Sustaining a Scalable Work Culture in a Dynamic Economy
After admiring her mother’s successful Human Resources career, Roisin O’Hagan decided to follow in her footsteps. She joined Unosquare — a software company that provides agile software for financial services, high-tech and healthcare professionals. She joined as an HR manager but was soon promoted internally to Vice President.
During her time there, the company has had remarkable growth and all amid a global pandemic. Not only was Unosquare able to grow in size and profitability, but the organization was also able to scale its brag-worthy work culture.
This was no accident. The company values are front and center and its open-door policy helps make the culture accessible to everyone. Organizational transparency is key and employee communication is second to none. Unosquare’s positive work culture can serve as an example for all types of companies, large or small.
Growing and Scaling in a Dynamic Work Era
A dynamic work model leans on the idea that employees can work whenever and wherever they want, as long as their work gets done. This model emerged in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic: employers all over the world were suddenly required to allow their team members to work remotely. Enter: the dynamic work era.
Post-pandemic, many organizations have decided to stick to remote work models and some have implemented a hybrid in which employees come into the office a few days a week. In the face of this, companies have had to adjust both their expectations as well as their work culture.
The best have been able to grow and scale in the midst of these uncertain times. These companies are living proof that workplace culture can evolve if approached in the right way.
A Post-Pandemic Work Environment Brings New Challenges — and Opportunities
It’s easy to focus on the challenges brought about by the pandemic and while the global crisis did negatively impact many people, it also presented opportunities for growth.
One of the biggest challenges this new way of living and working presented was: how to maintain company culture. In-person meetings and events were off the table and organizational culture was suddenly in jeopardy. Most interactions were forced to move online, but the most successful leaders in management and beyond were the ones who remained passionate about building a strong work culture.
The ability to adapt in the face of great change is one of the most important aspects of creating a positive workplace culture. It also involves an openness to experimentation and new ideas. Unosquare experimented with holding remote events through Teams and Slack. They also encouraged their team members to get outside when they could. One of the ways they did this was by holding a 1K run that the entire organization was welcome to participate in. Those who did, shared photos of themselves post-run. It was a great way to increase employee engagement.
This unique way of coming together showed that the company was concerned with its people’s well-being. You are nothing without your people and you need to show your support even during the most uncertain times.
People Above All Else: Keeping Employees First
When you’re able to create a people-centric corporate culture, everyone wins. Not only will your team members feel supported, but you can also increase job satisfaction.
Studies show that employees who work in a positive culture are more productive. In other words, if you want the best work, and the best results from your team members, it’s essential that you create a strong and sustainable work culture that puts your people above all else. A culture that encourages work-life balance and flexibility, and has a concrete mission and core company values.
The leadership team has a particular role to play in terms of building strategy with a focus on employees. One way is to implement an open-door policy. This will let your team members know that employee communication and transparency are core values for the company.
The CEO of Unosquare holds an “Ask Me Anything” session twice a year. Anyone in the company, no matter their position or job, can ask him a question, professional or personal. These types of practices, along with all-hands meetings (virtual or in-person), will show your people that you’re there to listen.
This is perhaps even more important for organizations that are scattered across the world. When you work with people who are based in different time zones and speak different languages, you need to ensure that the company’s culture can be felt across borders. Your core values need to be clear, concise and easy to understand, otherwise, you risk creating a negative work culture. It goes without saying that upper management needs to be involved and committed to these values.
Learn, Optimize and Scale Your Company Culture
If you want to scale an organization with a commitment to long-term stability, the key is in optimizing your company culture. This all goes back to putting your people first. Let them know that your organization is a stablework place and that you can provide long-term employment as well as opportunities for growth. You can do so through the open-door policies outlined above, as well as consistently coming together as a team.
Get rid of invisible barriers between departments and have those all-hands meetings. Every time you do meet, talk about your company’s core values, mission and goals. Extend this policy to hiring too — talk about your values and mission with potential hires so that they are familiar with them before they get started.
As your organization grows and scales, review your values and mission to make sure that they align with the direction you’re headed. The most successful companies are those that are willing to adapt — both with the world at large but also with changing priorities. That said, keep in mind that basic values like openness, transparency and honesty should be constant. Making sure your team members are in the loop at all times will show them just how important this principle is to you.
As an employee, always keep in mind the importance of learning and becoming one with your company’s culture. If you aren’t happy with something, don’t be afraid to speak up and take advantage of an open-door policy. HR managers? Remember that your people will become your culture. If you have a group of A players, they will only be as strong as your company’s core values and mission, which is why it’s essential to create a healthy, open and sustainable environment. With these key points in mind, you’re bound to succeed.
Looking to build your own BragWorthy Culture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the number one lifestyle benefits platform. Give your people the power of choice and save a ton of administrative headaches by consolidating existing vendors and programs into a simple, automated platform. Contact us at Fringe.us.