Ensuring Employee Happiness and Sustainability: How Retta Leads the Way

Kuvassa ovat Rettan Katariina Lindholm ja Linda Marthon

Retta is setting ambitious goals, fostering cultural transformation, and seamlessly integrating sustainability into its business strategy. To hear more about this, we caught up with Linda Marthon, Chief Expansion and Sustainability Officer, and Katariina Lindholm, Director People and Culture.

Hi, Linda and Katariina! Could you introduce us to Retta’s most important goals in terms of employees and sustainability?

Linda: As a consultancy firm, our primary resource is our employees. So, ensuring that our employees are happy, engaged, and willing to stay with us is crucial. Our ambition is to have the happiest employees in the industry, and we have specific targets in our personnel survey to measure this.

Our employees are the ones delivering our services, so their happiness directly impacts our customers’ experience. It’s a win-win situation. 

Katariina: We also want to have the most satisfied customers in the industry, so we actively measure customer satisfaction throughout the year. 

These goals – customer satisfaction and employee happiness – are not separate targets for us. They are deeply integrated into our strategy, our sustainability goals, and all of our actions.

Focus on Lowering CO2 Emissions

Retta’s 2023 Sustainability Report is just out. Can you tell us a little more about how Retta is lowering emissions as a company?

Linda: As the Sustainability Report shows, in 2023, we reduced our CO2 emissions by five percent compared to 2022. 

We’re focusing on our fleet of company cars, for example. Transportation is crucial to realtors’ work. Our people need to move around to manage and sell properties. This is why we aim to transition our fleet to electric.

Office emissions are another issue we’re tackling. In Finland, we’ve consolidated multiple smaller offices into fewer, larger ones and implemented hybrid workstations to reduce the need for office space. And our Helsinki and Stockholm HQs are located near public transportation.

Our IT equipment is leased, extending its lifecycle. We also encourage recycling, particularly for office furniture.

Katariina: I’d say that managing and assessing our suppliers and really examining the impact of our whole value chain has been especially important in helping us lower emissions. And don’t forget that Retta’s impact extends beyond our own emissions. With our services, we can positively influence our clients’ sustainability efforts.

On that subject, how does Retta help its customers become more sustainable?

Linda: We have dedicated teams working proactively with our clients to reduce their properties’ environmental impact. This proactive, data-driven approach helps our clients take concrete steps to reduce their emissions.

For example, we conduct thorough inventories of our clients’ current properties to gather detailed consumption data. We then provide proactive suggestions on how to reduce emissions and support them in their net zero journeys or certification processes. 

Katariina: What sets us apart is our existing relationship with our clients. Because we already manage these properties, we have direct access to the necessary data and a deep understanding of the buildings. This means we can offer a tailored solution that’s right for the individual customer.

Big Leaps in Sustainability Efforts

How have you seen sustainability improve at Retta?

Linda: Continuous improvement is a core ambition for us. Over the years, we’ve significantly increased the resources available to the sustainability team. And this year, we made a big leap by involving more people in our sustainability efforts. This allows us to work more comprehensively towards our objectives.

Katariina: Our HR team has also seen significant developments. We really focus on our employee net promoter score (ENPS) and our customer net promoter score (NPS). Both have shown positive trends. We’ve also seen improvements in employee turnover rates and a reduction in sick leaves. 

These positive developments are also reflected in our financial performance. Now, one may think that profit comes at the expense of employee well-being. But our data shows that our financial success is driven by happier employees and happier customers. I’m really proud of this.

Does Retta have programs or initiatives to support employee engagement in sustainability efforts?

Linda: We have several programs and initiatives designed to engage our employees in sustainability efforts.

Firstly, we ensure that our workplaces are not only flexible but also encourage diversity, safety, and health across all offices and teams.

Next, our employees work closely with customers in the real estate sector, which is responsible for significant emissions. We’ll carry on training our staff, but many are already knowledgeable about sustainability issues.

Aiming to Provide the Best Living and Working Experiences

How does Retta keep on track with its goal of employee happiness?

Katariina: Every year, we develop an action plan to achieve our goal of having the happiest employees in the industry. In 2023, a significant part of this was the Retta Culture Journey. We wanted to achieve a cultural transformation that empowered our employees. 

As part of this journey, we developed processes to give employees more responsibility and decision-making power and initiatives around management and leadership development, competence development, and training.

We also focused on building our employer brand. Internally, we love to share successes and positive stories about ourselves and our colleagues.

So, let’s finish with the big question: how is Retta integrating sustainability into a successful business strategy?

Linda: Sustainability is a deep part of our overall business strategy. It’s not a separate issue. We’ve integrated our sustainability targets and material topics into the core company strategy. Meeting these goals affects every aspect of our operations and every employee’s daily activities. 

Just look at our mission statement – we want to provide the best living and working experiences for today and future generations. We’re dedicated to improving people’s lives in sustainable ways, and this commitment directly influences how we operate and serve our customers.

Katariina: To be a successful and professional company today, especially in real estate, sustainability has to be right at the forefront of your operations.

We have great momentum, and we’re at a stage where we can integrate sustainability into the overall business strategy rather than just into separate actions. We’ve also started our sustainability journey from a cultural standpoint.

Employees welcome this because they see its meaningfulness and how it relates to our mission. I know we’ve got the energy and the right people to keep this journey moving in the right direction for many years.

Thanks, Linda and Katariina! If you’d like to find out more about Retta’s sustainable actions, why not take a look at the 2023 Sustainability Report.