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Creating the best conditions for employees to succeed

5 min read

According to Anna, Saab has some of the coolest products in the world and this is something we should be proud of. It is impressive, to say the least, that in a country as small as Sweden we are able to compete and be world leaders in technology, combat & defence aircraft, submarines, camouflage systems, unmanned vehicles and much more! 

Anna joined Saab 13 years ago as a flight test engineer. Since then, in addition to flight testing, she has also worked with production and development in various business areas at Saab. Today, she is Head of Tactical Systems and Integration at Flight Test.

“The best thing about my role is helping employees succeed and supporting them in their development, both on a personal level and professional level within Saab. It feels marvelous when we succeed with something complex that we’ve been working on for a long time, as well as all the successful recruitments.”

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"It feels marvellous when we succeed with something complex that we’ve been working on for a long time, as well as all the successful recruitments.”

Long background in defence

Anna’s job largely involves creating the best conditions for her employees and operations in Flight Testing, and it is her responsibility to ensure that the right resources are in the right place, that staff are doing well, and to fill in if someone else cannot.

Anna has had a long career at employers committed to the defence of Sweden. Before joining Saab, Anna worked as an Air Force officer in the Swedish Armed Forces.

“The transition to Saab from the Swedish Armed Forces was natural and the experience I gained as an officer, along with a large network of contacts with one of our largest customers, has also been very beneficial for my job at Saab.”

What do you do at Flight Test?

Gripen offers incredible value for money. It has short maintenance times, long flight times, and has a low life cycle cost. Everything is made as easy as possible for the pilot when flying Gripen. It thinks for the pilot so that the pilot’s full attention is devoted to the mission. This is what makes Gripen a real game changer on the playing field. And this is something we test and ensure that we provide with our work at Flight Test.

“Our job is to make sure that all systems work both independently and together. Flight Testing is the final link in the chain before delivery to the customer.”

“I do not have the most in-depth technical knowledge, but I have a holistic perspective and an understanding of how Gripen works in practice. We have many engineers at Saab who have dedicated a large part of their professional lives to a specific system and are experts in their field. They are passionate about what they do and love sharing their knowledge and explaining things so that everyone understands."

”In the aircraft industry, there are numerous stages before the products are finally delivered to the customer. Everything from the development of all the different parts of the system to integration. At the beginning of the chain, you look at what needs exist and what functions are requested. Flight testing constitutes the last stage before Gripen is delivered to the customer."

“Our job is to make sure that all systems work both independently and together. We try to find any faults and, once they are rectified, test them again. Flight Testing is the final link in the chain before delivery to the customer.”

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Saab and employees always go the extra mile

“It makes me so happy to see how committed everyone is to the team.”

For Anna, it is important to create a sense of community in the workplace, and this is achieved by doing things together. Anna feels that employees always engaged in the team, and this was evident during one of the activities carried out in Flight Testing, where an employee had sewn hats for all the managers that they then wore while serving hot dogs.

“It makes me so happy to see how committed everyone is to the team.”

In addition to her job, Anna has a passion for sports, both watching and participating. During the spring and summer months she plays a lot of golf, and during the other times of the year she plays different ball and racquet sports and watches a lot of sports. “It’s healthy to have interests beyond Saab,” says Anna. But it is not difficult to see that Anna truly loves her job and that she is passionate about it.

We don’t make toothbrushes here

“One of the best things about Saab is that you don’t have to change your workplace to continue to develop. At Saab I am encouraged to develop and grow by working in different areas based on the needs of the company, but also according to each individual employee’s potential. I can work as a project manager for a few years and then move to a completely different area and take my new knowledge there.”

“At Saab, it is clear that employees feel an inherent sense of pride, and no matter if they have worked at Saab for many years or just recently started, when one of our aircraft take off, you stop, stand still and watch.”

Many Saab employees have worked here for 30-40 years. Even though not everyone joined Saab because of the products made here, most are thrilled when they see the results of their work flying through the air.

Anna enthusiastically explains how all employees come to watch the maiden flight of an aircraft that they have been working on and says: “It’s obvious that we don’t make toothbrushes here. At Saab you want to see the product that you have worked on, and the technical complexity that we work with is difficult to find elsewhere.”

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3 questions

Greatest strength: Good at meeting people and creating contacts. I like people and I’m interested in knowing who they are.

Advice you would like to share: Ask questions and show an interest in learning more.

Finish the sentence, “For me Saab is…” the workplace in Sweden with the coolest products, a second family and a community. I moved to Linköping to work at Saab, and Saab is a fantastic company with great opportunities