The basic philosophy of some organisations is that staff perform best when they are under constant pressure and regularly putting in long hours of overtime. However, Nokia has seen that the key to driving business expansion is to ensure that employees have a sensible work-life balance, and this outlook no doubt helped it to secure fourth place in the Hewitt's Best Employers in Hong Kong 2007. 'Our philosophy is geared towards our staff - the company's greatest asset,' said Irene Yau, senior human resources manager for Nokia (HK). 'We wanted to promote good job satisfaction through having a dynamic business and challenging goals. In that way, employees can maximise their potential and maintain the competitive edge of the company.' In focusing on three main lines of business - mobile phones, multimedia and enterprise solutions - it is important to remain closely in touch with market developments and client needs. The company, therefore, provides staff with extensive training and promotes four core values: renewal, achievement, customer satisfaction and respect. A central part of the HR strategy is to constantly upgrade skills. One method is to team up business managers with staff from other departments to provide a fuller understanding of each other's roles and of the overall operation. A comprehensive range of courses designed to enhance expertise and broaden horizons ably supports this policy. Also, managers are expected to encourage members of their team to take on projects which go beyond their strict job description. This makes it possible to gain diverse experience and provides the chance to collaborate with a more diverse network of contacts. 'We care that our staff are able to achieve their professional goals, but we are also concerned about their personal goals,' Ms Yau said. Nokia also has a 'live life programme', originally put in place during the Sars crisis in 2003, to make sure all employees take proper care of themselves. This encompasses physical and mental health, and includes classes and seminars in activities such as yoga, golf and massage. It also provides access to Chinese medicine practitioners and psychological counselling for staff and family members, as well as an outstanding medical benefits plan. 'It is important that our staff are happy and motivated, so they can fully dedicate themselves to the running of this company,' Ms Yau said.