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Prevent Sweden visit EU-OSHA to present Sweden's best work teams


On 26 September, Prevent Sweden paid a visit to EU-OSHA in Bilbao. Prevent Sweden is a joint worker and employer backed organisation dedicated to improving working conditions and reducing accidents and ill-health in Sweden. 

Bodil Mellblom, Christian Jernstedt, Anders Eklund, Karin Ahlgren, Maria Bergqvist and Krister Skoglund came to the Agency to present their work entitled "Sweden's Best Work Teams".

Sweden’s best work teams

Prevent, a Swedish non-profit work environmental organization, have always participated in EU-OSHA campaigns. They decided to merge the 2012-2013 campaign and the 2014-2015 campaign into one campaign, a campaign about collaboration, participation and psychological and social environment.

Wanting to do something new and focus on the positive and solutions instead of risks, Prevent wanted to reach people who are not normally reached by OSH campaigns, and inspire more people to focus on collaboration and developing psychosocial work environment.

They therefore chose to do something that many can relate to, to try and work together every day for wellbeing and being safe at work. To achieve this, they chose the communication channels that reach out to this main audience, and used a method that encourages engagement. With the project, Prevent wanted to spread awareness about how good teams can contribute to better health in the workplace through inspiring examples. The goal of the activity was to raise awareness and start a conversation at workplaces that in the long run can lead to improved work environment and healthy workplaces.

The campaign was divided into 3 phases. The first was a competition to collect inspiring examples. The second phase was to make an inspiring book based on the winning teams and their success factors. The last part was to spread the book and the project more and it will mainly be focusing on at a big meeting place for working life called "On top of work".

During the project, a variety of communication activities were made. Their purpose was to inspire others and to collect and distribute examples of good practices and to increase awareness of Prevent.

In the competition Sweden was divided into 10 regions and had a winner in each region. The winners were chosen by a jury consisting of 6 persons from the social partners. The teams had to be between 3 and 12 members and they had to have permission from the management to enter the competition. When they entered the competition they explained what makes them such a good team and how they are working with this.

The criteria for the contest that they were judged on were work environment, team work, concern for others, influence leadership, involvement, conflict management and trust/confidence/reliance. The regional winners were visited by at least two persons from the jury, one from the unions and one from employer organizations during a prize ceremony. After the ceremony they had time to talk to the teams and to get to know them and the daily work. After the regional ceremonies the jury once again sat down and with their improved knowledge about the teams they chose a national winner and a new prize ceremony was held and this time the whole jury participated. The goal was 100 competing teams, which was easily met, with over 130 participating teams throughout Sweden.

A challenge was that Prevent wanted to reach a new audience with little knowledge about the work environment. This meant that Prevent had to address new approaches and methods using a novel language and new communication channels.

The competition was promoted through a campaign on the largest national radio station's morning show with both commercial and editorial spots and also banners on their website that all lead to our campaign website. Purchased and social media communication routes (Facebook and Twitter but also some LinkedIn) were used, including a postcard distributed to over 40 000 stakeholders. It was also distributed in the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises magazine Entrepreneur.

The regional nature of the competition gave the opportunity to make regional press activities, using both the regional and national winners. This gave media coverage all throughout Sweden and became Prevent's largest press activity during the year, with over 60 features in newspapers and radio. This is a clear indication of the success of the campaign. 

Through the competition Prevent received lots of good arguments why each team felt that they were the best team in terms of work environment, satisfaction and enjoyment. All national and regional winners were visited, interviewed, and photographed. This was then summarized in a modern Coffee Table Book, which is a book with lots of photos, quotes and short texts taken from the contest and interviews. The book aims to raise interest and thoughts about your one work team and hopefully create inspiration to develop your team and work environment. The book is in Swedish but we also translated it into English.

On 22-23 of October there was a large event in Stockholm called "Gilla Jobbet" (on top of work). The purpose is to inspire and to create commitment to workplace environment issues.  The book was distributed to all attending the event, and there was a seminar with the winning team and Anette Norberg – Olympic gold medallist and former captain of one of the world’s most successful curling teams as well as the manager of more than 50 specialist functions at a big company. She talked about common factors for successful sports teams and work teams.

Prevent reported that they key success factor in this campaign was the commitment of Prevent Staff and the Social Partners. The main cause of the project was to raise awareness of work environmental issues, showing good examples within companies with good work environment and also to inspire others and that has been done in the competition.

However, Prevent know that this is just the beginning of a journey to inspire more people and companies to work with work environment.