Pia Hovland is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Electrolux Professional.
During 2021 the HR team led workshops to develop and roll out a new set of Guiding Principles across the organization.
Considering the introduction to the change of culture was introduced during a period when most of the office workers were working remotely, it could be considered a delicate challenge to create the expected engagement. We asked Pia what the expected impact of this a cultural change will be, and the thinking behind it from the management team.
During the pandemic, we also implemented a Smart-Working Policy, to enable employees to enjoy a more flexible work-life with increased opportunity for remote working than prior to the pandemic.
Pia, tell us a bit more about how you see the new Guiding Principles tie in with the mission and strategy of Electrolux Professional?
Indeed, the guiding principles are there to give us a solid guidance to the kind of behaviour and culture we need to have in the company to successfully deliver on the mission and strategy. It is well known that a strategy without the supporting behaviour and culture is not likely to succeed nor to sustain.
Could you share an example on how each of the Guiding Principles are part of our daily work-life in the company?
Be customer obsessed?
This is an area in which we operate quite well already. Our culture is quite customer-focused in general. We can always take steps to be even more customer-focused, especially with our internal customers. The key point is to always remember for whom you are doing something, and what is important to them.
This is an area that does not always come naturally to some since we need to make an extra effort to think “outside the box” or with new perspectives. We need to seek diversity to ensure we have different perspectives moving forward, and we also need to take risks and try new things. This is being bold as I see it.
We need to be accountable to take the decisions we are authorized to take. We need our leaders to lead, not only ‘manage’ their teams, but to delegate in a true sense. We must deliver on our commitments, not only being satisfied with having delivered a process unless a successful outcome is there.
Part of this principle is the long-term perspective, the need to make long-term decisions. We always need to strive for balance between short-term needs and long-term benefits to drive change for the future and build a sustainable business.
We also need to ensure that we continue to develop as individuals, as well as together with the colleagues and leaders around us – we are teams working together.
From which Guiding P does our new Smart Working Policy draw its inspiration?
We could say all of them, but I do particularly think of “Build trust” and ”Be Bold”. It requires trust to lead a team and to be comfortable with their deliveries, even when team members are not visible in front of their manager each day. It also represents “Be Bold” since it has been a very bold decision.
We took it to really set an example as well, of course, to show that we want to do things differently; be less hierarchical and to offer a more flexible and smart work-life – something we know is required by us as a modern and attractive employer.