A large part of the work of trade unions and safety representatives is about understanding how each employee experiences their workplace and creating improvements. SJ, a Swedish railway company, makes that work easy by focusing on the team level and giving each manager a digital, modern employee survey as a tool.
Each employee experiences their workplace from a subjective perspective because neuroscience shows that there is no objective understanding of experiences. To gain insight into the team's work environment and employee experience, SJ listens to each employee through regular employee surveys.
"We went from an annual employee survey that resulted in complex material and follow-up to a modern one where we ask fewer questions more frequently. This way, we get a more continuous understanding of how the employees experience their work environment, and it becomes very clear what we need to change and improve," says Henrik Månsson, Head of HR Strategy at SJ.
At SJ, the trade unions have a large and significant role. Therefore, SJ involved its safety representatives, and other interest organizations, in the shift to a relevant modern employee survey.
"We started with Populum's nine standard questions. The safety representatives initially had additional questions to add, but they do not view it as necessary now because they already get a lot of information. Employees also pinpoint what needs to be talked about in the written comments. We are not missing anything now, but if we see that there is an area that we need more answers to, we can add additional questions," says Henrik.
Every quarter, all SJ employees answer the same questions in the pulse survey. As soon as the survey is closed, everyone in the organization gets access to the automatically analyzed answers. Each individual has a private dashboard with their individual answers compared to the team's and can reflect on their own situation and work on their self-leadership. At the team level, the team's aggregated measurement responses are displayed, including free text comments. This means that everyone can immediately see what is going well and should be celebrated and where changes need to be made.
Because not only senior leaders, HR, or managers but also the employees themselves, communication transparency is created in every team. Everyone immediately understands the current team situation, reflects, talks to each other, and comes up with suggestions for improvement.
"Overall, we see a lot of constructive input and that the employees are involved in working with improvements without having the entire change responsibility be with the manager," explains Henrik.
The measurement results are visualized in different dashboards depending on the access level and compared with previous measurement data for trend information over time. Together with the existing HR master data, detailed information on various measurement questions, employee groups, or departments is easy to dive deeper into.
SJ is a Swedish railway company that offers sustainable train travel, both as an independent operator and in collaboration with others. Almost 6,000 employees work at SJ.