At Klarna we take pride in delivering a smoooth shopping experience for our customers every single day. We always ask ourselves how we can make the things we do even smooother. And believe it or not, one week a year we manage to take it one step further and take the smooothness to the next level.
And that level is called Smoooth Week.
Smoooth Week is a full week with events and happenings with the purpose for all Klarna employees to meet and learn from each other.
Hi, my name’s Linnea Krautmeijer and I’m part of the Learning & Leadership team that’s responsible for developing people at Klarna. Two years ago, our CEO Sebastian gave our team the exciting task to design and fill smoooth week with content. I remember the team gathering for a brainstorming hour where we came up with three different ideas.
The first few ideas that rolled in were practical, reasonable – something most people would have seen before. And then we thought of something completely different – Smoooth Week. A crazy idea at the time and we let our imagination run wild with a full week of learning activities with all employees including competence training, a 2 day internal trade fair and finishing everything off with a massive kick-off party. But to be honest, we weren’t that surprised when Sebastian and the management team came back to us and said –
“Let’s do the crazy ambitious idea; let’s do Smoooth week…”
And that was the birth of Smoooth week. Last year we did the event in Stockholm and this year we knew we had to go bolder. And there’s few places bolder than Berlin. Germany is Klarna’s biggest market so the timing felt right to gather all 1700 participants in the great city of Berlin. It was naturally going to be a whole new challenge, but after only a few months planning, we managed to get everyone there, some by train, bus and boat, some by plane and, believe it or not, a few Klarnauts actually biked all the way from Stockholm to Berlin!
So, what happens when you gather 1700 Klarna employees in an abandoned industrial venue, 1 hour outside of city center Berlin? Well, Klarna Expo happens. Klarna’s very own trade show and learning mecca.
The event is for Klarnauts by Klarnauts and everyone needs to chip in to make it a success. Every team gets one stand where they exhibit what they do, their mission and vision, what they have achieved the past year and their planned deliverables they have in pipeline. All teams from the same domain exhibit on the same day and then we switch on the next day. Additionally, we also had external and internal speakers, as well as team demos and presentations for all to enjoy.
The feedback on the event has been overwhelmingly positive, both this year’s and last. It is an intense week with a lot of things going on but I think this quote from last year’s survey summarizes it quite well-
“Klarna Expo is the place to be if you want to get to know Klarna.”
I never stop being amazed about how ambitious, driven and creative Klarna employees are, and that really comes to light during the Expo.
And it has been so much fun to lead this project. And I must say that I think it is a privilege to be part of a company that puts so much time and resources towards ensuring that we can keep on learning. We are all busy people so to get a full week to only focus on this is truly amazing.
So what is it that makes the Expo such a success? Easy, it’s the same thing that makes up Klarna’s success. It’s the people.