Örebro: focus on speeding up the economy and business again

Kenneth Handberg, Örebro municipality:

As society begins to open up, we must focus on speeding up the economy and business again, it is incredibly important for the continued development. We have also seen that people that have had a weak position in the labor market, have had an even more difficult situation due to the pandemic. We must therefore make efforts to reduce long-term unemployment. Besides that, we also need to learn lessons from the positive effects we have seen on the climate during this period. We must take this into account in the continued work on sustainability.

How is the City of Örebro planning and making its way out of the crisis and in to the new normal? What are the issues, aspects investments as well as practical solutions you are taking up?
 
Employees in Örebro Municipality, just like everyone else in society, have in parallel with the increased workload had to deal with the uncertainty and changes in everyday life that the pandemic has brought. Stress on the economy, suspended social activities and concerns for one's own and relatives' health and well-being have been constantly present factors for most of 2020 and 2021.
Many of the most strongly affected functions need to be given the opportunity to recover and have the conditions to organize their work in a long-term sustainable way. There are many good examples in the organization of incredible efforts that are carried out to make the operations work and the employees to cope.
 
In November last year SEK 15 million was set aside by the municipal board with the aim of strengthening support to ensure a good working environment and minimize the risks of ill health among managers and employees in Örebro municipality in connection with the pandemic. The departments that have been most affected by the pandemic's consequences on the work environment have been offered increased support from the HR department. By mapping the work environment, measures have been identified which have then been able to be implemented with the support of central financing. There have been measures such as crisis management, recovery efforts, support in the systematic work environment work, group activities to strengthen the social community among others. All the municipality's managers have been offered reflective discussion groups under the guidance of a psychologist before the summer leave this year. Experience shows that the opportunity to reflect on oneself in one's role as a leader and to receive confirmation in one's experiences during a stressful situation increases the commitment of employees and first-line managers. Planning is now underway to be able to offer reflective collegial discussion groups to employees after the summer.
 
Additional to these activities’ workshops, information materials and training initiatives have been offered on themes such as recovery, teleworking, managing concerns, crisis management and the new normal working life.
 
/Rebecca Lilja, head of Unit, Human resources

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