlier. According to Pam’s study (2020), sexual harassment and threat of violence in particular have increased in workplaces since 2015.
Finnish Commerce Federation survey: The Finnish Commerce Federation and Kantar TNS survey was conducted during weeks 41–42 in October 2022. The sample is 1,500 online users aged 20-79. / PAM’S research: https://www.pam.fi/studies/hairinta-asiakastyossa/