‘Everyone at KTH will get the HR support they need’
The journey towards shared support services is in full swing. This spring, due diligence was carried out in seven area groups, and now more detailed work is taking place within each respective group. HR’s focus is to provide better support to all leaders and employees.
Earlier this year, the President of KTH Sigbritt Karlsson decided that support services at the schools and the University Administration (GVS) should merge. The new joint organisation will go under the name of ‘Support Services’ (VS) and go into effect on January 1, 2023. The goal is that a level of high quality and efficient support will free up teachers’ and researchers’ time, thus contributing to KTH’s competitiveness.
In spring, the various support areas within education, research, finance, HR, infrastructure, communications and management were mapped out and analysed. Now, in the autumn, the various area groups will continue this work and focus on the support areas’ current status.
Annica Fröberg, Director of Personnel at KTH and Johanna Stellan, Administrative Head at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment are working on this HR initiative together:
“The goal of this work is to create one KTH, because together we are strong and can drive change, so that KTH can move with the times as a workplace and as a seat of learning,” says Annica Fröberg and continues:
“We see this merger as a great opportunity to optimise the wealth of competence we have across the whole organisation and apply it in a wider context. Because, regardless of where you are in our organisation, we shall strive for everyone to have equal support services.”
Johanna Stellan adds:
“For us in HR, there are two parts to this – to both support all staff in the ongoing journey of change and to review how we should organise HR support going forward.”
“Within HR we have observed that you can do everything from making smaller adjustments in the way you work and creating greater learning between schools, as well as working on an improved support system. The latter is needed in order to secure all the processes and manage the journey from recruitment to post-employment. Already on 3 October, the Head of Department Committee was presented with e-signing for employment contracts, a function that has been in demand by the organisation.”
“This is something that’s been long-awaited, and it’s fantastic that there’s now a process that can be finalised with a digital signature. This makes the recruitment process more time-efficient,” says Annica Fröberg.
The ongoing procurement of a new salary system means that there is a possibility for increased digitisation within HR and that the focus during 2023 will be to review and agree upon these HR processes.
What’s the greatest challenge for HR in this merger?
The big challenge is finding a balance between how we as an organisation should keep what’s important in what we know about local knowledge and about the history of the different areas, as well as to synchronise the processes that are applicable to all of KTH and to use the knowledge that’s already there. But it’s all well under way.
Going forward, what do you see as the greatest advantage for the merger?
The merger will enable a long-term process of change. That in turn will contribute towards KTH’s continued role as a prominent university in the future, both in Sweden and internationally. This development will contribute towards a big-picture-perspective where everyone at KTH will receive the HR-support they need.
Text: Annelie Englund