We asked EB Specialists and HRs: who DRIVES the company culture?

Here are some questions that made us dive deep into the topic of Employer branding:

  • Who drives the company culture?
  • How do we define what is authentic about us and our culture? 
  • How do transformations affect our culture and our employer brand? 

An extensive part of HR Week 2021 was devoted to the challenges of Employer branding and topic of culture. See below what we found out during the five-day event.

A topic that engaged lots of HRs in conversation was the culture and its impact on employer branding. Katarina Šonjić, Employer Brand Consultant at Kat on Coffee, asked interesting questions on this topic, and we  c a r e f u l l y  listened.

How does culture set employer branding?

Want to sneak-peak into those answers? Keep reading!

Who drives the company culture?

Monika Ivanović, Head of Employer Branding at Infobip, gave an answer, having in mind the bigger picture of how things function in the HR sector. Monika said:

“It’s about people, it’s about how we behave, our norms. It’s hard to pinpoint the one thing driving the culture because there are lots of things impacting it. Leadership definitely sets the tone, but at the same time, it’s about all of us. So, all of us at the same time live the culture of our respective companies and shape the cultures. It’s very crucial to understand what drives us as people, and that is ultimately what is going to shape the culture.”

She mentioned that working from home or working in a hybrid mode affected the way we work and live, but also our companies’ cultures. In order to understand what drives our companies’ culture, Monika pointed out that: “The best thing we can do is try to be as aware as we can. Be aware to see how these differences and variations can basically impact our everyday lives—and then in turn—how that impacts work today. There is no one approach that we can take. It’s both kinds of combining business and personal preferences, but also understanding our roles.”

How does the company culture differ from having offices in different locations?

Larisa Grizilo, Senior Director of People, Culture & Communication at A1 Slovenia & A1 Serbia, gave us wise advice as an answer to this intriguing question. Our culture needs to align and adapt to the ever-changing environments – daily. Culture is a source of stories. The stories that we are sharing within the organization and the external world, from one location to another. When stories are based on the same base ground, have the same values, behaviors, and the same ways of doing things, then it’s easy to simplify the line kind of culture in different locations”.

How do we define what is authentic about us and our culture?

“Transparency is a prerequisite if you want to build an engaging and authentic culture because we all have our successes, but we also have our failures, and combining both of them is what makes us authentic. With so many organizations, being unique and targeting niche markets will help us to stay authentic”, said Elena Sardjoska, Global Communications Business Partner at Endava.

Elena gave us important keynotes on how we can ensure that our culture will stay authentic.

  1. Own the company values
  2. Communicate early and consistently with everyone
  3. Inspire your people to be the best version of themselves
  4. Empower your people, but also take care of them
  5. Tone your failures and your mistakes
  6. Give acknowledgment and rewards
  7. Make the right decisions (which might not always be the popular ones)
  8. Stay true to yourself
  9. Be honest and open-minded, so you can adapt to fast-changing environments.

How do transformations affect our culture and our employer brand, especially if we are having some transitions or if we are changing our brand itself?

When it comes to transformations, they can change the essence of the company, said Slađana Đurović, HR Director at Telekom Montenegro. For example, Slađana’s team changed the company structure and the dominant generation in the company structure. Then, they needed to change the EVP, or what they were offering to employees.

Slađana underlined: “While the company’s culture is shaping the employer brand, an employer value proposition (EVP) is something that can differentiate us from our competition. EVP is not only the set of benefits that we are offering in a change for some skills, capabilities, and experience of the employee. It’s a set of venue characteristics, and daily experiences, that our people are feeling. It’s for certain that EVP transformations and dominant generations in the company are very connected. The dominant generation in the company sets the company’s culture together with the leadership and everything else.

What might be the challenges for 2023 when it comes to culture and EB? Want to hear more?

HR WEEK IS BACK this year in order to shift your mindset on major HR topics! If you want to hear unique perspectives on culture and employer branding, secure your seat and prepare to join 5000+ HR professionals all over the world!

Total Shift of the HR industry, from 21st to 25th of November 2022 at HR Week!

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