Meet 5 rockstars of company culture and... become one!

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By Thushara
4 minute read ● August 30, 2017
rockstars of company culture

The view is very different when you’re standing on the shoulders of giants. Don’t just find out what makes these giants tick, learn also how your company can become a cultural rockstar - quickly.

Creatures of our times, we worship at the altar of data. But does a focus on data always serve one? Take the case of HR. Along with having an eye on the numbers, there is also a need to keep the human in human resources. That is to say, when it comes to employee engagement, we sometimes forget we are to engage human beings and not numbers on a screen.

A key lever that organizations use to achieve employee engagement and meet organizational goals is organizational culture. Done right, it has the power to transform the organization by bestowing that very elusive quality on employees - happiness.

This lever is often underestimated in its power to transform, though, as it is seen as an activity that can be pulled off only in the long run. We beg to differ. Shifts in culture can be brought about through systemic changes (refer to the section on Adobe below). And we believe the introduction of an HRMS is a great starting point for introducing positive systemic changes. Why, you ask? An HRMS can leave an employee happier (and more productive). Here’s how.

  • All HR transactions, including leaves, can be managed from a central platform using an HRMS.
  • An HRMS empowers employees by making their leave, attendance and payroll information available to them. The need for approaching HR for this is eliminated.
  • Ready access to this information through any device, including a mobile app, increases convenience and makes information readily available anywhere, anytime.
  • New communication channels get opened up through features such as an internal social network.

Below, we look at 5 big names in organizational culture, some of their key cultural attributes, and how an HRMS can help your organization achieve the same.

Netflix in Focus: Freedom and Responsibility


With its highly publicized culture deck, Netflix has its focus on living its values. How do they go about doing this? CEO Reed Hastings enforces these values through action - hiring, firing and more are based on these. Hastings goes as far as doing away with its expense, travel and gifting policy (and the personnel to enforce compliance with these policies), replacing them all with a single line: “Act in Netflix’s best interest.” And they’ve turned a popular myth around in the process: since going public in 2002, a point from where employee freedom usually starts diminishing, Netflix has increased its employee freedom and talent density considerably.

Zappos: Bring Your Whole Self to Work


Finding ways to weave in our personal interests and strengths that arise from them into our work lives could result in rich dividends for the company and employee alike. This would also encourage projects that cut across teams; in other words, interdisciplinary projects - the way the world is going to solve problems as important as climate change. The traditional mindset of leaving one’s emotions at the door also comes into question here.

Google: Empower to Outperform


Different people communicate differently. It is important for all kinds of communication channels to be open to employees and managers so as to tap into the potential lying dormant within your organization. With direct emails to senior management, cafes designed to encourage communication across teams, and a host of other means to communicate and get things done, Google aces the culture act!

SAP Labs: Call a spade a spade

The popularity of your opinions takes a back seat at SAP. They prefer honesty instead. Opinions, suggestions and feedback go a long way in accelerating learning and result delivery. Add to this a focus on other complementary values/behaviors SAP stands for, such as keeping promises, building bridges and staying curious and it makes for quite an explosive mix!

Adobe: Pay People to Fail


Randall began a culture of experimentation at Adobe when he invented and made available an open-source innovation toolkit called Kickbox to employees. Here’s what’s interesting, though: only 10% of Adobe’s employees were educated/have used the tool. Randall believes that 10% is a sort of tipping point at which word gets around to employees that the company’s seeking to innovate. This effect created a powerful shift in organizational culture at Adobe. Kickbox did away with the culture of seeking approvals for experimentation. As a result, products are rolled out much faster. Takeaway: systemic changes can be powerful levers to effect a change in culture.

Now, become a rockstar!

Want to accelerate cultural change at your organization? An HRMS gives you the edge. With features such as an employee self-service (ESS) portal, it allows employees to access their payroll and leave information anywhere, anytime through a mobile app. By offering transparency with regard to pay packages and leave transactions, an ESS portal offers employees the freedom to plan their finances and leaves better.

Modern HR management systems also come packed with features such as internal social networking platforms. These are powerful levers in establishing and sustaining the culture of your choice at your organization. They encourage communication and information sharing, offering employees a space to voice their thoughts on diverse affairs. Add to this the lure and familiarity of social networks in today’s context, and the adoption of the technology also becomes easy to achieve.

And with that, we wrap up the post. We hope you’ve enjoyed the read.

In the final analysis, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: why not put some of these cultural practices into action and judge them by the results they bring?

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