Reading Time: 3 minutes
“Before I started working for Telenor, I worried that I’d be just a number,” says recruitment expert Line Gamre, now beginning her second year at Telenor Norway. Happily, that assumption was debunked during her first few days in the company, and it wasn’t the only one. Here, she shares seven things that positively surprised her about working for Telenor.
1. You’re much more than just a number
Coming from a smaller company, Gamre was, as noted above, concerned that she might feel like just one of many in a huge organisation. While Telenor is a sizeable company (Telenor Group is, after all, more than 18,000 people strong, with 3,400 employed by Telenor Norway), Gamre finds it easy to have her voice heard, thanks to independent business units that can set their own agenda and do what’s best locally. “It felt very different once I started, and I feel that I’m free to influence the way we do things in my role and in the company.”
2. Telenor is bigger than you might think…
“Being a Norwegian, perhaps I should have known (Telenor was founded in Norway over 165 years ago), but Telenor is so much bigger than I expected,” Gamre notes. Most Norwegians feel like they are familiar with Telenor from what they see in the media and advertisements, but the global reach surprised Gamre as she realised she would have colleagues in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Myanmar.
3. …and it’s not ‘just’ a telco
Telenor in Asia was also one of the factors that opened Gamre’s eyes to how Telenor does more than just provide phone and internet subscriptions. “I think a lot about how Telenor does so much more than just sell phones and sim-cards, such as working with cool technology like 5G, IoT, and a lot of security. And that’s not to mention the enormous responsibility to supply infrastructure that keeps people connected, especially during a global pandemic,” Gamre reflects.
4. The employee base strikes an ideal balance of youth and experience
When coming into Telenor, Gamre was leaving behind a smaller company with a startup feel to it, which led her to believe that a more established company like Telenor would perhaps have a more experienced and maybe an older workforce. Good news, she noted, is that it’s both. A Young Professionals Network, monthly AfterWork socials (at least before the pandemic hit) and a healthy range of youth and experience have proven a perfect balance, she believes.
5. There are experts everywhere
Have a question? Someone in Telenor’s expert community has the answer. Thanks to a wealth of experience and operations across a huge range of technology and corporate functions, Telenor’s pool of experts is a priceless resource, especially for people new to the company. “That’s what I heard when leaving my past job; there are lots of good people in Telenor,” Gamre recalls. “For example, in security and design I think we have some of the biggest in-house environments in Norway.”
6. Learning rules
Telenor has an over-arching goal that each year, everyone should have spent 40 hours learning and upskilling. The time can be used during working hours across the twelve month and we call it the #40HourChallenge. The learning resources count some 10.000 courses and classes and are available to all employees across the group. Gamre didn’t hesitate to kick off her own learning journey when she joined, spending her 40 hour challenge on courses about design thinking, and agile way of work.
7. We put flexibility first
The final big surprise for Gamre was Telenor’s approach to flexible work. “Before I joined Telenor, there was little room for flexibility, but now with the amount of trust I’ve been given in my current job, especially lately, I can do my tasks as I prefer which means stress levels go down,” she explains. The flexible work pivot happened when Telenor recognized how ways of work during the pandemic proved it was what you did that mattered, not where you did it from.