Working at Systembolaget – inside the head of a store manager

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Stina Behrman has an unusual job – she’s a store manager at Systembolaget. And just like other store managers, she has to provide a high quality service, motivate her employees to do the same and, ultimately, create an impressive customer interaction. The difference is that she doesn’t have to boost sales to do a good job.

Stina has been a Systembolaget store manager for 10 years now, prior to which she worked in the restaurant industry for 14 years. Both jobs are a good fit with her passion for food, drink and people, but she knows precisely why she chose to work for Systembolaget.

“Our mandate – to limit the harmful effects of alcohol and, at the same time, ensure our customers are truly satisfied, is a good match for my fundamental values. In simple terms, this feels like an important job – one where I can exert an influence and make a difference.”

The fact that the focus is not on selling as much as possible as part of her job is something that Stina appreciates. When the customer asks for help with a drink, she’d rather give them a recipe for a good sugar syrup, mixed with delicious berries, than recommend a type of vodka along with the liqueur they came in for.

“Here at Systembolaget, our job is to make the customers happy without tempting them to buy more than they’d initially intended. We fulfil our mandate through our customer promise nowadays, and that’s very different from simply doing what the Alcohol Act says we have to do.”

Communicating the importance of Systembolaget’s mandate and vision to her colleagues is an important part of Stina’s job as a store manager. And it’s particularly challenging during the summer, when the sales at the Systembolaget store in Torp, outside Uddevalla, increase and Stina has to take on seasonal staff.

“With all the new colleagues we gain in the run up to peak seasons, it’s vital that we introduce them in the best possible way so that everyone understands and can work in line with our special mandate. We talk about our mandate every day here at the store, and about how we can fulfil this mandate by showing consideration, being knowledgeable, and being an inspiration. It’s not enough for me to believe this – the reasons why we exist have to run through everything we do. My job, as a store manager, is to show the way, to follow up, and to inspire.”

Stina didn’t talk so much about values when she first started as a store manager – being proud of Systembolaget seemed only natural to her. But she soon realised just how important that extra motivation and working from where we stand now towards a clearly defined future objective actually is.

“Our work makes a difference, every single day! It’s important that we can answer questions and talk about why Systembolaget exists.”

“When sales aren’t what counts, other things suddenly become important. Things like when an unannounced proof of age check is carried out – a job that involves every single member of the working group – and we get really good results. That’s truly something to celebrate, something to be proud of.”

Would you like to work with us?

Systembolaget is tasked with working to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol and to helping ensure that our customers make more informed and healthy choices. It is our employees and managers who are the key to achieving success in these areas.

And that’s why personalised management is important to us. Every single one of our employees is an important part of the big picture at Systembolaget and we work actively to ensure that everyone who works here understands just how much they mean.

If you’d like to work with us, here at Systembolaget, click here!