Midagon is an independent expert specialized in managing demanding business transformation projects. The company is a key partner for some of the largest companies in Finland and has led hundreds of business transformation projects, corporate reorganizations, ICT transformations, and digital business services development projects since its founding in 2006. Midagon has 190 employees and in 2022 its turnover was 30 million euros. In 2021, Intera joined Midagon as an owner to support the company’s growth journey. In 2022, Midagon expanded its operations to Sweden.
Employee well-being and motivation has been at the core of Midagon’s business since its foundation. In the field of traditional business management consulting, this has not always been the case. Alongside the significant growth of its business, Midagon has further strengthened its actions in social responsibility and kept people at the core of the business.
Vesa Sahlman, People & Culture Director at Midagon and Christoffer Zilliacus Partner at Intera and Board Member at Midagon describe the company’s work in corporate responsibility.
What has been the starting point for Midagon’s ESG work?
Vesa: Business management consulting has roots in large American consulting companies with a culture that has traditionally not counted employee hours or truly invested in employee well-being. Since its foundation, Midagon has operated with a completely different approach: we provide demanding business management consulting with a customer forward approach, without compromising the work-life balance of our experts. Within this approach, the aim is to always ensure good quality of life and individual well-being for the employee in every situation. Our leadership-as-a-service model further supports this thinking: we trust the ability of our experienced professionals to work independently, and we support each employee on their respective paths. Our approach has made it possible for us to recruit the best, experienced talent and is directly reflected in the quality of our work with clients.
What methods do you use to monitor the well-being of your employees?
Vesa: In addition to the annual employee survey, we interview every employee face-to-face once a year to get an idea of what we can improve on and what already works. The interviews are highly valued, and our employees feel heard. Once compiled, the interview results are openly reviewed together with our employees, conclusions are drawn, and the necessary measures are planned for operational development. In addition, we invest in good leadership and team management as well as in creating a strong and inclusive culture.
What is your responsibility program like and what kind of goals does it include?
Vesa: While social responsibility has been the cornerstone of our business from the beginning, we have recently also invested in building a comprehensive and holistic responsibility program. The program is linked to UN principles of sustainable development and select GRI indicators. Regarding environmental issues, our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2025. Concerning social responsibility, we have set several concrete goals related to, for example, work-life balance, job satisfaction, learning, and equality.
In terms of responsibility topics, what does the cooperation between Midagon and Intera entail?
Vesa: Since Intera became one of our owners, the transparency of our operations has increased, and our management practices have been further professionalized. Thanks to Intera, we have also begun to more systematically plan and report on the progress of our ESG work every quarter. Good dialogue on responsibility issues is the cornerstone of our cooperation with Intera. Each year, Intera also organizes e.g., ESG, HR, and CFO days for its target companies, which provide the opportunity discuss and share current topics and best practices more widely among portfolio companies.
Christoffer: We have an active and open dialogue about corporate responsibility topics with the company management, investors, and other stakeholders. Possible ESG discrepancies are investigated immediately. Our goal is to further develop Intera’s responsibility concept so that it can be widely applied to all our portfolio companies. Our work starts already before the investment is made, as the assessment of ESG risks and opportunities in a potential portfolio company is an essential part of the transaction process.
How does Intera monitor the implementation of its portfolio companies’ responsibility goals?
Christoffer: At Intera, we monitor the implementation of ESG operating principles and guidelines in all our portfolio companies, and operations are gradually developed throughout Intera’s ownership period. We work together to ensure that during Intera’s ownership period, responsibility work becomes an integral part of the companies’ daily operations and strategic planning. Above all, our role in the responsibility work of our target companies is to ensure the actual implementation of the various responsibility-related initiatives, to share well-proven operating models across industry boundaries, and to monitor the development of responsibility work.
What have been the key achievements in Midagon’s responsibility work?
Vesa: We have received great results in social responsibility. For example, in the last measurement our recommendation index figures were outstanding and well above the industry average: clients’ NPS (Net Promoter Score) result was 78, while the staff’s eNPS was 88. The average employee turnover from 2019 to 2022 was only 5.5%, while during the same period, we recruited an average of 30 people per year. We are proud that this figure is also significantly better than the industry average.
What kind of objectives does Midagon have in its responsibility work?
Vesa: Our goal is to further develop our ESG reporting and to communicate ESG matters more systematically. Our newly built responsibility program will continue to improve when we receive data and can measure our development as well as evaluate the KPIs we have set. We recently expanded our business to Sweden and will also integrate our Swedish operations into our responsibility reporting. Additionally, in our client work, we are going to invest in the ESG perspective by using a handprint responsibility model, which we are still developing for more precise measurement. It is also important to see how we can further promote our clients’ responsibility through our work. In addition, maintaining high employee satisfaction requires constant work and effort.
How does Intera see the importance of social responsibility in its portfolio companies?
Christoffer: Employee well-being and motivation is crucial for a healthy, growing and developing business – and thereby also has a signficant societal impact. In total, our portfolio companies have approximately 13,000 employees. Thanks to this, we have a genuine opportunity to achieve significant, long-term social impacts. Midagon is a perfect example of how a business model built on sustainable values and taking care of employee well-being and motivation also drives growth and success in business.