SAS pleased that more companies Invest in corporate culture, employee satisfaction
STOCKHOLM (Mar. 31, 2011) – SAS Sweden can well support the assertion that greater investment in a quality corporate culture leads to greater employee satisfaction.
After being named "best place to work" among organizations with up to 250 employees for four consecutive years by the Great Place to Work® Institute, this year SAS placed second, SAS has always made employee job satisfaction its mission and an integral part of the business philosophy.
According to SAS Sweden's HR manager, Lars Hägg, it is particularly encouraging to see another company win this year. "It's great for other companies to see the value of a supportive corporate culture," he says.
"We are still in the lead," Hägg continues. "Regardless of the economic environment, we at SAS continue our investment in employee job satisfaction as part of our business model. We welcome the fact that another company won this year."
"We are happy if we have inspired other companies to begin to understand the importance of a good and clear corporate culture and improve their own rankings," said Julius Lukacs, HR director at SAS Institute.
The Great Place to Work Institute annually identifies the country's best work places based on employees’ relationships with managers, their work, the organization and each other. Winners in Sweden in 2011 were anounced March 31 at a ceremony at Nalen in Stockholm.
SAS works hard to create a corporate culture based on trust between employees and the company – a culture that rewards innovation and encourages employees to try new things and take chances. The company nurtures a culture that supports both personal and professional development.
Some examples of SAS Sweden’s program include a 35-hour week, flexible work schedules with personal responsibility, support for working from home, free medical care and regular preventive health care, an onsite chef and restaurant, various health programs and more. Similar conditions prevail in other countries, where SAS subsidiaries have received numerous Great Place to Work awards.
"During boom periods, it is not uncommon for companies to focus to building trust between management and employees. At SAS, we always invest in the trust, in tough times as well as good," says Hägg.
Hägg points out that employee satisfaction is part of the business philosophy of SAS worldwide. The approach permeates the entire organization, which supports an explicit strategy to treat employees with respect and to view them as whole human beings. Founded in 1976, SAS' philosophy from the beginning was that if you treat employees as if they make a difference to the company, they will make a difference. At the heart of the business model is a simple idea: satisfied employees create satisfied customers.
"It is extremely important that employees understand how important their input is for SAS to be successful, and that they actively contribute. We must never forget our business focus, and our long term strategy – including corporate culture – should lead to higher profitability. I believe that a "good job" combines a great working environment with stimulating and interesting work. It is even better if other companies also understand this and start acting on it," concludes Lars Hägg.
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