Step up involvement!

“A winning culture is a culture in which everyone succeeds together,” says Veronica Larsen of The Assessment Company.

Business people having fun inside office – Entrepreneur and brainstorming concept – Focus on man with grey hair

The Assessment Company specialises in strategy and organisational development, competence development and recruitment. The company was established in Hamar in 2014 and nine years later, has offices at multiple locations in Norway and Sweden. Veronica Larsen is a partner and has been with the company since day one.

What does it take to build a winning culture?

“What’s most important is to agree on the objective to be pursued. After that, you focus on figuring out what it takes to reach that goal. At The Assessment Company, we work together with our clients to define the steps that should be taken, often over a three-year period.”

How do you help clients to improve performance?

“The first step is to reveal gaps. Some gaps can be filled by assigning new tasks and roles to employees. Others are filled by working to change and develop behaviour and competence. In some cases, organisations also discover that they need to recruit new employees and competence. We use our PEOPLE LAB™ for this, which is inspired by top sports. It gives employees the opportunity to get involved in their own development. We use digital tools and video analysis to improve the training and adapt it to individual needs.”

“To be successful, you have to be specific and really train the behavior you want to achieve.”

Veronica Larsen

In a shop, success is first and foremost measured by turnover and sales rung up on the cash register…

“Winning does not necessarily mean focusing on monetary gains, even though working on culture is profitable. You also build loyalty and a sense of belonging, and create satisfied and committed employees by focusing on culture.”

Cultural change

What are the most common challenges faced by small shops when trying to implement a cultural change?

“Not devoting enough attention to identifying challenges and opportunities. It’s important to identify goals, describe the desired culture – and that the company then works diligently and in a targeted manner on the implementation itself. The real job starts once you start implementing a change. To make sure it’s successful, you need to make a concrete and tangible effort to practice the desired behaviour.” 

Larsen contends that there are two distinct aspects: employee job satisfaction and their level of engagement, and that one does not necessarily lead to the other.

In other words, it’s all about persistence?

“We believe that culture is always evolving and although it can be defined here and now, it will have developed into something different by 2026. Both competence and culture are dynamic – and need to be monitored and maintained.”

“One of my core priorities is to ensure that employees can leverage their experiences, thoughts, and skills…”

Veronica Larsen

Employee engagement is key

Larsen explains that employee satisfaction alone is not sufficient, but we also need to focus on employee engagement.

How do you engage employees?

“The focus needs to be on such things as involvement and acknowledgment of the strengths and skills of individuals. If you want employees to go the extra mile, to identify new opportunities and ways to do things, it’s important to give them the freedom to do just that. One of my main focuses is to allow employees to use their own experiences, thoughts and skills, and to make sure that managers are curious about what employees can contribute and acknowledge those who offer suggestions.”

Veronica Larsen is committed to achieving success collectively.

Do you have any tips for shop owners who feel like things are standing still?

“Take a step back! Reflect on the state of affairs in your shop, in your market and among your employees. Are you where you and your shop want to be?  I believe strongly in determining and identifying the gaps that need to be addressed, not only in terms of the shop, but also management. Sparring is also important. You can use us at The Assessment Company, a colleague or other Texcon members. Success starts with identifying the need to make a change, but it is equally important that change is also desired. The fact is, building a winning culture takes effort – but is absolutely worth the investment,” concludes Veronica Larsen.