Interac thrives thanks to the innovative thinkers advancing fintech from inside our walls. They earn industry-wide accolades for their leadership in fintech both nationally and abroad. They drive us to develop new solutions for the millions of Canadians who depend on us every day, and they’re the reason why Interac is the most trusted financial services brand in Canada.
As the Chief Human Resources Officer, I’m very proud of the fact that our employees are essential to everything we do. They consistently and passionately demonstrate that engagement breeds creativity and innovation. As Interac grows and transforms, however, the culture shifts, processes change and new employees join. This growth makes it increasingly difficult to maintain an employee experience that is motivating and inspiring. In this changing environment, it’s easy to lose track of team members’ unique needs.
Thankfully, there are ways to keep people inspired as your business achieves its true potential. With these tips, your company can enhance its culture and values while overcoming the growing pains that come with expansion.
Communication is key in a shifting culture
Interac is constantly innovating, so when we reorganized into Interac Corp., we needed to combine our established association culture with our highly entrepreneurial corporate culture. That meant shifting the way we work. We made it our mission to consistently and genuinely seek employee feedback and perspectives. This way, employees feel they have an opportunity to shape the future. We learned what they valued and communicated based on those principles.
If your company is growing, create channels that encourage and enable employees to voice their opinions. This can be as simple as a monthly pulse survey where leaders can gauge employee satisfaction on an ongoing basis, or as grand as a multi-year cultural assessment and leader development roadmap. Listening, responding to, and acting on feedback is key to transparent and honest two-way dialogue. Through communication, feedback, transparency and partnership, an organization can establish confidence in its staff. Until employees, leaders and teams fully trust one another, it is not possible to transition during growth to a stronger and more aligned culture.
Demonstrate your company’s values
Whether you’re leading as start-up, a high growth company, or a stable established business, your organization’s culture rests in the hands of its leaders. You’ll have ups and downs, but employees will always look at how leaders respond to challenges, especially on bad days. Not only do you need to build a strong culture, but you also need to constantly model the values of your company. Be transparent in your answers, even if you don’t have them yet. Communicate regularly and highlight the work being done to help the organization prosper. If you do it right, your employees are more likely to remain engaged and productive during times of change.
Leverage the strength of long-term employees and new hires
To build dynamic, collaborative and cross-functional teams, it’s imperative to create and maintain a diverse workforce. Diversity of thought, education, experience, gender, age, and more can help organizations gain an advantage over its competitors.
When hiring new talent, highlight the importance of diverse voices, experiences and abilities. Be sure to encourage new employees to speak up at meetings and share feedback channels with them as part of their onboarding process. Make sure all voices are heard, have respect for everyone’s viewpoint, and give new employees time to get familiar with the organization. Do this well and you’ll foster an environment of collaboration, respect and commitment as you scale.
Develop necessary programs to accelerate change
Mindset shifts are daunting because they challenge values, operating processes and conventional roles. Their ambiguity breeds fear of the unknown, distracting employees from the work at hand. While these transitions are often essential to generating new ideas, they can also lead to resistance and reticence. That’s why it’s imperative to swiftly implement the tools your organization and its employees need to accelerate change.
At Interac, we implemented a host of tools to help our organization grow. We introduced change management practices, monthly pulse surveys, iterative performance management, and cultural sessions with executives, leaders, and employees that offered actionable outcomes. We also clearly defined roles through a job architecture, paths to progressive responsibilities, recognition systems and pay-for-performance. With these processes in place, we developed a new norm that shaped and strengthened our culture. Mindset shifts can be the most difficult workplace challenges, but with the right programs in place, you can overcome them to achieve a new level of productivity.
Purpose and value are foundational
People come to work to make a difference, one person, team, product or service at a time. That’s why employees are intrinsically motivated and engaged when they feel they’ve made a valuable contribution to the organization and people around them. There’s no greater reward than a job well done, and your staff members will feel appreciated when they’re recognized for the work they do.
Especially during times of growth, it’s important to highlight your team’s collective purpose and recognize what each individual brings to the collective whole. At Interac, our employees are proud of the fact that Canadians rely on our technology every day. They know their work makes a difference to all Canadians by giving them greater choice in accessing and transferring their money. Through volunteer opportunities and working relationships with their fellow employees, our staff finds purpose in supporting both the community and those around them.
Create opportunities for your employees to build stronger connections to their work and their colleagues. Celebrate milestones, showcase achievements and establish volunteer opportunities, mentorship programs or team-building activities. When employees understand the value of their work, both to your company and the world at large, their experience will be far more positive.