* In this chapter, Connnect&GO employees are named GOers (a genderless term that includes all members of our team).
During the strategic retreat last summer, it was identified that one of the 3 global priorities of the company in the next year would be humans (Culture and Talents). I am thus, as the first HR employee in the history of Connect & GO, the result of this strategic decision. Christmas 2019 was my first team moment with OUR (brand new) CULTURE CODE.
The company was founded in 2012, which means 8 years had passed before someone in this position joined the team. During this time, the company has experienced rapid growth, has gradually positioned itself as a world leader in RFID technology and has hired several of the GOers (some of whom are still here today!).
So how would I, with the humility of a newcomer, begin to refine the work of this culture that has already existed organically for a long time, a culture that has developed naturally for so many years. When senior management asked me what would be my first Culture moves, I answered quite simply and frankly: ‘I don’t know, the Goers will tell us’. I wanted to contribute to the positive impact by the development of OUR CULTURE CODE, at the same time I knew that in order to do it optimally, I had to start from the culture of those who preceded in history. In order to improve, clarify or perhaps re-define our desired culture, we had to firstly understand its origins. This would be the starting point of the launch towards our desired culture of the future.
So one by one I met each GOer during my first months of the adventure. Sitting together on the watermelon water tubes ???? (which was a ‘clin d’oeil’ to one of the water park industries in which we operate) we went over a series of questions so that I could build my knowledge on the reality of the company today, the culture that GOers currently live in every day at C&GO. To wrap up our meeting, they were then asked to either draw or describe in words the Culture they wanted us to build together. Through this process, I collected their top satisfactions, frustrations and recommendations. As I was preparing myself to collect feedback, I wanted to ensure I would have the right mentality where I would be ready to welcome all perspectives (including the least positive ones;) !!) and to be vulnerable enough to accept them.
Do you remember the company’s first GOers that I mentioned earlier????????? It is them (without even knowing it) that gave me the push I needed to jump into this new opportunity, despite the number of frustrations that had accumulated over the years and were easily noticeable during my meetings. Indeed, a beginning of transformation was necessary. At the same time, if these GOers had stayed all those years and were still having fun together, (yes despite the pitfalls), what was it that was extremely positive about Connect&GO that made them stay? This curiosity for discovery, all the precious ideas for recommendations made by the GOers as well as the vulnerability put forward by the CEO who wanted to invest in Talents because he recognized the need convinced me that I really wanted to take part in this engaging challenge of transformation!!
Once finished with this series of meetings and my uncertainties of the moment, the writing of the future of OUR CULTURE CODE began with the Report of Culture Discussions.
The Report became the guide for our Culture Priorities 2020, and thus the structure of the Culture of the future that we wanted to plan together. We were thus able to return to senior management as a team proposing the next actions to be implemented. The autonomy received within the organization to build the future from the GOers’ perspective was so sincere! Another tangible proof in action that one of the priorities was indeed to be the human connectors. Each new Culture & Engagement initiative would be developed and now stamped according to the priorities issued by the GOers themselves.
From that moment on, Culture was no longer something that had developed naturally over the years, but a clear strategic priority planned and based on the perspective of GOers. As a leadership team at C&GO, we did not have the intention to tell them how to behave, or what to do or how, but our goal was starting to be much more to create an optimal environment where GOers would like to evolve every day. Each new CULTURE initiative in this sense would from now on be based on our true colors (with a touch of tangerine inspiration????) and would therefore officially be stamped! Why? Because as humans we heavily rely on our sense of sight (like the good old saying goes ‘I will believe it when I see it’). So, we wanted to make culture was a visible aspect of C&GO so as to not lose sight of it during takeoff!
I’ll get back to you next month with the first initiatives that we have implemented in OUR CULTURE CODE.
Talk to you soon!
Sophie Gadoury – Head, Culture & Engagement, and the entire Connect&GO team