GITAB reduced absenteeism and staff turnover with the help of Rolf


Thomas Tärnblom, co-owner of GITAB, who is also site manager in Västerås

The installation company GITAB previously suffered from a relatively high staff turnover. With the help of, among other things, values work and individual reflection, the company managed to reverse the trend and at the same time reduce absenteeism. Read more about GITAB's challenges and success factors and how engaged employees contribute to better profitability.


Projects and maintenance - from Dalarna to Mälardalen

GITAB is an installation company that has many of the larger industries in Mälardalen and southern Dalarna as its customers. The company was founded in 2013 in Västerås, where it still has its headquarters. In addition, there are offices in Fagersta, Köping, Ludvika and Örebro.

At GITAB, we take care of everything to do with installations, and the company employs electricians, plumbers, and fibre, refrigeration and ventilation technicians, among others. Partly in projects such as renovations, extensions and new buildings, but also in service and maintenance.


High staff turnover led to changes

In 2019, GITAB saw a need to digitally document employee meetings and development plans. At the same time, the management team began to realize the importance of individual reflection for employee development and learning. They therefore chose to implement several significant changes within the organisation, including starting to use Rolf's reflection log.

The purpose of the reflection log is to ensure regular and structured reflection and feedback. Employees are asked to reflect in writing for a few minutes each week and the manager then provides feedback on the reflections. 


One of GITAB's co-owners, Thomas Tärnblom, site manager in Västerås and head of 30 of the company's 80 or so employees, tells us more:

- We are quite geographically dispersed in the company and with the help of Rolf's reflection log we can capture people's thoughts without meeting physically. I like that we can easily see our activities on the mobile and get tips on what to reflect on.


Fast, efficient and continuous

GITAB initially worked with the reflection log and has since built on it with development plan and rolfingwhich is the coaching part of Rolf's tool. Today they have three years of employee development documented.

- Reflections, feedback and development plans are documented in the system, which is extremely nice. In today's society, no one can cope with deep, heavy processes, preferring quick feedback and short check-ins. Continuity and efficiency are the key to success," says Thomas Tärnblom.


Reduced absenteeism and increased dialogue

In recent years, GITAB has worked intensively on leadership and employee development and on strengthening the company's values, which is now starting to pay off. They have succeeded in reduce staff turnover from around 15-20% to around 5%. Another concrete effect is that a reduction in long-term sick leave from 13 to a few percent. And Thomas Tärnblom is convinced that Rolf has been a contributing factor to this success:

- The structured approach to development, coaching and individual reflection has been important in reducing our staff turnover. We hardly have any employees leaving anymore and the organisation is much calmer. For example, I have people who have told me that they would have walked into a wall if we didn't have Rolf to help us pick up on the signals. 


One of the goals of GITAB's work with employee development is to be a fair employer - but also to make demands. They want to be clear that they work in a certain way and have a common set of values that all employees are expected to live by. Another positive outcome of Rolf is that it has had an impact on communication:

- Thanks to Rolf, we have a better dialogue between managers and employees. If someone has clicked a red tag in their tag cloud, perhaps because they are feeling anxious or pressured about something, I can quickly follow up, support and clarify any ambiguities. 


No prestige in individual reflection

In terms of reflection, all have varying degrees of maturity. However, most of us reflect daily, unconsciously, at work or at home. But one challenge is to write down one's thoughts and reflect in a structured way. Some also feel pressure to perform in their reflection. Thomas Tärnblom tells us:

- When we have encountered resistance to reflection, it has been because employees have believed that they are expected to perform in their reflection. But reflection is about writing down what you think. Sometimes it's enough to just write "I've had a really bad week". It can also take a while for employees to see the value of reflection, but for me as a manager, it's incredibly rewarding and a way to feel the pulse of the organisation and know what it's actually like.

An example could be that your co-worker seems a bit absent in the coffee room or during a digital meeting. Maybe you as a manager start to worry that the employee wants to quit, or that there are conflicts in the team. Then, when you see the week's reflection, it turns out that it wasn't related to work at all, but that the person just slept poorly the past week. With individual reflection and conversation, such things can be easily caught.


Leading by example

Another challenge in reflection is to keep going and ensure that the moments are actually carried out. Thomas Tärnblom stresses that Rolf is a tool and that it is not possible to just buy it and think that the job is done, but that the implementation itself is important:

- You need to make clear the purpose and merits of being a reflective organisation. You must keep up and also set a good example. Even I myself reflect to the CEO every week and get feedback on my thoughts.


Transparency and well-being drive profitability

In the industrial and installation sectors, far from all companies work with reflection. At the same time, GITAB is noticing that more people are starting to see employees as a valuable resource. Especially in times when it is difficult to find the right skills:

- In our company we do not sell products, but our offer is our skilled employees. And we are convinced that honest, transparent people who are happy and feel good also do a better job. Basically, it's good for our profitability, because we can charge more for our professional employees," says Thomas Tärnblom.


Finally, he also wants to highlight the importance of daring to face the truth:

- Pressured and frustrated employees will have a negative impact on the organisation in the long run. The best solution then is to find out the truth and make a change at an early stage. This minimises the risk of stress, reputational damage and anxiety, helping to create a healthy workplace.