“It´s made things
a lot easier
Courses with Sweco Karlstad
Fredrik Björk and Daniel Jernstedt, Sweco Karlstad, describe what it was like to attend the Personal Efficiency course. Fredrik and Daniel are both group managers, each having personnel responsibility for around 20 employees. Sweco is Europe’s largest technology consulting company, which plans and designs the cities and communities of the future. The work is mostly carried out in project form and includes all stages of the process. Daniel and Fredrik both have long experience of working in the consulting world.
It all started when Fredrik was talking with an industry colleague, discussing challenges in organisations today, where the handling of information, the working environment and stress are factors that are increasingly coming to the fore. The colleague had attended a course with Effektiv Nu, and felt that the company’s training had been very helpful. He therefore recommended that Fredrik should contact Effektiv Nu.
“We wanted a training course that helped everyone in the organisation, regardless of role,” explains Fredrik. “It was decided that a pilot group would attend the training. The pilot training course was completed at the end of 2016 and since then, another 9 groups have attended the training course during the autumn and the spring of 2017. A total of around 140 out of 190 employees at Sweco Karlstad have completed the training course, as well as a group in Helsingborg.”
What challenges were you facing before you attended the course?
“When we are working on our assignments, for my part with road and land planning, we are always working towards deadlines.” Here, Daniel realised that it was important to work in a more structured manner. Everyone feels better when they are working in an environment that is not completely governed by events! Daniel is the group manager for 24 people and he felt that his time was often broken up.
“We work in a project-based operation, and there is an enormous amount of information that has to be saved and processed,” says Fredrik. “Our business is based on the fact that we need good management of information and communication. Much of the information is in e-mail form. The amount of information and how we process it is something we need to be working on constantly. With this new way of working, we wanted our employees to have the opportunity to create control to a greater extent. The experience of not being in control is frustrating, and it is also not good from a working environment perspective. In addition, having better control is very much a matter of endurance and habit. We need to continue working on this within the organisation!”
What did you think of the course?
“It was an eye-opener for me, because I recognised so much of what the course leader was describing. Many of the examples during the theory section were right on the nose,” says Daniel.
Fredrik was mainly struck by the feeling of control over his own situation, and the fact that he enjoyed a significant return from the course right from the first day.
“We had time to do so many practical things on site, right from the first day of the course, that I had the feeling of being up and running with the working method straight away. Many courses I have attended in the past have given me a good theoretical basis about what I should or must do, but actually doing it in practice there and then was extremely valuable to me. Both the methods presented in the course and the working method for the tools felt very tangible.”
What effects have you seen?
“Among other things, we have learned a number of small, basic functions in the tools that we have been able to use. We now have shared notebooks in OneNote, where we’ve developed templates that everyone can access and work in, in real time. We have supplemented our folder structure with a OneNote folder, which has made things a great deal easier for us,” Daniel points out. “It is providing us with a long-term perspective in terms of the ability to structure our assignments, as well as being simple and user-friendly. It also accompanies the assignment in the digital archive, which makes it easy to call up afterwards if required.”
“The task list is great,” Fredrik adds. “Having the opportunity to prioritise and categorise my tasks has made things much easier for me. The fact that it is also simple to use and easily accessible from my mobile is a big plus. In addition, I can easily delegate tasks, yet at the same time have the opportunity to follow them up. The tool is incredibly powerful!”
“We turned off notifications during the course, and there has been a tangible sense of not being as disturbed as before. We also held positive discussions during the course about the way we affect our surroundings. Through these discussions, we have also gained a greater understanding of the need to plan ahead in relation to each other. I had a way of working prior to the course, but I have now acquired a new way of working,” says Daniel. “We have a different approach now when sending e-mails, and we give a little more consideration to the recipient – we ask ourselves whether the matter is urgent or important? The individual has been given greater responsibility in this matter.” According to Daniel, one important message during the course was that we should own our own time.
“We have acquired greater transparency regarding the calendar functions, as well as greater clarity in terms of whether we are accessible or not. There are positive synergies for me as a manager, including both planning ahead and planning of my time. In stressful situations, it is easier to plan if you have the tools for this. As a manager I am more governed by events, however, and I have had to revert to not booking all my time in the calendar, which I did during the initial weeks after the course. I want to be accessible to my staff as well, and that can be difficult if you block too much time in the calendar.
“We have also followed up the course among our employees, and the general feeling of those who have participated is that the training was really good! Even those who were sceptical of the training course before, subsequently said that it was a great course, so Effektiv Nu gets a high score.”
How are you moving forward after the course?
“It is already clear that Effektiv Nu will provide us with further training and help us to develop Internal Traffic Regulations at Sweco Karlstad by autumn. Since we are split into 16 different units, internal traffic regulations will be formulated that are tailored to each unit’s needs. The traffic regulations will then become a tool for each individual group and group manager. We are looking forward to this work!”
When asked if they would recommend Effektiv Nu’s training to other companies, they both answer that they have already recommended Effektiv Nu.
“Many people use their e-mail client incorrectly, and this can have a negative impact on the organisation. The course really provides a wake-up call about the way we affect our surroundings and what we can do to make things easier for each other!”