What is culture?
A lot of companies talk about their organization’s culture and highlight it as a differentiator with other organizations. But what is culture? Is culture where a bunch of people go online and talk about how awesome it is to work at the company they are employed at? Is culture an imprint where positive change is encouraged and embraced? Is culture a foundation where you can build upon and improve?
My experiences at iSoftStone
When I think of culture, I think of an environment which fosters positive growth, diverse ideas, fun, creativity, and learning. From what I’ve seen since I started working at iSoftStone is the company and Leadership Team (LT) which not only allows employees the freedom to contribute to the culture, but encourages employees to do so. When I started, one of our initiatives in the Resource Management Organization (RMO) was to focus supporting our existing culture and increase employee engagement. We planned and scheduled our in-person marketing events, social events, friendly cooking competitions, game nights, and we were looking forward to our summer barbeques. But once COVID19 hit, we were forced into the world transforming to be remote and digital – a type of digital transformation. We became highly challenged with the thought – “How do we support our culture and keep our employees engaged while we can’t meet and work in an in-person team environment?”
How we’re doing it
- We moved most of our events online. Using various digital tools and platforms, we host events online, play online games, share video for contests, and more.
- We expanded our reach by going online. iSoftStone has many locations around the world. By going online, we increased our participation and more people from remote offices are getting engaged.
- We started more internal communications with quarterly all-hands meetings, a monthly online newsletter, and company-wide recognition programs (one peer-based and another client-based).
- iSoftStone supports a learning culture. Our Technical Leads have conducted training on various topics including Power Apps, Power Automate, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Nuxeo, Fractal, SharePoint, UiPath, and more.
- We have fun! Our Resource Management Organization holds virtual happy hours every few weeks where each winner receives a gift card and game night champion certificate.
- We encourage employees to get involved in the online community – such as hack-a-thons, coding challenges, and writing/contributing articles.
Culture is about supporting our organization’s shared values, getting employees engaged, and having fun in the process. iSoftStone is a leader in Digital Transformation and the current events have pushed us in the direction of transforming from an in-person culture to one that is largely digital. At iSoftStone, we believe creating a culture of positive engagement and utilizing the digital tools we have to keep our employees engaged has been a very effective strategy to maintain and strengthen our culture. Not only do we specialize in digital transformation but we use it to help keep our teams engaged and foster a culture that promotes and encourages engagement and inclusion.
How does your company encourage culture? What are you seeing companies do to encourage engagement and inclusion?