Organisational Culture and Values are the backbone of every business and keeping a straight spine is more critical than striving for success. To add on the employees are the heart and brain and by keeping the heart pumping and the brain being utilised any organisation can do wonders.
With this belief, as human resources professionals, the duty of building a strong culture is my prime responsibility. It is of paramount importance to deliver to every individual's expectations as a brand. This not only delivers the brand promise but also brings out the best in each individual. The core purpose for me was very clear since the beginning of my journey, the culture and the values!
Culture and values are an integral part of my life, both personally and professionally. Born and raised in New Delhi, an alumina of XLRI, Jamshedpur, I started my journey about 3 decades ago and have been fortunate to work with best of the hospitality brands, namely, Hyatt, InterContinental, Carlson, Oberoi's, currently proud to be associated with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for over 8 years. With my current assignment as an Area Director Human Resources, N&W, South West Asia, I get to travel a lot. Based out of Crowne Plaza Greater Noida, 398 keys, upscale hotel, hospitality is now in my DNA and is totally passionate about hotels and hospitality business, despite the long work hours and assignments of very dynamic nature.
Why are Culture and Values important to any organisation?
A great work culture and value system will not only help in retaining the workforce but will also help in attracting the right talent. A happy employee becomes the brand ambassador of the organisation, because in today's world, everyone is looking for happiness in their jobs.
In a family, every member reaches out for each other. Whether it be helping them training or be it extending support in the hour of need. Trust is built by :
- Being authentic
- Sharing information
- Involve in decision making
- Ensure that we deliver on the promises made to our colleagues
- Have honest conversation
This helps in instilling confidence in each other. IHG focuses on Colleague engagement and every hotel drives this value to the fullest, thus bringing in the camaraderie, trust and fun.
Retention of talent has become the need of the hour. A dis-satisfied colleague will be the first one to look for an opportunity outside your organisation. And this is where culture and values steps in as the guiding principle for all. The happiness of a colleague portrays the belief in his/her organisation. With this continuous endeavour to live up the colleague expectation, we at IHG, are striving towards reducing our attrition rate by 2%.
How to create a strong culture and value system?
The core purpose of IHG is to be # 1 for the colleagues, guest and owners. The core purpose is the "What" which can be achieved by the "How", creates the wining culture. From the General Manager to the colleagues, we all have our winning ways commitment and we all live the winning ways, which are our 5 core values,
- Do the right thing,
- Show we care,
- Aim higher,
- Celebrate difference and
- Work collaboratively.
For this culture to be successful, all colleagues should believe in the same set of values. These common values need to be documented and displayed at all common areas. These values will help in -
- keeping our promises,
- treating colleagues as individuals,
- aiming higher as a team and as an individual,
- welcoming different perspectives, respect difference, and
- developing excellent working relationships amongst all colleagues.
As an organisation it is important to recognise your colleagues for what they bring to work every day. A small recognition could bring a big change for an individual. We have a concept of winning ways Wednesday, where colleagues are thanked and recognised for job well done during the week, week after week, 365 days in year. Having a defined day or event for recognising the colleagues for their hard work will have a great impact on the happiness metre of your organisation.
- Celebrating the difference
It is important for any organisation to have an open arm to all. An organisation should welcome different perspectives and encourage a culture of ideation, being respectful of all cultures and look to learn from them. As an organisation, we need to play a proactive role in the community development and contribute towards it in every way possible.
We at IHG engage differently abled colleagues at both guest facing roles and back end roles and personally I am very attached to each one of them at my hotel and feel gratified by imparting skills to them and thus assisting them in earning a livelihood and bringing happiness to their family.
We have kept a donation box at the employee entrance where colleagues drop in their used clothes, shoes, books, stationery and toys, which we in return donate to NGO's.
For most of us, our passion has been side - lined. But, in order to create the best culture, it is imperative for an organisation to make sure that the colleagues have enough time and space to follow their passions along with work. It helps an individual to unfold and relax, which helps them bring new ideas to work. IHG, believes that if you bring the same passion to work, then work is no longer work.
Creating an environment for learning and growth, comes naturally at IHG, being an international organisation. Now we host virtual career fairs and offer ample opportunities for our colleagues to apply within SWA and overseas.
Bringing in the culture to work place enhances the abilities of all colleagues who strive for a perfect balance. For me, creating a strong culture will always remain a top priority!
"Happy colleagues are and will always remain the real ambassadors of any organisation!"