Skip to main content

How to improve personal interaction

Group discussions at a workshop
Group discussions at one of Ove Strind's workshops. Photo: Emma Ohlsson
Published Oct 30, 2023

KTH's efforts to improve the working climate are ongoing. It will be a win-win for everyone, says Hanna Tegel, group manager at CBH and one of 19 'coaches' who lead group exercises in the Treatment and Interaction Project.
“If we create a safe environment, employees are more daring and we get better development”.

There were three main reasons for launching a Treatment and Interaction project. A preliminary study of internal communication revealed problems in everyday working life, which also emerged in the employee survey .
In addition, HR judged that there was a need to work on employee and leadership development.

Purpose of the Treatment and Interaction project

– Develop employee ownership.
– Promote and develop cooperation between colleagues.
– Promote and develop good dialogue, which in turn can develop the business.

Objectives for participating individuals and groups:
– Develop and strengthen employee ownership regarding good behaviour towards each other at group level.
– Develop and improve their own behaviour towards each other at the individual level.
– Prevent the occurrence of unwelcome behaviour.
– Increase general well-being at work.

“But also because victimisation has occurred. My opinion is that we have problems with personal interaction”, says Lotta Gustavsson, group manager at the HR department.

In 2023, a pilot project  will be carried out, for which she is responsible, where 19 HR administrators have been trained to lead exercises to develop and strengthen personal interaction. One of the 'coaches' is Ove Strind, Deputy HR Manager at CBH. He has put a lot of effort into workshops for both administrative staff and researchers where discussions and group work are interspersed.

President's priority work

Ove Strind emphasises how treatment and interaction is an important part of the president's priority work environment area, and notes that there are cases of sick leave based on social work environment aspects.

“Psychosocial ill health in workplaces is becoming increasingly common. I also believe that the balance between work and private life is becoming increasingly blurred. More demands are being made on us both at work and outside of work, which has a negative impact on our health”.

He is convinced that the project will yield results in the form of greater understanding of each other's work and life situations. He also sees a continuation of it.

“I have received good feedback and our offer will remain in place. At HR, we encounter many conflict situations and have mediation sessions that often deal with communication problems”.

Portrait photo of Ove Strind
Ove Strind. Photo: Jon Lindhe

"The 'traffic light model' is a method he highlights in the workshop. It is a collaborative exercise with post-it notes where you highlight what works well with green notes and what you want to do more of. Yellow notes indicate what can be improved, while red notes indicate what is not working and is prioritised for action and improvement.

Several times

“Questions that can be asked before the exercise are for example "how is our behaviour within the group?", or "how is our working environment?". It should be done several times a year”.

Hanna Tegel, a group manager and researcher at CBH, is the only non-HR manager involved in the pilot project. She has conducted various exercises for her team and encourages other managers to get involved.

Portrait photo of Hanna Tegel
Hanna Tegel. Photo: Jon Lindhe

“It is a pity that more managers are not involved. I think this is a very important project and we need varied experiences from different parts of the organisation in addition to HR. Otherwise there is a risk that the workshops that are designed will not be anchored in the daily work of our various research groups”.

Is there a need for better treatment and interaction at KTH?
“Absolutely! For example, we have a lot to work on in terms of communication between employees, at school level and centrally at KTH. We work in a complex organisation with many different types of activities. Therefore, it is important that we create an environment where we are responsive and listen to each other”.

Raise issues

What do you bring to your role as a manager?
“In order to have good communication and co-operation in a group, you need to take the time to review how the group works and raise issues. Can we do something differently? If we create a safe environment, employees dare more and we get a better development, win-win for everyone. With higher ceilings, we get positive results”.

Text: Lars Öhman ( )

Pilot project at CBH – Content

– Good behaviour.
– Non-Violent Communication.
– Conflict escalation.
– The feedback ladder.
– Mastery techniques.
– How to work preventively within the group to improve communication and co-operation.

Duration: Approximately 3 hours. Language: Swedish or English.

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Oct 30, 2023