Employees First one year in

Hiab stories | 16 august 2022 9:45 AM | Ghita Jansson-Kiuru, Vice President HR, Hiab

Hiab’s journey towards becoming an Employees First company began actively just over one year ago. The concept was born from a desire to make everyday work for our people easier. To provide the best possible work experience, where everyone enjoys coming to work and feels engaged and empowered. We believe that this is how we become the best partner for our customers and deliver the best customer experience every day. When you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.

A company’s culture lives in the hearts and habits of its employees and their shared idea of how things are done in the organisation. Building a culture therefore requires an understanding of what motivates employees to believe in and contribute to the change. Reinforcement of the motives and vision are vital, as well as time.

With being only one year in, Employees First is gradually becoming ingrained into our culture. Creating understanding has been our primary intention. Helping our employees to see “What’s in it for me?” to create buy-in and belief has been the foundation for building the culture.

To answer the question “What’s in it for me?” we turned to our employees. Employee focus groups took place during the spring of 2021 and discussions helped us to understand what kind of company our employees would like to work in. We asked them how it felt to work for Hiab just now and what working in an Employees First company means to them. The feedback was vital in shaping Employees First at Hiab into what it is today. Focused around a 3E approach that defines what every employee should experience every day: Easiness, Empowerment and Excellence, as well as how to embrace a balanced work environment. Expected behaviours have also been established; including: being proactive, taking responsibility to look for and propose solutions, supporting colleagues, welcoming collaboration and looking for opportunities to develop and grow. 

With the foundation of the culture in place, we have noticed that during the past year, more and more teams have started actively working on making Employees First come alive. Reflecting on what it means for them and their team and and reflecting on what they can do to actively embrace the culture.

One team for example has reviewed their stress levels and have placed a focus on creating a balanced work environment. Another has started to improve the performance dialogue, encouraging open communication and supporting people to feel empowered and another team has started to work on their time management through the active implementation of guidelines to free up more time for their daily work tasks. In our monthly People Pulse survey, which measures how our employees are feeling at that point in time, we have also noticed a positive trend particularly in well-being related aspects.

These inspiring examples show how teams and individuals across Hiab are already working together with an Employees First mindset to create an even better work environment, just one year in. The Employees First culture will not happen overnight but through the gradual belief and engagement of our teams and individuals we can strive for success and win as a team.

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