Scandinavian business is focused on people

 

Sweden is home to many unique and innovative companies, in today’s post we are going to talk about two of them: medical device company, Mölnlycke Healthcare and digital media streaming service, Spotify.

 

During our travels in Sweden we were lucky enough to get to visit Gothenburg based Mölnlycke Healthcare and learn about how they are working to make patients safer, healthier, and more comfortable.  Mölnlycke has developed several technologies that help reduce the impact of difficult surgeries and shorten recovery time for patients.  The company strives to reduce unnecessary human suffering, a goal which also reflects their immense respect for all people.  At its core Mölnlycke believes that people are an extremely valuable resource.  This is reflected molnlycke employee satisfactionin its Code of Conduct, its four objectives for “minimizing environmental impact”, and in the results of annual employee surveys.  This attitude towards people shines through as a central part of Mölnlycke’s corporate culture.  Mölnlycke is able to use this mindset as a tool to achieve higher qualities of life for its customers and employees alike, showing their commitment to the “People” component of the 3 P’s.  While some may view employees as a means to an end, Mölnlycke’s ability to see People as a valuable resource has allowed them to generate strong growth and profits while still treating employees fairly and responsibly, thus proving that profit does not just come from paying as little to employees as possible.

 

After arriving in Stockholm we had the opportunity to visit the corporate headquarters of music streaming service Spotify.  Similar to Mölnlycke Healthcare, Spotify clearly believes in the importance of treating people as a resource, Spotify Officewhich was evidenced by several initiatives at the company.  Creativity is fostered at Spotify, and office spaces are setup to be fun yet functional, emphasizing the balance between work and leisure.  The company participates in “Hack Week” where employees are encouraged to work on projects of their own choosing allowing employees to flex their creative muscles and focus their attention on something other than the normal daily grind.  Spotify also offers game rooms in the office where informal lunch meetings can be held in a comfortable and relaxing setting.  These amenities and programs show Spotify’s dedication to providing a high quality work environment for its employees which fosters collaboration, creative thinking, and the free exchange of information; traits which are vital to the success of the company.

 

 

It is not just these two companies that are focusing on improving the lives of workers and consumers, other companies are following in the same path.  Volvo, for example, has developed a revolutionary new system which can detect and prevent the impact of a pedestrian collision. Traditionally automakers have focused on driver and passenger safety alone, but Volvo has flipped this idea by additionally focusing on the safety of those outside the vehicle.  Swedish telecom firm Ericsson also demonstrates its respect for employees by creating a work environment where transparency, trust, and flexibility are central to corporate culture.  This allows workers to achieve objectives without excessive direction and oversight and encourages employees to be self-motivated and driven.

 

Overall, companies in Sweden are fully embracing the “People” aspect of the 3P’s and finding that respect for people can create not only a more positive workplace but can also lead to improved performance and public perception.  Few companies in the United States show the level of respect to employees that is relatively commonplace in Sweden, although undoubtedly US firms could benefit from this type of work environment.

 

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