To get happy and effective employees, you need to show trust, apply the right amount of pressure, shower them with motivation, and make them feel valued. But what else? What do Scandinavians do besides this that obviously works?
How is it that this small country, with one of the shortest working weeks, can show such big muscles when it comes to efficiency?
Norway is the most productive country in Northern Europe and ranks second in the world. Norwegian workers contribute to almost 50 % more of gross domestic product, per worker, per hour than workers in the UK.
Healthy work-life balance
Norway has been ranked as one of the best countries to live in (many times). One of the reasons might be that Norwegians have a healthy balance between work life and private life. Employers recognise the importance of having a life outside the office, and a collective understanding that family and health come first.
Norwegian leadership is characterised by a flat organisational structure, employees who enjoy a high degree of freedom and influence.
- Scandinavian leaders are known for encouraging dialogue across the organisation and involving employees in decisions. Leaders work closely with their employees and commonly there is a short distance between the leadership and the workers.
- Respect is something you earn, right? Scandinavian leaders don’t get respect from their employees just by being the boss. Instead, by including, sharing, and encouraging different opinions, they will be on the right path. Leaders must be prepared to be told if their employees disagree with them.
- Sharing knowledge and important information with each other. In Norway, it’s not unusual for CEOs to practice full financial transparency. This creates an environment that is based on mutual trust and a sense of shared responsibilities and common goals.
- The Scandinavian Leadership Model emphasises the importance of delegating work. Instead of micro-managing projects, employees are trusted to execute tasks in alignment with a common goal. The model is based on teamwork and the notion that every employee has a voice, responsibilities, and influence.