The Association for Finnish Work, an independent, non-profit organisation owned by its members and founded in 1912, exists to promote Finnish work and the successful long-term development of Finnish industry and enterprise. We are known for the Key Flag (Made in Finland) and Design from Finland trademarks, which we award to products and services that originate from Finland. More recently, we have also taken responsibility for developing and encouraging Finland’s social enterprise sector through administering the Social Enterprise Mark.

We have more than 2,000 members who use the Key Flag symbol, while the Design from Finland symbol is used by over 200 members.

An important part of our role has always been to promote the success of Finnish work. At a time when both the European and the Finnish economy are struggling, when prognoses for the future of work tend to be bleak, we believe that this is exactly the right time to rethink, even rebrand, what is understood by the term “work”. Further, we think that to recover from this recession and to ensure the levels of wellbeing we have been used to, it is also the right time to define the kind of work we need to strive for to be successful as an economy, as a society, as companies and as individual employees.

In particular, the challenge is to generate high value work. This is for two reasons. The first is that high value work motivates and commits employees, catalysing opportunities for growth and learning. Work is, at its best, meaningful. The second is that, for companies, high value work is the key to successful and sustainable operations, allowing them to differentiate from their competitors and produce lasting value together with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.

This report is part of a series on high value work that the Association for Finnish Work has published in the last year, working with Kantar Consulting, an international consultancy headquartered in London. Another two reports are available at avainlippu.fi. The first, The High Value Work Agenda, analyses the nature of high value work. The second, The Business Briefing, identifies the business strategies and culture that enable high value work. This third report is intended to address the public policy issues involved in developing high value work. It looks at the actions policy makers and businesses need to take to help Finland to be more productive and more successful — and to become a high value work environment in the future.

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