Employment practices in Sweden

Employment practices, as we all know, vary greatly from country to country. Susan Javaheri, of Newcomer's Immigration & Relocation Sweden, has been kind enough to provide us with some insight into how business is done in her country.

By Éclusette (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Employment practices, as we all know, vary greatly from country to country. Susan Javaheri, of Newcomer's Immigration & Relocation Sweden, has been kind enough to provide us with some insight into how business is done in her country.A Swedish manager thinks of himself more as a coach than a commander, delegating responsibility and authority throughout the organization. In workplaces of all kinds, people are expected to take initiatives for improving the job and assume responsibility for solving unexpected problems. In Sweden, people at all levels are expected to participate in decisions that affect them.Nevertheless, Swedish employees usually have much respect for their managers. This respect doesn't stem from the formal position itself, but from qualities such as competence, capacity for hard work, informality, fairness and wisdom. Employees must have confidence in the individual and accept his or her leadership.Swedes feel that informal and direct communication (even when it bypasses management levels and departmental boundaries) is necessary for a company to run smoothly. As such, executives from most other countries may feel that Swedes violate the corporate chain of command. But Swedes don&#x;t see exchange of information as having anything to do with the chain of command (an expression they are unfamiliar with anyway). The thought that a manager might feel threatened when an employee goes over his head (another unfamiliar expression) would never occur to a Swede.Swedes are automatically on a first-name basis with one another, regardless of sex, age, social position or job title, whilst managers seldom surround themselves with status symbols. This means that employees of Swedish companies are never afraid of their bosses, and normally don&#x;t feel inferior to them.Swedes are also planners. They like agendas and itineraries. In Sweden, there is a preference for management by goal rather than rule: managers seldom hesitate to set aside established procedures, regulations and bureaucracy that make it difficult to reach goals.Swedes regard punctuality as something of a noble quality, as proof of rationality and efficiency. An individual who can&#x;t be on time is unlikely to get ahead in business. If you are very late for an appointment, a Swede may take it as a serious insult. Swedes often have great difficulty working with people with different standards of time-management.