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Taking our well-being seriously

Negative moods turned to high job satisfaction at record breaking speed at PostNord Strålfors Norway. How did this happen? By listening care­fully to everyone of Lone and her colleagues.

In 2021, the annual employee survey, PostNord FOCUS, showed a notable drop in results at the production department PostNord Strålfors in Norway.

“Well-being was at 64, and the assessment of the immediate manager at 70; both a significant decrease from previous year. Several areas were assessed below 60, an obviously low score,” explains Lena Valen, Head of HR.

“The production unit handles physical mail and had been through several rounds of downsizing. It's no secret that people send fewer and fewer letters to each other, and production has endured the consequences of this over several years,” she adds.

Measures were immediately taken after HR noticed the drastic drop all over the FOCUS results from the production unit in 2021.

“We initiated a more comprehensive follow-up process than what was previously done. Together with the managers, it was agreed on that HR conducted the first two meetings alone with each team. This was done to enable the employees to give honest feedback, also about the manager, which sometimes can be difficult in a group setting led by the manager,” Lena says.

Creating a bond

Lone Nummedal is one of the those working in production who have noticed a big difference in the workplace. They have gone from uncertainty and dissatisfaction to newfound motivation and job satisfaction.

“Today we get a lot more information about what is going on, both at meetings and by email. That is a big improvement. I am happy to work in a company that takes our well-being seriously,” she says.

In addition, regular social activities contribute to an even more pleasant work environment.

“For me, the colleagues are the best thing about the job, and meeting outside the workplace from time to time makes us bond even stronger,” she says.

Honest feedback

While PostNord Strålfors previously was located at Haraldrudveien in Oslo, in 2020, production moved to Langhus a few miles further south.

“A move is a big transition – and on top this one took place in the middle of a pandemic. It naturally takes some time before changes turn into new habits and routines,” Lena says.

Production was previously characterized by constant downsizing; new people are now being hired instead.

“That also contributes to the well-being – the job feels safer now,” Lone points out.

Approved by the employees

Three meetings were held with each department to examine the background for the results and discuss measures. It turned out the pandemic itself was not the cause of the drop, but surrounding circumstances affected the uncertainty, such as redundancies, downsizing, distance from and communication with the manager and department.

“On an overall level, the communication had not been good enough in a time of great uncertainty. We were too busy talking about COVID and infection prevention rules that Iwe forgot about other events,” Lena admits.

The managers attended the meetings later on, mainly discussing focus areas and measures going forward.

“The action plan presented to the team by the manager, was based on feedback given in the first meetings, communicated to the managers by HR – approved by the employees,” she adds.

Historic results

Based on the response, several changes were made.

“Having regular touchpoints – not only concerning challenges, but also about things that are going well, is extremely important. That’s why we have introduced monthly general meetings, where the agenda is based on input from the employees. In addition, we send out two newsletters each month with big and small news,” Lena explains.

The result:

“For the first time in history, in 2022 we got a production with no red numbers – and mostly green ones. Well-being has increased to 71, up 18 points, and loyalty to 79, up 26 points,” she says.