Växjö Municipality – A transformational journey.

Växjö municipality has a vision: to be a great place to live and work, for residents, companies and visitors – today and in the future! The municipality employs over 7000 people. Växjö has grown fast in recent decades which has led to a need of an holistic approach for the public organisation including its companies. The goal is to transform into a common group structure and become more efficient to the benefit of residents and businesses. Symbal was engaged to influence part of this transformational journey.

The solution

We helped to design and support the change journey towards a one consistent and shared organisational culture through common values and leadership engagement. The change journey was carried out on the basis of Symbal’s five-step behavioral change model. The main purpose was to involve people to engage in the common values through a well-prepared, creative and pedagogical process. Symbal was an active partner in a series of steps to empower people to join the movement towards one common culture.

The first step, preparation, was about formulating, packaging and agreeing upon the meaning of the common values. Symbal facilitated the decision process where we worked closely together with the management team of the municipality and developed an organization-oriented implementation strategy. Contributing factors for the success with the managers was insights on the importance of symbolic and communicative leadership.

The second step was awareness communication directed towards the organization’s employees. The most important communication channel was the operational leaders. Symbal created pedagogic support for the leaders, combined with training on methods to work with leadership and communication to drive change.

The third step, interest communication, was carried out on the unit level by the managers. Symbal developed workshops to be used by operational managers to create dialogue and understanding on team level.

The fourth step, trial communication, to increase the rational and practical understanding of how the core values could be used in everyday work-life, for decision-making and collaboration across functional boundaries. Symbal ensured that the managers had the right tools to drive and explore the practical consequences of the core values.

The fifth step, adoption. This is when we make sure that everyone’s fully on board with the new ways of working. In this particular case, it was about helping the Växjö municipality’s management team follow up on the progress of all parts of the organisation.

“Symbal has been a great help to us. They work with a smart, pedagogic and visual approach towards behavioral change. When we started this we didn´t have the right competence, today we know much more and have built our own competence, very much thanks to Symbal.”

The results

According to the employee surveys, the compliance and appreciation among the organization’s more than 7,000 employees have increased last years. Operational managers nowadays continuously discuss the common values and put them on the agenda for team meetings. The change work has led to commitment to and deep understanding for the common values among the employees. A final note is that without the commitment and engagement of top level management, this would have never happened.