One of Fredrik Rydahl’s most valuable insights in his work at Scania was when a previous manager once said to him: “if it’s not working at home, Fredrik, it’s not going to work in the office.”
“That was an eye-opener,” he says. “After that I put a lot of effort into a healthy working environment – both for myself and for my colleagues. I am convinced that clarity at work contributes. It creates a harmony that enables us to seize the day quicker, and makes our coffee breaks together more relaxed.”
During his career at Scania, Rydahl has been able to balance the family life with several management roles. Today, he is a Group Manager within the company’s engine production. He says the Scania’s approach to personal development contributes to the employees’ balance in life.
I appreciate that Scania as an employer take these things seriously. For example, I have access to workout facilities at the Scania health centre, as well as physiotherapy and dentistry. It is great!
“But there is also the whole culture here,” he adds, “with clear principles and core values that allow you to contribute personally: what does quality, customer first and respect for the individual actually mean to me? At Scania, I am seen, heard and validated for who I am, in an environment that I am also able to influence. A common language, built on clear principles, also helps me in my international contacts. It provides confidence.”
How do you yourself provide clear leadership?
“My time in production taught me the importance of a work process, and since then I’ve focused a lot on team building. Every morning, we have short ‘pulse’ meetings at our wall chart. Here, we handle everything that affects our daily operations – from education to absence. We also hold weekly meetings, focusing on continuous improvements. By visualising the process, we share a common picture of what the day, week and future looks like. It helps us take responsibility as a team, based on a common set of values about our workplace.”
What are the advantages of a clear working model?
“Scania has always been able to see opportunities in change. I like that. A clear working model allows us to practice what we preach, focusing on well-being – whether it is career development, healthcare or parental leave.”
What advice would you give anyone applying to Scania?
“Believe in your ideas, but be sensitive and do not rush. There are lots of exciting opportunities here and always something new to learn.”