Global chemical production giant Perstorp has been Populum customers since 2018 and measured the employment experience since then. We want to highlight Perstorp as one of all our fantastic customers who have acted firmly and forcefully when navigating through the Corona crisis.

Perstorp changed its Swedish production

Nothing ever seems impossible for the team at Populum, we get customized solutions to our needs.”

Global HR Director, Perstorp

Introduction to Perstorp

Few may have missed the tributes of Perstorp’s actions during the Corona crisis (Dagens Industri, Ny Teknik, Svenska Dagbladet). When the Corona crisis broke out around the world, Perstorp saw an opportunity to contribute to the benefit of society. The company acted quickly by converting its Swedish operations to the production of hand- and surface disinfectants. Perstorp prodvided the pressured Swedish healthcare with protective material at cost price.

Less known to the outside world is that Perstorp, throughout the Corona crisis, also placed great focus internally on ensuring the well-being of its employees. The well-being of employees and their experience, in all companies throughout the world, has been systematically and continuously listened to – and followed upon. From Brazil in the west to China in the east.

Interview with Global HR Director of Perstorp

Andreas Sjöström is Global HR Director at Perstorp

We spoke with Andreas Sjöström, Global HR Director at Perstorp, who has collaborated with Populum since the start of the partnership in 2018.

Why is it important to listen to employees during a crisis, like the corona?

Covid-19 has drastically changed the landscape we work in. Everything we took for granted and considered normal was quickly reversed and we had to adopt new ways of living up to our core value CARE. Asking follow-up questions about how our employees were affected by Covid-19 was a matter of course. Then we found the flexibility with Populum to be very useful to be able to follow up even when people work remotely.

How easy has it been to use Populum for follow-up with corona-crisis-related additional questions?

We found it very smooth. The dialogue with Populum has been fantastic. It has been a “can-do attitude” all along. We are really focused on trying to find solutions that suit us.

How would you describe the biggest difference between Populum compared to a traditional supplier?

Before Perstorp became a customer of Populum, like many other industrial companies, Perstorp only had measured annually with a more traditional supplier. With Populum, you get both the fast, digital and changing on a monthly basis – but you also get the greater annual screening and in-depth study.

At Perstorp, we strive to have an agile HR. In order to be able to support an ever-changing business, we must also be able to measure how we are in attitudes and behaviors with a greater frequency than before, but also be able to follow up with efforts more quickly. Populum gives us all results the second after the measurement is completed. This means that we can be agile in our strategy and delivery towards the organization. The short response time together with the fast data consolidation helps us a lot.

You have a fantastically good response rate globally in your monthly measurements; over 80%. What is your most important recommendation to other industrial customers who want to succeed with their heart rate measurements?

The most important thing is that the entire organization takes the measurements seriously. Our CEO Jan Secher personally follows up the results with the rest of our executive management team. This of course sends signals throughout the organization, which means that everyone also appreciates being able to make their voice heard.

In conclusion, what do you think is the best thing about Populum?

The personal service and the focus on finding solutions to our unique customer needs. Nothing ever seems impossible for the team at Populum, we get customized solutions to our needs. We are now trying to find new ways to integrate our systems and processes with each other and there the Populum data will be a very important part.

How did Perstorp concretely do so during the corona crisis?

3 puzzel pieces that summarized Perstorp’s consistent actions during the crises:

  1. Ensure continuity by keeping an eye on the organization on an ongoing basis.
    Continue with the monthly rapid employee surveys throughout the crisis (9 questions in 30-60 seconds). In the new changing situation, it is more important than ever to ensure efficient teams, a good working environment and prosperous employees. It is important not to replace questions unnecessarily – keeping the same questions provides traceability and the opportunity for follow-up through the crisis.
  2. Elaborate and detail.
    Carry out the already planned annual in-depth employee survey in the middle of the Corona crisis. In this, the company goes in depth in the areas that are measured in the current heart rate measurement. The in-depth employee survey is an important piece of the puzzle in promoting inclusion, understanding and improvement dialogue in all businesses in a turbulent time.
  3. Covid-19 adapt.
    The additional question functionality in Populum provides flexibility to temporarily follow up on crises, improvement initiatives or transformations – something that has been practical during the Corona crisis. Through the Corona crisis, Perstorp measures employees’ experience of the company’s Corona management throughout the world. The adaptation means the following at Perstorp:
    • A listening management. The management constantly asks what further crisis-related improvements the employees need (eg in the new home work environment). When employees are encouraged to give feedback and come up with concrete improvement proposals, an increased sense of participation is given.
    • Fact-based follow-up through the Corona crisis. Management and HR may follow crisis-specific key figures for the entire business at an aggregate level, to ensure that good crisis management is maintained.
    • Opportunity to prioritize and focus. With the help of real-time data, the right people can make quick, important decisions where they are needed most right now.

3 concrete results for Perstorps
during the corona crisis:

  • Increased results for employee engagement. Throughout the Corona crisis, Perstorp has climbed the ongoing heart rate measurement, month by month.
  • Better than Pharma & Chemicals benchmark. From having previously performed on a par with Populum’s benchmarks for Pharma & Chemicals – Perstorp now exceeds the benchmark for industry.
  • Increased results for the company’s Corona response. More and more of the employees state that they are proud of Perstorp’s actions through the crisis. The greatest pride, and also the strongest improvement, is found among the newly hired employees (<1 year of employment).

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