Creating global excellence by making people and opportunities visible


Stena’s most important asset and prerequisite for success in the future is its employees. A comprehensive program is now being started up in order to make visible both skills and development potential in the Sphere. The program covers all employees in shipping, business administration and finance, starting at management level.

“WE’RE JUST AT the beginning of an increasingly globalised world, which will provide big opportunities for resourceful companies and result in the downfall of those that are not. To be best in the world, we must attract, develop and retain competent employees. This means that the HR dimension now has a more defined and central role in business development”, says Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO Shipping, Drilling and Ferries.

Being able to develop the skills needed in the future is dependent on knowing what skills exist today, what future needs look like and making visible the development potential existing in the company.

“We’re looking for the drive in each individual. By being explicit about what skills we will need in the future and pointing to different opportunities for development, how one should be able to develop and grow even more will become clear – both growing to reach the next level and being even better at the job one is doing here and now”, says Eva Hansdotter, HR Director at Stena.

A tried and tested learning model shows that education accounts for about 10 percent of our learning and networking and mentorship for 20 percent. But by far the largest share of learning, 70 per-cent, takes place in the actual work situation when facing new challenges.

“The point is to link these three parts to each other so as to achieve extra power in development. This is the model we will have as the basis of the future development of our employees”, says Eva Hansdotter.

2015 will see the start of, among other things, a global leadership program for the 125 top managers in shipping, business administration and finance which will also include coaching and networking. Another way of broadening experience and developing one’s skills, which is being highlighted, is to try out other activities at Stena. This could be in the form of a development project parallel with one’s work or taking on a completely new role with new challenges.

“We have a fantastically large and wide labor market in the Sphere. Previously, internal recruitment in the companies was relatively common, but not between them. Our goal now is to increase internal recruitment throughout the Sphere”, says Eva Hansdotter. A global HR Board with members from the different companies has been formed in order to make visible skills across company borders.

“During the year, we began to draw up profile cards for our employees where we describe previous education and experience. In this way, we make visible information that would otherwise have been embedded in the companies”, says Eva Hansdotter. Thanks to this, success has been achieved with an internal recruitment chain where five key executive positions were filled internally, three of them across company borders.

“This is a true textbook example of how we have succeeded in matching the wishes of individual and the needs of the company without external recruitment being necessary. Since everybody still has his or her old skills and is providing the new company with new perspectives, the company is already stronger today than it was two months ago – at the same time as they are all happy in their new jobs”, says Carl-Johan Hagman.

The global HR group is also working on ensuring that there are procedures in place for filling all key positions.

“With the greater transparency when it comes to what competences we have, it will be easier to see our preparedness for filling a position if a person moves. In practical terms, this is a question of deciding which candidates have the right potential, seeing what they lack and drawing up a plan so that they can acquire the knowledge required. For example, more international, commercial or financial experience might be needed”, Eva Hansdotter explains.

During the autumn, a new forum, People Board, where all the company managers meet four times a year, has also been started up. The aim is to see how their respective businesses develop and how this impacts the need for skills, development and possibly new roles.

“Every manager is responsible for developing his own business, but also for developing his subordinates and himself. The forum generates additional transparency as regards existing skills and the opportunities that will arise in the different companies. There might be opportunities in my company that could contribute to somebody else’s development, thus creating a good spiral”, says Eva Hansdotter.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTThe project involving making visible both skills and development potential, which was initiated earlier this year, has already resulted in greater internal mobility. Three of the persons who have changed jobs are Anna Forshamn, who has moved from CFO at Concordia Maritime to Head of Pensions at Stena AB, Ola Helgesson, who succeeded her after having been CFO at Stena Line, and Marica Derenstrand, previously Group Chief Accountant at Stena AB who succeeded Ola Helgesson.



Why did you change jobs – which also triggered this whole recruitment chain?

“A completely new overall role as head of pensions was created at Stena AB – and for me it was something of a dream job. I’d already worked a lot with pensions and I think it’s very exciting because it’s so complicated, involves such large sums and spans over so many dimensions, both at the operative and strategic level.

What does your new role look like?

“I’ll be functioning as a hub between the different parts in the group that work with pensions so that we can learn from each other, create a more homogeneous picture and find the most cost-effective solutions. The company already has the expert knowledge – it’s now a question of bringing it together to form a better whole. I’ll be spending a lot of time working with the British pension plans, among other things collaboration with other employers in multi employer schemes and the boards of directors of the Trustees pension plans”.

What is your opinion of job rotation?

“I think it’s extremely positive. The more of the jigsaw puzzle you complete, the better you under-stand the whole picture, which results in you doing a better job. I think that it will make it possible to find people who are doing a good job right now, but who will enhance their skills still more when they land up in the right place”.

Brings to her new job:

Many years of experience of questions involving pensions, including Stena Line’s pension commitments in the UK, running several large projects concerning group accounting, taxation and pensions, experience as the CFO of a listed company, a large network in Stena and previous experience, among other things of working as controller at Tudor.


Why did you change jobs?

“When this opportunity arised, we were in the middle of a major change process at Stena Line. My first reaction was that I wasn’t finished there and would have like to have another year. But after talking to Carl-Johan and Eva, I quickly came to the conclusion that this will be even better and an exciting way of learning more about other areas at Stena.

What do you see as the largest benefit of job rotation for the employees?

“That you have an opportunity to develop both your professional skills and your network and learn more about the whole group. It’s also a really good career opportunity. My advice to other people is to be open to change if you are asked – you can then create new opportunities for both yourself and the company.

In your view, what are the biggest benefits for the company?

“If you yourself see to it that you develop skills in this way, you can do an even better job. This also means that the skills remain in the company. Previously, you could have a career within each company. Now, it has become clearer that you can do so between companies”.

Brings to his new job:

Previous experience as CFO of listed companies, expertise in group accounting, financing and investor relations, expertise and networks in Stena Line/Stena AB and previous experience, among other things, as CFO at Transatlantic and Finance Manager a the Port of Gothenburg.


How were you recruited?

“After eight years as group chief accountant, I had said that I’d like to take responsibility in a new area. So when I was asked if I wanted to take over as CFO at Stena Line, it felt like it was the right challenge.

What is the biggest difference compared with your previous job?

“My previous job was more comprehensive while this job is more detailed, strategic and operative. The similarity is that just like in my previous job, I have a great team to support me and that makes me feel secure. What I’m really looking forward to is to tackle all the challenges at Stena Line. One challenge is to increase profits by reducing costs and increasing revenues so as to be able to deal with the increased costs related to reducing our emissions.

How do you feel about greater internal mobility over company borders?

“I think it’s great – I already feel that I’m benefiting from the knowledge from other group companies in my new job and from the network I’ve acquired. Stena is a very exciting organisation where things are happening all the time and if you make development opportunities visible, it will be even easier to persuade people to stay.

Brings to her new job:

Long experience of financial accounting, including group accounting, comprehensive knowledge of the whole group, a large network and previous experience from, among others, PwC, where she worked with a wide range of different industries including other Swedish shipping companies.


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