Company culture is often seen as an intangible concept. And even if you can find a good dictionary definition, what does a great company culture really look like?
More specifically, what does it look like after the events of 2020, when the daily work experience has changed dramatically and the traditional ‘full-time-in-the-office’ seems to have become a thing of the past?
Many organizations are asking themselves how to maintain their company cultures in 2021 – cultures that have relied heavily on people being able to meet together in person, work side by side in offices and enjoy the more social side of work too.
While we know this in-person setting will one day return in some form, perhaps the answer in the meantime is not simply to try to ‘maintain’ the culture you have. What if the Covid-19 pandemic and our current work situations are an opportunity to rethink, reframe, and redesign our company cultures from the ground up? Maybe just trying to maintain what we had before is not enough – could this be the moment to reinvent your company culture?
The Talentsoft ‘Culture Project’
As a scale up that’s grown quickly over the last few years, the leadership team at Talentsoft decided the time was right to make company culture a priority. With the pace of growth, the challenge was to retain the DNA that makes Talentsoft special, while positioning ourselves for continued success as a scale-up with teams spread around the world. It was about our need to retain agility in all that we do, while thinking more long-term.
Discover the story of our culture project in our video
In early 2020, a group of culture ambassadors was formed to set the culture project in motion. And despite the arrival of Covid-19 lock downs around Europe shortly thereafter, the decision was made to move forward with this large-scale project.
In May 2020 came the next big milestone when we launched a company-wide online consultation, using the Toguna mobile app. Through this global, diverse, and bottom-up approach to reframing our culture, our 700 employees around the world shared their thoughts and voted for their favorite ideas around how to co-create an even stronger Talentsoft culture for the future.
What were the findings? And what are the priorities?
Taking the time to gather the thoughts and ideas of our people was truly invaluable. By listening and analyzing their feedback, we have uncovered four focus areas for the future:
- Foster team (and cross-team) interaction: From encouraging focused time without meetings, to scheduling ‘mystery coffees’ and reinventing our onsite workspaces, our people told us that our culture should be one where interactions are purposeful and meaningful.
- Improve the way we communicate: Given our growing international team, we’re investing in our people’s language skills.
- Leverage collaborative tools internally: We’re getting smarter about how we collaborate, by optimizing for remote work and putting in place actions to better understand each person’s unique way of interacting.
- Value our people and give recognition: We’re putting a particular focus on promoting collaborative initiatives internally and launching a mobility program to foster the international nature of our company.
Hear from our Culture Ambassadors themselves!
It was important to me to join this group of Culture Leaders to experiment real inter-cultural cooperation.
– Peter Heeringa, Project Director, the Netherlands
Our community approach has engaged Talentsoftees to take part in shaping and owning the changes delivered.
– Nina Krig, Project Manager, Sweden
What motivates me the most is the positive feedback from the whole organization about our dedication and the change we’ve been able to initiate.
– Inga Schwarz, Sales Manager, Germany
I’m one of the Talentsoftees that move from HQ to one of the regional offices. And I really jumped at the opportunity to not only express my expectations about the culture, but also to contribute to it.
– Laurine Flavigny, Web Manager, France