Hacking our own culture

June 2, 2021

Elkjøp recently held a four-day hackathon to listen to its employees. An effective and valuable way to involve employees in organisational development, says Chief of Staff, Stein Riibe.

With tools and methods from the tech world, 30 employees from four countries and all parts of Elkjøp's Nordic organisation sat down in front of Teams for 16 hours over four days in a digital hackathon. The purpose was to capture the essence of what it is like to work in the company and see how the internal culture can be strengthened.

- Elkjøp's 12,000 employees are our most valuable resource when facing future competition. In order to further develop our organisation, and create the best shopping experiences for customers, we must start from the inside and involve and listen to our people, says Stein Riibe, Chief of Staff at Elkjøp Nordic.

On the fourth and final day of the hackathon, the participants pitched ideas and concepts to a jury consisting of members from the group management. The best ideas will be used in Elkjøp's strategy work.

- The hackathon exceeded all expectations, with committed employees who discussed, shared and hatched lots of ideas. This way of working has convinced us, usually an organisation of our size would have spent far more time and money to accomplish what we have managed these four days. In addition, the intensity and involvement that the format facilitates has given an incredible sense of community, despite the fact that the participants have sat separately in different countries, Riibe says.

People are the competitive advantage
Previously, a survey among 3,000 Nordic Elkjøp employees provided valuable insight into gaps and opportunities for developing strategy and culture. In order to understand more and involve the employees in designing solutions, as well as identifying challenges, the choice fell on a new working method. Riibe believes hackathon is an excellent tool for involving employees more closely in organisational development.

- People; our presence and confidence in our knowledge and experience is without a doubt the competitive advantage in today's retail. That is why it is extremely important to retain and attract new talent. Hackathon has given us the opportunity to take the temperature on what it is like to work in Elkjøp, and how we take care of our employees. This is valuable insight we take with us, says Riibe.


Camilla Skjelsbæk Gramstad

Head of Sustainability

Kristian Willanger

Senior Communications Advisor, Elkjøp Nordic

Jan Christian Thommesen

Nordic Head of PR and Communications, Elkjøp Nordic