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Lotta Goransson

Business & Industry

Health and safety is the key to success: a career in facilities management

I’ve always wanted to look after people and ensure their health and safety. In fact, I started my career by training as a nurse. Whilst training, I took a job as a cleaner to pay for my accommodation; cleaning during the evenings, weekends and holidays. But once I was fully trained and started to work as a nurse, I carried on cleaning too because I enjoyed it so much.

Lotta GoranssonAn opportunity came up for a site manager with the company, where I was working as a cleaner while I was working as a nurse and I decided to take that route instead. I was young at the time, only 18, and it was difficult to build relationships with and gain the respect of older cleaners as their manager, but I succeeded and stayed there for 10 years. I then went on to start my own company, supporting clients with cleaning and the management of chemicals, but I didn’t like working alone so returned to working as a nurse until I had my second child.

Involving the whole team in health and safety

In August 2000 I joined Sodexo as a cleaning site manager. It was a role with a great deal of independence, which suited my entrepreneurial spirit, but also gave me plenty of colleagues to work with and provide mutual support; a perfect balance.

In this role, I was able to really focus on improving health and safety. My approach has always been to involve the whole team in the details of what it takes to ensure health and safety, observations, safety walks and audits. Everyone needs to be involved so they know why it’s so important to follow processes and report near-misses. For me, that’s the secret to driving health and safety improvements; involving every team member in every type of safety check and to ensure everyone has the tools they need.

I found that when talking to clients about additional services or potential clients about new services, focusing on the health and safety of everyone in the way we do business was a must.

Bringing value – facilities management specialist

In 2006 I was selected to join a leadership development program at Sodexo. It was a real honour to be chosen for this program; only 15 people were selected from across Sodexo Sweden. It was a demanding program but a rewarding one. I grew a lot as a person through this course and realised the value I could bring in my role.

I learnt not be afraid of problems; they are challenges. There might be some blood, sweat and tears along the way but you’ll get there and that’s my biggest piece of advice for anyone starting out in their career; don’t be afraid of challenges.

During the years that followed I found that my natural focus on safety was vital in my site manager role. Sodexo was starting to provide a wider range of FM services to clients around the world and an excellent approach to health and safety was crucial for clients to trust us to deliver these services for them. A focus on safety is not only what our clients expect from a service provider, but it made my team more confident knowing that their safety at work was the number one priority.

In 2018 I was ready for a new challenge and moved to the role of soft services specialist for Sweden. I was able to support my colleagues based on my deep FM Soft Services knowledge. As part of this role I worked on the due diligence and mobilization of 3 sites for one of Sodexo's clients and safety was a huge focus throughout this process. I enjoyed building relationships with the client and bringing 120 new employees over to Sodexo. After the mobilization, Sodexo asked me to stay on with the contract. I became a support account manager and a big area of focus for me was, of course, safety.

I worked together with all stakeholders to implement KPIs, which really focused on reporting risks and observations and following up with the operations team to ensure actions were taken.

I am now a support manager and area co-ordinator specialising in soft services and safety. As well as supporting clients, I work with colleagues in several other countries to provide health and safety support throughout the global team.

I love building relationships with clients and colleagues. There are huge differences between the way people work in different countries and I love discovering these differences and adapting my working style.

Even in my personal life, health and safety is a big topic. Me and my family are huge fans of motorsport and due to the nature of the sport, a precise and complete focus on safety is absolutely essential for drivers and their construction teams alike.

 

Find out more about a career at Sodexo! Sodexo Sweden

 

This article was created by Lotta Göransson, Area Coordinator, Support Account Manager North Europe Sodexo.

April 09, 2021

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Lotta Goransson

About the author : Lotta Goransson

Area Coordinator, Support Account Manager North Europe Sodexo

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