Employee initiative helps accelerate Skill Capture
27 FEBRUARY 2023
The XLR8 network was launched in Södertälje in 2015 as an employee discussion forum about gender equality at work, but it has since grown to become a network that is an important voice in helping to create an inclusive workplace. Rebecca Ivemyr and Sofie Lundberg, from XLR8 explain more.
Skill Capture, Scania’s way of working with Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), is a strategic necessity in helping us to continue to drive the business success that enables Scania to become a leader in sustainable transport systems. Our CEO Christian Levin describes Skill Capture as “capturing all the skills and knowledge we have in the organisation, unlocking skills, basically taking full advantage of the most important asset we have in the company, our employees.”
Working with Skill Capture is not a goal, nor is it a project. It’s an ongoing process which everyone at Scania works on. To be successful, Skill Capture needs to be integrated into everything we do, and it needs the support of our employees. And that’s where initiatives like the XLR8 network come in.
An ally to help drive Skill Capture
XLR8 was started by female colleagues in Sales and Marketing because they identified a need to accelerate the D&I work at Scania. The network spread into other areas including Purchasing, Production and Logistics and R&D.
The XLR8 network has widened its scope from being gender-focused to include all voices at Scania. It now has a wide range of activities including mentorship programmes, workshops and even livestreamed events, such as its broadcast from the annual Women In Tech conference in Stockholm last year. The mentorship programme is the main activity and forms the core of XLR8. Christina Trång and Olivia Dalerstedt are in charge of the programme.
Mentorship programmes are mutually beneficial for both mentors and mentees, offering benefits such as personal and professional development. They create an opportunity for participants to learn about the different perspectives and diverse backgrounds of the many colleagues working in our organisation, which is a key part of challenging our biases and an important foundation of D&I work.
“It’s an employee-driven programme applying two perspectives: top down and bottom up. By shining a light on the current situation and emphasising the benefits of D&I, XLR8 aims to create a positive catalyst for pushing teams to improve within this area,” says Sofie Lundberg, who combines her voluntary role at XLR8 and as a Skill Capture Ambassador with her work as a Commodity Sourcing Manager at Purchasing.
“We want to support Skill Capture, People and Culture and management by offering the critical voice of employees. We act as a ‘critical friend’, making the employees’ thoughts and concerns heard. We want to help promote the strategy for D&I, to keep improving the Skill Capture process.”
Together with Sofie, Rebecca Ivemyr, a Layout Engineer at R&D, who is also part of the 16-strong XLR8 core team, has been carrying out a mapping process of what Skill Capture work is ongoing within Purchasing, Production and Logistics and R&D.
“Through mapping, we are finding that some managers would like more support with Skill Capture aspects. Some managers are self-motivated but they do need help to continue the work. There are a lot of good initiatives out there, and it’d be great to share those findings in a transparent way with the entire organisation to find out how we connect in a common platform to enable knowledge sharing,” says Rebecca.
In December 2022 the working group consisting of Rebecca, Sofie and Sara Rosenström from the Skill Capture team and Ylva Ledin, the XLR8 Sponsor for People & Culture, invited 21 managers on different levels from Scania’s all industrial units, as well as representatives from the unions, to a joint workshop. The purpose was to define the target state in Skill Capture in Scania’s business areas Purchasing, Production and Logistics and R&D. In other words, to create a picture of what Skill Capture at the departments should look like. The outcome of the workshop was nine Skill Capture target states, also to be seen as Skill Capture objectives. It is a work in progress with the ambition to let all management teams within the respective business areas to decide on actions needed to meet the target state in Skill Capture.
Growing influence of XLR8
Both Rebecca and Sofie feel that the collaboration between the network and management, People and Culture and Skill Capture has increased and XLR8 is increasingly being appreciated by the company, especially since the network re-established itself post-pandemic.
“We really appreciate the new relationships we have built within the organisation, both with Skill Capture and its ambassadors, as well with managers at different levels and HR. We believe that the organisation will benefit from working closely with the network since we will add new perspectives and insights from an employees’ point of view,” says Sofie.
“We’re developing into an organisation with solid plans for D&I and XLR8 wants to keep supporting the company on this journey.”
Optimistic about the future
Looking ahead, Rebecca and Sofie feel that the work done with Skill Capture and the success of initiatives such as XLR8 makes them optimistic about Scania’s future as being an attractive and inclusive employer for everyone.
“In the past couple of years lots of work has been done in terms of improving D&I in the company. The awareness of it among both employees and leaders has increased and there is a high level of engagement from the managers, but there is still room for improvement,” says Sofie, while Rebecca adds, “I see a lot more engagement from managers, and through that we are able to start making the changes that we want to see.”
And both want to encourage colleagues to get involved too, by joining XLR8, or by becoming more involved in the Skill Capture work.
“After all, if we are to drive the shift we need to make sure that the shift is representative of the world we live in,” says Rebecca.
As the Skill Capture team quite rightly says, “This is how change starts, by doing something different, now.”
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