Article: Creating a purpose driven culture in a hybrid world

Culture

Creating a purpose driven culture in a hybrid world

In the EngageTECH session hosted as part of People Matters TechHR India 2021 conference moderated by Bidisha Banerjee, and joined in by panelists Saurabh Govil, Samik Basu and Ruzbeh Irani, one learns about the best practices followed by organizations in collaboration with HR for sustaining culture in a hybrid environment.
Creating a purpose driven culture in a hybrid world

It is extremely crucial that we understand how one can align performance, behaviors, and larger purpose to drive culture shift and a differentiated sense of belonging & connection for the hybrid workforce. In the EngageTECH session hosted as part of People Matters TechHR India 2021 conference moderated by Bidisha Banerjee, Global Group Vice President- Learning, Culture and Employer Branding, Welspun Group and joined in by panelists Saurabh Govil, President & CHRO, Wipro; Samik Basu, CHRO, Hindalco Industries and Ruzbeh Irani, President,Group Human Resources & Communications; Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra Group, one learns about the best practices followed by organizations in collaboration with HR for sustaining culture in a hybrid environment. 

Banerjee kickstarts the session with the line ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ which translates to no matter how strong an organisation plan is, its efficacy will be held back if team members don't share the organization's culture. Culture is critically important to a company's success. When cultures are more effective, organizations seek payoff in revenue growth in retention, stock price and net income. But culture has taken a hit since the pandemic and business leaders have increased their focus on culture.  

“Leaders will need to create, foster, nurture a culture where people are working in multiple places, the complex and sensitive responsibility to create constructive cultures will be made even more complicated by people working from everywhere,” shares Banerjee. 

A strong culture stands up to every challenge:  

Irani believes that if a company has a strong culture, the ability to sustain it and maintain it is much less challenging. It should be one that the employees identify with wholeheartedly. A strong culture must be authentic and this authenticity has two aspects: it should start with the DNA of the organisation and it has to be lived in every respect, on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, leaders at every level must live the culture. When behaviours that define the company culture are embedded in its workers, it doesn’t disappear overnight even when one moves into a remote working scenario. Only the way one lives that culture changes.  

Moreover, a culture's core values must be clearly outlined because when this happens, not only is it easier to drive employee engagement and evaluate employee performance, it also aids in the kind of partnerships an organisation will invest in. 

Culture happens when people come together: 

One cannot undermine the importance of people seeing culture, of taking part in it in person. Saurabh emphasises on this in his take on culture but in the light of the pandemic when this is not an option, organisations have to step up for their people, they have to support them and strengthen that business connect and ultimately ensure that there will be opportunities for people to come together, to collaborate, to connect to that culture and participate in it and make it their own.  

In times of crisis, culture has to come through: 

Samik outlines a set of challenges that one faces when sustaining culture, one of them being new hires who have to be integrated into company culture and the second one being how a company’s culture responds and reacts in times of crisis especially in the hybrid workspace. Culture has to be visible and what the company does makes a huge difference especially in terms of the impact it has on the employees and how it brings them people together despite the limitations that come about.  

In conclusion, to sustain culture in the hybrid workspace, one has to establish a strong foundation, it must be authentic, people have to see it and feel it and experience it. Collaboration, a strong leadership and rituals to continually re-emphasize company culture are important drivers as well.  

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Topics: Culture, Strategic HR

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