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Swedish employees are closer to company management – stand out in international comparison

As many as 94 percent of Swedish respondents have had personal contact with the company’s CEO. In the UK, only two out of three have had it, according to a study conducted by Unit4.

The results come from the survey “Decision Making for the Future Business Report; Who Calls the Shots in the Business of Tomorrow” and is based on 1837 responses from executives and officials in seven countries – Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, Sweden, Germany and the USA The survey comprises 247 responses from Swedish workplaces The purpose of the survey was to identify differences and similarities regarding culture, management and organization between the different countries.

The survey shows, among other things, that Sweden is the country, together with the Netherlands, where the most number of employees (99 percent managers and 88 percent officials) feel comfortable with criticizing management. This can be compared with the results from the UK and the US where only three out of four officials feel secure.

In Sweden, the majority of respondents (54 percent) agree that management respects the views of officials regarding management issues. (In the UK it is 39 percent, and in the US 31 percent).

– That such a large proportion of employees in Sweden have a personal contact with the CEO is consistent with the picture we have had before, says Katarina Gunnarsson, CEO of Unit4 Norden and continues:

– It feels very good that employees in Sweden dare to criticize the management and that they believe that the management respects and takes their views with them. This is something that distinguishes Sweden from the other markets and I interpret this as very good conditions for being able to exploit the modern business systems that create increased closeness between employees and different parts of the organization.

What stands out in the survey is that so many employees in markets outside Sweden have not met the CEO or feel as comfortable with criticizing.

– When managers are disconnected from their employees, it can lead to much lower productivity at work, which can ultimately affect earnings. This old-fashioned way of managing does not fit in with today’s companies, says Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4.

Other results from the survey

  • In Sweden and Norway, there are fewer who believe that the management’s vision is clear compared to the other countries.
  • In Sweden, the lowest percentage (19 percent) agrees that the manager should speak openly about political issues.
  • Sweden, Norway and Germany are the countries with the highest proportion of female managers (36 percent in each country). The United States and the Netherlands have the lowest proportion of female managers (20 and 22 percent, respectively)
  • The manager is usually between the ages of 46-55. The United States and Canada are the countries with the most senior managers, 40 percent and 32 percent, respectively, over 56 years. The United States is the country with the highest proportion of managers (7 percent) over the age of 65.
  • In Norway (40 percent) and Sweden (41 percent), it is most doubtful whether the manager is the right person for the job. In the US, the highest proportion (51 percent) who think the CEO is most suitable for the job.
This survey is made by Unit4
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