Automation and digitization will create new opportunities

There are great possibilities to create opportunities by using employees' skills in the best possible way. We met Annika Gustavsson, CEO assistant and HR generalist at Gränges in Finspång to talk to her about the challenges and opportunities she faces.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up outside the city of Katrineholm in Sweden with my family. We are a total of seven siblings, and we all have a good relationship today. I played both basketball and soccer growing up. At the age of 17 I moved to Norrköping, where I still live today. I live with my two children Rasmus, who is 8 years old, and Hampus, who is 5 years old.  

What did you do before joining Gränges?
I studied Human Resources at Linköping University for three years, and I graduated as recently as June this year. At the same time as I studied, I worked with HR at the Swedish Maritime Administration in Norrköping, with a focus on the area of ​​labor law. Prior to that, I worked in sales in the telecom industry.

Why did you start working for Gränges?
Above all, I was attracted by the challenge of working in a broad role with different areas, since I primarily worked with employment law before. I found it interesting to expand my skills in several areas and found the role as CEO assistant and HR generalist at Gränges both interesting and challenging.

What does an assistant & HR generalist do? 
So far, I am familiar with the role as CEO assistant, where I will primarily support Fredrik Spens, MD at Grängea Finspång, in his work. I will also ensure the quality of Gränges' routines and policies regarding travel and expenses to digitize, streamline and, above all, create the right conditions for a user-friendly platform. In the fall I will be introduced to the HR role, which I am really looking forward to.

What makes Human Resources so interesting?
HR is a very broad area that permeates many parts of a business. It is everything from recruitment, employer branding and organizational development to work environment, to name a few areas. 

What primarily interests me is how HR can create conditions for using employees' skills in the best possible way. With automation and digitization, you can free up time so you can focus on doing what you are really good at.
- Annika Gustavsson CEO assistant and HR generalist


What has been the most rewarding part of your job?
Since I have bonly woprked for a few months, the question is a little difficult to answer, but at the moment I would say that I think it is very fun to get to know Gränges and the people I have had the opportunity to meet, with regards to current restrictions.

What has been the most challenging part of your job?
Well, finding the way around the site is a real challenge! Of course, the pandemic has made the onboarding process a bit more difficult, it takes longer to learn how different things work. But it has also created a digital revolution. Now it is important that we take advantage of and use the technology in the best possible way. For example, how can the onboarding process be adapted with digital tools?

What’s best thing about working at Gränges (so far)?
I feel that it is a very open and transparent climate, where everyone is very helpful and accommodating. I look forward to working as well as developing together with the colleagues at Gränges.

Are there any trends within your field of work you can tell us about?
A trend that cannot be avoided is the emergence of hybrid workplaces. What happens when the pandemic is over is a very central question? The new norm will in many organizations mean that the office is not the central workplace. This places great demands on new communication channels and a leadership based on trust.

Can you tell us something about yourself that people don’t know, any hidden skills for instance?
Unfortunately, I have no superpowers, I am an ordinary person. But I like to learn new things and to develop both mentally and physically. I can balance a handstand in 37 seconds.

And finally, what do you do when you’re not at work?
When I'm not at work, I spend many hours in the gym as well as in the kitchen. I really enjoy cooking, and preferably with friends and family. Combining action with pleasure is in line with my philosophy. In the winter I challenge the ski slopes and this summer I challenged myself and  tried rafting for the first time in northern Sweden.