A project is currently underway at the University Administration’s Human Resources Division to develop the University’s systematic work environment management.
“We want to refocus from a reactive working method that addresses issues that have already arisen to more preventive, health-promoting activities,” explains Karin Karlström, strategist at the Human Resources Division.

Systematic work environment management requires every department, division or unit to adopt a systematic approach to identifying needs and implementing measures for both the physical and organisational and social work environment.
“We need to develop support for the organisation and develop a feasible recommended basic level. In terms of measures, it is important to be realistic and select an appropriate number of areas that can be addressed annually, rather than biting off more than we can chew.”

Work environment management is also a matter of developing what we know works well.
“At the same time as combating ill health, it is important to maintain and develop various wellbeing factors.”

Karin Karlström asserts the importance of systematic work environment management to achieving the University’s goals and strategies.
“For my own part, work environment management is all about achieving the University’s goals, one prerequisite for which is that staff feel good in themselves and can collaborate, be creative and focus on the work at hand.”

The cornerstones of systematic work environment management are: study; assess risk; formulate and implement measures; and follow up results. This is an annual cycle, meaning that study also involves following up the previous year’s measures.

One important piece of the systematic work environment puzzle is a local work environment group consisting of management, operational HR and staff representatives (including health and safety representatives).“Collaboration is important in work environment management. Management and staff need to work together to achieve good solutions and create a healthy work environment.”

There are a number of different ways to study the state of the work environment, perhaps the classic example being health and safety inspections of the physical work environment.
“We are also in the process of developing a health and safety inspection for the organisational and social work environment.”

Can you offer any examples of what the basic levelmight look like?
“A good basis for studying the situation, both at group and individual level, would be annual health and safety inspections of the physical, social and organisational work environment, staff meetings focused on the work environment and work-environment issues raised at performance reviews. Work can then be conducted through risk assessment and action plans based on studies conducted in local work environment groups. Any measures will need to be implemented and regularly followed up by the line manager. We will also need to conduct an annual review of the need to augment the knowledge of managers, health and safety representatives or staff.”