Volvo Cars' new corporate strategy "Designed Around You" is a clear policy statement that connects to the company's historic values. The strategy's focus on people also applies to Volvo Car Corporation as a workplace. The objective is a sustainable working environment, where the employees have the best possible prerequisites for delivering, developing and thriving.
In order for the company to achieve the goal of being the world's most progressive and desired car brand, the person must be in focus in the organisation as well. It is Volvo Cars' employees and their expertise that are crucial for the company to succeed.
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In spring 2011, change work was initiated with the launch of the new strategy in a number of large intra-company communication efforts. Today, the implementation process has reached the team level. Workgroups are busy throughout the organisation with how "Designed Around You" should be applied to the daily work.
"The employees have welcomed the new strategy and want to be involved in realising it. There is also a strong belief in the future of the company," says Sara Edling, Employer Brand Manager.
A central project during the year was "Designed around you@work", which aimed to create the best possible conditions for the employees. This involves a good working environment, smart technical aids and flexibility in time and space.
At the core of Volvo Cars' new corporate culture "Aspired Culture" are commitment and a progressive spirit.
"The kind of organisation that we want to achieve is characterised by a passion for our cars and customers. We should be fast, innovative and take on our challenges together. To achieve our goals, we need to have a healthy organisation and this is where our culture plays a crucial role. Many parts are already in place, but culture work is a change process and must be allowed to take time," says Sara Edling.
Volvo Cars already stands on a firm foundation. The employees were loyal during the tough years, which is a true competitive advantage. One of Volvo Cars' five objectives for 2020 is to become "The Employer of Choice". This means a company that people seek out, appreciate working for and recommend to their friends.
Diversity is also a prerequisite for making innovative cars designed around people. Both research and Volvo Cars' experience confirm that heterogeneous groups are more creative and make more well-based decisions.
Employees in focus
In the 2011 employee survey, the results for "Employee loyalty" and "How attractive Volvo Cars is as an employer" increased sharply compared with 2010, a whole 19 percent, which is proof that the company is headed in the right direction. The increase is general across the entire organisation.
The key to driving the change journey towards the targets in 2020 is inspired leaders in the entire global organisation. As ambassadors for the new corporate culture, the managers are crucial to create meaning and customer focus through their ability to engage, coach and encourage the employees to take personal responsibility for the company's highly set goals.
Attitude surveys show that the employees are generally satisfied with the management, which provides a result above the benchmark. The employees are particularly satisfied with the team spirit, the considerable opportunities for development and the fact that Volvo Cars is a dynamic company with "fantastic products".
Coming to Volvo Cars straight from university, Sara Edling is a good example of the fact that young employees are given space and opportunity. Employer Branding was her major focus of study at university and her expertise in the area compensated for the lack of experience.
"When my expertise was linked with experienced colleagues, it resulted in a strong team. I have my dream job and my experience of working for Volvo Cars makes it very easy to market the company."