As we approach the end of 2021, it is a good time to look back at the year here in Nordea Estonia, and who better than Tiina Käsi, Head of Nordea Branch Estonia, to give a glimpse into the ups and downs, most memorable moments and achievements of the passing year. And since the future is as equally important to us as our past, we will also have a small peek into 2022.
What were the highlights of 2021 in Nordea Estonia?
Despite Covid-19 still being very prevalent in our lives, we were fortunate to still have an eventful year, to which we can look back with pride and joy.
- It has been a year of celebration. In the beginning of 2021, we celebrated Nordea Estonia’s 25th birthday. On top of that, we also celebrated 5 years from the launch of Nordea Estonia’s branch that focuses on serving Nordic customers, leaving behind banking operations on the Estonian market. We are growing at a very fast pace. This has been made possible by our people, who have done such a great job. Our Nordic clients are very well looked after by our team; therefore we have been given the green light to bring more operations to the Estonian branch of Nordea.
Something that makes me very happy is to see how diverse and multicultural our team is. More than 40 nationalities are represented among the 800+ employees of Nordea Estonia. In 2021 we have become even more diverse than before, and I am very proud of that. To celebrate our diversity, this year we celebrated the Diversity Inclusion Month for the very first time. It was a chance to embrace and get to know our people’s cultural backgrounds, but also learn more about their journey in getting accustomed to the Estonian culture. It was heart-warming to see the pride people take in their native culture. It is important that we don’t forget our roots, because this is something we carry with us always. Our team is not only diverse culturally but in all aspects. This is something we value every single day here at Nordea Estonia.
One new team member said in 2021, ‘When I joined Nordea Estonia, I was afraid that maybe I have to change and become someone else. But my colleagues made sure that the reality was far from my fears – they helped me be the best version of myself.’
- In 2021 we have put a lot of emphasis on the physical and mental wellbeing of our people. We consider it very important that our people look after themselves, and also that our leaders can support their team members and be able to notice when someone in their team is struggling. We have organized different workshops on the topic, as well as raised awareness during the World Mental Health Week about the importance of mental wellbeing.
Luckily, amidst the ongoing prevalence of remote work, our teams have been able to meet face-to-face post-summer holidays as well as to celebrate Christmas this year. So alongside the countless Teams meetings, our people have been able to have a few team events, meeting physically as well, which has been much needed to retain the team spirit.
What is the emotion that you will bring with you from this year?
Joy and energy. And that is very much thanks to our diverse team.
What have been the biggest challenges in 2021?
- The growth of the teams. The leaders couldn’t see their team members much, hiring was happening virtually.
- Finding the right balance between performance and wellbeing. The last years have posed mental challenges for many of us. Our employees coming from other countries haven’t been able to visit home and family as much due to restrictions.
- How to make balanced decisions, taking into account the Covid-19 crisis.
- Leadership and strategic decision-making had to be short-term, and of course, many changes had to be made with short notice.
- Making sure that all the right information regarding the Covid-19 crisis reaches also the foreigners in our team, to whom Estonian news are inaccessible.
What are your wishes and dreams, thinking about the upcoming year and Nordea Estonia?
- I wish to see that this very fast growth that we have seen in the past years, will continue steadily in the upcoming year.
- I wish for the possibility of our people and teams to meet more physically. Of course, we want to continue with being flexible for our employees, but I wish that we wouldn’t have to work fully remotely, especially forcefully so due to the crisis. I wish for positive flexibility. Real creativity and innovation is born when people come together face-to-face.
- I wish that our Nordic stakeholders could visit our Estonian branch and that our people could also meet up with their colleagues in other Nordic countries. I wish for more connection.
- I wish that our first focus does not have to be only Covid-19. Instead, it should be our business, clients, and our people. I would like to see that normality coming back.
- I would wish for more visibility on the Estonian market and more brand awareness. I also hope to see more close collaboration with Estonian universities.
2021 has definitely been a year to remember for us here at Nordea Estonia. We are very grateful for what we have achieved and experienced during this year, and also for the challenges, but most importantly, we are grateful to every single employee of ours, because only thanks to you we can say that 2021 was a successful year. Now we will set our eyes on the coming year because we cannot wait for what it has in store for us. Hopefully, together we will make 2022 yet another memorable year.
On behalf of Nordea Estonia, we are wishing everyone a very happy new year!