“Self-leadership builds a creative work environment at SEB”

Independent teams lead to a rewarding and stimulating workplace, according to Sam Joukhadar, global Head of Talent Acquisition at SEB.

Sam came to Sweden in 2014 from Syria where he was working as a university teacher. Upon arriving in Sweden, he quickly made a career in the IT-sector, and now he is working as the Global Head of Talent Acquisition at SEB.

How do you work with Talent Acquisition at SEB?

– One of the cornerstones, both for companies and for myself, is to strive for as much diversity as possible and to have an attentive approach to what's going on. It all starts with internal communication and building a strong relationship with our teams. That leads to us getting to know what the employees desire and how interesting synergies can occur. For example, right now we have a project we call Virtual Tribes. What that aims to do is allow employees to cooperate with colleagues and divisions they normally don't work with. The purpose behind this initiative is to contribute to new ideas and perspectives that stimulate their work, allowing for new exciting results.

"I would say the most important thing to remember, is to never be afraid to try new things"

What do you do to contribute to the employees' satisfaction and wellbeing?

– Our ambition is to be empathic towards our employees and nurture them as well as we can. Among other things, we offer them skills development through SEB Campus and exercise options including our premise's gym, workout classes, and a large ball court for team sports. Furthermore we pursue something we call "self-leadership". Which means that not everyone has a super-visor who decides exactly what the employee is supposed to do. As a result, everyone in a project is viewed as equal parts of the team, which encourages new initiatives and leads to a creative and stimulating workplace.

"It is essential to strive for as much diversity as possible and to have an attentive approach to what's going on."

Do you have any rule of thumb in your role as a leader?

–  I'd say, the most important thing to remember is to not be afraid of trying new things. Even though I'm working in such a large corporation, I'm not frightened to view things from a new perspective and try things that haven't been tried before. That means making learning new things into a habit. If you are not keen on keeping your skills up to date, both you and your employer will lose your credibility.