Kankana Barua

Driving a culture of transformation and values in an organisation | Kankana Barua | CHRO | Healthium Medtech

Kankana BaruaSuccessful organisations are all about their employee culture, as the right culture attracts and retains talent and helps a company thrive in its business. Today, to compete globally and remain relevant locally, it is essential that an organisation’s culture reflects an unique, compelling customer and employee proposition. Culture driven empathetic leadership will remain the benchmark at any workplace in the new normal.

Transforming a firm’s ethos is all about bringing in a culture of collective growth and vision that transcends from an individual to the organisation to which one belongs. Work, workplace, and workforce will continue to evolve at a rapid pace in this new normal, and how organisations adapt to these changes will define their culture in the new world. As a result, the need for a better understanding of cultural influences on leadership and organisational practices has become far more relevant.

For example, in an industry like essential services, the burnout rate continues to be the highest, as employees work round the clock to aid in the timely distribution of medical devices and consumables. This has further mulitplied during the pandemic and lockdown. While most companies allowed WFH throughout this phase, this is an industry where all are expected to be at work and therefore the stress on the workforce has quadrupled. In such a scenario, the priority placed on employee health and physical and mental well-being has never been higher and has become a crucial element to any organisation’s culture, continuity and resilience While the immediate focus of the healthcare industry remains to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the long-term focus for medtech will be redrawing the healthcare landscape, focus on breakthrough technologies for manufacturing and strengthening the infrastructure for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. There is growing evidence today that the manifestation of cultural and empathetic leadership have changed the industry approach. The pandemic has enabled leaders to don new hats and take up dual leadership roles in the company as a part of its cultural transformation. As a result, organisations are at a critical threshold with a vast scope for growth, which can further be accelerated by leveraging new-age technology and integrating it with efficient manufacturing and a highly skilled workforce.

An ideal approach comprises the following aspects which shape a great culture in any organisation:

a) Alignment of business with transformational objectives: Organisations need to adopt the digital way to transform and align their businesses with the culture.Wherever there is an opportunity , automation and digitalisation are the need of the hour. The pandemic has brought about a mindset change towards processs dependency as compared to people dependency. Companies need digitalisation across operations to ensure and foster a conducive value-based system for a seamless transition.

b) Transitioning from values to behaviour: Leading by example and creating messengers who adopt the same , is critical for building a culture of ethics and good behavioural practices in an organisation. Good culture takes time to develop, and the best instrument for creating a culture driven behaviour is leadership by example.

c) Focusing on engagement rather than communication: The pandemic has pivoted employee expectations, hence making it essential for leaders to focus on employee level engagements as compared to usual communication channels. The leaders must visualise engagement from the lens of employees. Organisational culture, agility, innovative work practices, and mental, physical, emotional and financial well-being have become imperative to employee experience.

d) Instilling a shared vision or a feeling of oneness: Successful organisations are all about their employees – they care about them and create a sense of belongingness. Events indeed keep the employee morale high. Activities involving exciting tasks are targeted to cultivate a positive habit virtually that forge into a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment, thus making the bonds stronger.

e) Promoting constant learning to upskill the employees: Unlike many sectors, industry experts say that the healthcare sector is people driven with a culture of face-to-face interactions amongst critical stakeholders. With almost all L&D programmes going virtual, companies need to pay attention to how they are ensuring a continuous learning journey of employees. Industry experts believe firms are revamping learning methods and swiftly adapting to the digital age.

f) Agility to prepare for the future: Constant change is necessary because a business ecosystem is not immune to the theory of evolution. Flexibility and convenience are being introduced in different working cultures to retain the workforce and promote effectiveness in firms. In addition, the entire workforce algorithm necessitates a change as companies look towards a holistic approach to keep safety, stability, mental well-being, and business continuity at the fore.

Companies today are looking at several innovative and engaging methods to break the monotony to enable a healthy and prosperous environment. Whether it’s a virtual family event with employees, tea breaks, stand-up comedy shows, health awareness programmes or virtual fitness or yoga programmes, organisations are doing everything in their power to motivate employees, driving a transformation in culture and employee experience.