Why are Danish companies better places to work?
Financial times recently published a special supplement on Europe’s best places to work. Despite the fact that Denmark has less than two per cent of the workforce in Europe, six out of about 25 companies featured in the supplement are Danish. Danish companies are highlighted for two main reasons:
There is a different relationship between employees and management. In many companies, employees are co-owners and they consider themselves as partners in the business rather than employees.
The workplace is open and communication is direct and informal. Danish supermarket group Irma is praised for its direct and straightforward communication, which includes a weblog where CEO Alfred Josefsen shares his thoughts on the business with all staff.
Values play a more important role, often more improtant than pure profit. Middelfart Sparekasse – a regional savings bank – defines itself primarily as a positive force in local society rather than a profit making enterprise. By doing the right things in the local community, they actually end up making a lot of money! I personally experienced the same in the hearing aid business: The more we put people and patients first, the more money did we end up making.
Although these points do not correspond exactly to the criteria for success as outlined in “The Second cycle”, they however encompass most of them: Meaning, partnership, collaborative organization and value-based leadership.
So maybe there is a reason why Danish companies are better places to work?
The Second Cycle