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    Employee Spotlight

    Meet Annette Hakonsen

    Annette-Round-HeadshotAnnette Hakonsen

    Audit Manager for the system certification

    Define your role within Nemko.
    I am the Audit Manager for the system certification, and I've been in my role as an audit manager in Nemko for 13 years. I audit for three standards: issue ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001.

    How did you choose this career path?
    I was an educated nurse, and after that, I took three years at the International Business School for leadership. I have a personal management project, management, and change management as a theoretical background. When I started as a nurse, my goal was to try different parts of the healthcare industry to find a platform. So, I started with the emergency department, and after that, I was in surgery for many years, then in the medical gastro department. There were so many things going wrong in this hospital department, so it was not a good system to stay in. The nurses were quitting, and at last, the leader was quitting, so I was starting to think maybe I should try to use my leadership in this department. The leadership in the hospital was a little bit afraid because I didn't have the experience, and I was very, very young at that time, but they gave me a chance. So, I started with this hospital department of 45 employees, which was 24/7. We start with finding out why the nurses were so afraid and why they wanted to quit. So, I focused on making it safer for them to do a good job, so we made many procedures and a quality system. My goal as a leader was to have them at least two years before they wanted to quit, and that was the goal for me, and it was very successful. That was the first step for my focus on quality in the hospital. After that, I started as a leader in a rehabilitation center. We were the first rehabilitation center in Norway in 2001, certified in 9001 for quality system. So, after many years, Nemko was looking for a leader with a lot of healthcare experience, so I went out for the job, and now I've been with Nemko for 13 years, and I enjoy it very much.

    What do you enjoy most about your job at Nemko?
    I love to be with my customers and learn from them. I'm delighted to talk with people, use my experience, put them in the standards, and ask the right question, finding the variations for improvements. I love visiting different companies and learning more when traveling. Norway as a country you have the coast, and you have the mountain, so I am everywhere in Norway.

    Are there any challenges that you’ve faced during your career that have taught you important lessons?
    Yeah, people are different, and everyone doesn't think the same way as me, and they have different ways of thinking and finding solutions, which offered me more learning. So, in my experience, the secret is communicating on a level where everyone feels comfortable and safe. So, when I have an interview with the employees, only then do the employees open up and give me information about the system on daily work you, so that's the secret about everything you do.

    What do you think the industry will look like in 20 years?
    It's difficult to say, but I think it will focus much more on finding a solution for streamlining and technical development. The standard has not changed very much, but I think how we do the audit will change because after Covid happened, we have to sit on teams and make and do the audits there. Nowadays all the companies are very much interested that we are visiting them in person. I think also it will be much more focused on the environment, how to find a strategy, how to give money back to the company, and at the same time, take care of nature. There will be a lot of pollution so how can we make the energy from wind, sun, and waves? I believe that the industry will grow a lot in the future. As well as security and IT, it has had a much stronger focus in recent years. There is still a lot of development that needs to be done considering all the cybersecurity risks and attacks.

    What do you find most rewarding about your role?
    It would have to be to see the result of finding improvement areas in the different companies. Then the feedback is given to me on improvements to make, which leads to thinking of new ways to provide a positive result and ensure that the company has a good solution.

    What are some market trends you’re keeping an eye on?
    They make systems and rules for the industry, like FN 17s sustainability goals. Companies must focus on the energy and how the company is the solution to the sea, air, and ground. So, they must make goals, and they have to have results on that goal. So, my work with healthcare is a lot of things to focus on, such as better transportation for companies sending medical stuff and medicine to the healthcare industry. Norway does a lot of transport with trailers, and it is very much developing to deal with other companies to fill up those trailers. A company also started a new project to use drones to send products to labs for testing. So, it’s a very new world, and I think that will be a very exciting way of transportation.

    When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
    I have three children, a dog, and a husband. I'm in my cabin in Sweden, and it takes me one hour to drive, and I am 20 meters from the sea. Now the temperature is warmer in the sea, so we start paddling with the kayak and paddle board surfing and maybe take short trips to the small island. Eating lunch and talking with the neighbors around, so there are always people around. Of course, I love skiing in the wintertime as well.
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