A culture shift

To deliver on the strategy, Telia Company needs to be fit to face today’s challenges and capture the opportunities of tomorrow. We need to transform our ways of working and bring out the best in our people – in essence, the company culture. We see the needed cultural shift as purpose driven and values oriented. Being clear on the purpose – “Bringing the world closer” and values – “Dare, Care and Simplify” and making them meaningful to all employees creates engagement, which in turn drives performance.

The cultural shift requires having the best people onboard. Telia Company’s People promise “Home to your next big opportunity” is our promise to employees and potential employees. It guides our behavior as an employer, from the experience of applying for a job, getting people onboard to the opportunity given to grow.

People strategy

We believe that the way to create sustainable profitability and growth is to become a loved brand. The way to do that is to release the engagement and creativity in our people and enable them to collaborate in serving our clients and the societies in which we operate. This people strategy builds on two key contributors:

  • Our strong bet on engagement as the driver of performance, and unleashing the potential in our employees through self-leadership
  • Our commitment to create a solid foundation with group-common people processes, enabled by a cross-border support organization


YouFirst is the group-common approach to manage employee performance and development. It is a key component in ensuring that “What” and “How” are equally recognized and rewarded, that expectations and priorities ensure focus on what matters most, in challenging goals and in creating accountability for results. YouFirst is integrated in daily work through frequent leader-employee “check-ins” which include recognition, coaching and feedback, with self-leadership as a key component. In 2017, all full-time employees in core markets were covered by the approach.

Self-leadership and leadership

For employees to connect their personal purpose and values to Telia Company’s purpose and values, we launched self-leadership sessions in workshop format called “Values in action” and “Purpose in action”. During the year, 5,000 employees participated in the workshops.

Some of the key leadership skills needed to be able to deliver on the people strategy are coaching others in developing their self-leadership and facilitating collaboration and joint problem-solving. During the year, a new leadership development framework was developed and the first learning modules were launched.


Launched in early 2017, Younite is our volunteering initiative where we enable and encourage our employees to engage, as part of their employment, in activities and societal contributions connected to digitalization. The initiative is part of our work to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals by taking responsibility for how our business impacts our societies and by using our core business to actively contribute to societal development. The activities within Younite all relate to digitalization, and each employee is given one day per year for volunteering. Examples of quests are promoting the spreading of digital skills by introducing children to programming, or introducing digital services to seniors.



During 2017, the number of employees in continuing operations decreased by 303 to 20,727 at year-end, from 21,030 at year-end 2016. The number of employees in discontinued operations decreased by 242 to 4,745 from 4,987 at year-end 2016.

The total average number of full-time employees in 2017 was 24,468 (24,898), of which in continuing operations 19,632 (19,822). In total, operations were conducted in 28 countries (28), of which continuing operations in 21 countries (21).






Group Executive Management consisted of 34.0 (33.5) percent women. The extended leadership team, which consists of Group Executive Management members and other senior executives, consisted of 35.1 (33.3) percent women.

For additional information on employees and labor practices, see Note C31 to the consolidated financial statements, “Occupational health and safety” and GRI Index, section “Labor practices and decent work.”