Elvenite is revolutionising the food industry with ERP systems, data, technology, and deep insights with AI. But their rise to the Best Medium-sized Workplace in Sweden and 9th Best Workplace in Europe was as low-tech as it gets.
CEO Mathias Dyberg and Joyful Development Specialist Åsa Klevmarken explain that the foundations of trust can be found in teamwork, communication, and creating a sense of belonging. It must be working. This year, Elvenite scored 100% on a remarkable 13 different statements.
Great leaders are team players
Mathias explains the role leadership plays in creating this optimal workplace. “Every great leader should be a team player. They should get energy from succeeding as a team,” he says. “A great leader is passionate about the team’s success, and remains clear about the direction the team is aiming for. That includes ensuring our purpose and vision remain aligned with trends and changes in our market. Leadership is about creating a clear purpose, goal, and direction and leading the team towards that future.”
It's possible that ‘team player’ is the most often-used term at Elvenite, because Åsa had plenty to say about it as well. “We’re all team players at Elvenite. We think and act as a team in everything we do. That includes giving each other constant feedback so that we can develop as individuals and succeed as a company. If you come up with a new proposal or want to challenge the team to develop, someone will always listen.”
A joint project
Åsa explains how her colleagues grow that team spirit every day. “Elvenite employees are always present, authentic, and believe that life is a joint project. Our company culture is respectful and we share the same values. You always have support and are never by yourself.”
And for Mathias, these are more than just words. They’re the foundation of his leadership strategy. “At Elvenite, we live as we learn and do what we believe. Employees are always part of the team, both when things go right and when they’re not going so well. There's always someone by your side. And that means being very transparent and honest, whether I feel happy, sad, or excited. When I learned during a meeting that a close friend had died of cancer, I was not ashamed to cry and ask if the meeting could be rescheduled.”
Just be present
“As a leader, I always strive to be present and provide immediate feedback,” Mathias continues. “I want my colleagues to feel that they are much stronger and have more faith in themselves after meeting me. I am driven by the desire to help my colleagues develop and become a better version of themselves. I even adjust my calendar to focus on things that can make the biggest impact on the support I show to my colleagues, and on the company’s success.”
Leadership also regularly demonstrates that they have the company’s – and not their own – best interests at heart, Åsa says. “Leaders support our colleagues every day, and constantly share information that helps us in everyday life. If you run into a problem and ask our leaders to help, they are almost always available immediately.”
Cherish the honour
Mathias says that being named Sweden’s Best Workplace – and one of Europe’s Best – has offered a boost in more ways than one. “The ranking shows all employees that we are doing something really good, and we must continue to cherish that. We also see a huge difference in brand awareness among potential customers and talent. I hope this can inspire other organisations to see and understand the huge potential in companies driven by a greater purpose, and not just financial results. Those are the true winners in the long run – both financially and otherwise.”
“Any opportunities that drive Elvenite towards our vision are available to all employees and open for discussion,” Åsa explains. “Built on the Agile Manifesto, we share our experiences, insights, and innovations every week. Discussions range from office locations to lessons learned on a project to specific trainings.”
What’s more, the entire Elvenite staff gathers once every quarter to spend an entire day on purpose and vision. “We give all employees an overview of the trends that connect to our business. Then we discuss this in small groups and take forward strategic initiatives and actions that align our vision and purpose based on these trends.”
Evolve and challenge
Want to create a high-touch environment in a high-tech world, just like Elvenite? Live your company values every day. Make your vision and purpose a regular part of the work day. Embrace true team spirit. And never hesitate to be your authentic self – on good days and bad.