Fortum’s new leadership philosophy embraces a ”Here and now" mindset

When Fortum rolled out its leadership philosophy, ”Open Leadership”, pulse surveys and &frankly became an important part of their managers’ new tool box. ”As everything is so dynamic - our way of working, our employees - it was no longer functional to survey biennially. We consequently chose to work with a pulsed approached,” says Ann Boije af Gennäs, Strategy Manager.

How do you keep 10,000 employees together, who always work in cross-functional teams and are spread throughout several countries?

You renew yourself. From being a giant to becoming a hypermodern giant. That’s what Fortum did, and simultaneously took the opportunity to rework its view of leadership and its employee philosophy.

”We are in the process of transforming an energy company which is working to achieve a cleaner world. &frankly is a part of that transition, where we want to have more satisfied employees and get talented people to choose us because we work in a modern way,” Ann Boije af Gennäs says.

It is clear that pay and title are no longer the most important factors when young people are looking for jobs. Instead it is a combination of good leadership, salary (which obviously has to be reasonable) and that there is a purpose and meaning in what one does. It creates attractiveness. And that’s what Fortum has grasped, expressed as follows:

  • We believe in the power of the group
  • We put our people first
  • We act responsibly

A fresh indication of what this means and the effects it has produced is the survey Attractive Employer Index 2018. Fortum comes in at a decent third place when compared with other employers from other sectors.

”Working with pulse surveys has led to us making quite considerable changes in how we viewed employee engagement. It is much more ”here and now” than previously as we conducted traditional employee surveys biennially,” Ann Boije af Gennäs says.

Working ”here and now” includes the fact that it is principally the team managers themselves who send out questions and follow up the results. This creates speed, primarily in the feedback to the managers, and makes the team even more agile. Every six months the management also sends out ten questions which constitute an index from the previous employee survey.

The tool has not only gone down well in the Nordic region. &frankly has also been received positively in Russia.

”They are pleased and positive that we selected this way of working and it feels particularly satisfying that we can be involved in contributing to a change in how leadership is viewed,” Ann Boije af Gennäs says.

So how has it gone, are you satisfied with the results?
”It is moving in the right direction and thus far we are satisfied! We have implemented a completely new way of working and changed the mindset surrounding feedback and how to use it. It is entirely in line with our leadership principles. It feels particularly satisfying!


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Kristofer Sandberg

Kristofer Sandberg

Content Manager and PR guy. Believe in eternal love between HR and communications.

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