Building the right culture in a business is not an easy task, nor is engaging time-poor employees with key issues like diversity, equity and inclusion. However, with the right leadership, a clear purpose, strong values and behaviours, it can be done.
Jenny Moraes, VP, HR at Convatec sat down with Luke James, co-host of The Interview, to speak about how she engages employees and the importance of diverse perspectives in the workplace.
Having worked in India and Australia, I understand the importance of diversity in the workforce. It’s easy when you're in the UK or the US not to give as much importance to simple things like language or cultural differences but bringing insight into the leadership team was important in my work. That goes for cultural differences, too, it varies across the world. When you understand that, it makes the work you do a lot more meaningful for employees and colleagues. For me, that insight has helped me throughout my career.
There is nothing better than going to other countries and work environments that people are in and actually spending time with them and seeing what they do. When you do meet colleagues in their work environment, you find out why people are passionate about what they do and tapping into that to motivate and inspire them becomes more relatable. If you give colleagues excitement and passion, then it drives the rest of the team to do the same thing in the work that they do. It’s a lot of time investment, but it’s worthwhile, and although meeting over video call has become the norm now, nothing beats meeting colleagues face to face. We hope to do more and more of this going into the future, igniting that spark in our teams and improving the business.
We have a range of initiatives across the company led by our talented teams. Ensuring our leaders are visible is central to our approach, with supporting programmes stacked up to ensure they can be successful. It’s about living our values and equipping leaders with the right tools to engage their teams. We want to make sure they know what a great leader looks like and that they are aware of all the various opportunities to motivate and grow their teams; whether that’s through our reward programmes, talent, learning and development framework and so on. We launched last year our global career pathways programme to help colleagues grow their careers and give them a framework to do that. We see this as key to building high-performance teams.
We also have a strong ESG focus which is an agenda many employees are passionate about, and a range of employee resource groups for different communities which have an engaging programme of events and ways to get involved. We’re trying to really leverage diversity as a strength so that we can make our teams more successful. I think when you bring all of those things together, these all contribute to a winning culture.
There’s no silver bullet. I think we do really well is ensuring our leaders understand our initiatives and sponsor them from the top. If we take our efforts with what DE&I as an example, we’ve ensured our top 100 leaders are tooled up to lead and engage their teams, and set a tone on why this is important it is to us as a business. It’s not just about ticking a box — we really do care about it. We’ve also engaged colleagues in this as well as they’re passionate about working for a company that cares and doesn’t just play lip service to things that matter.
It's understanding your audience and knowing what would motivate them. I really like how we do this at Convatec. We ensure that our leaders are visible, our CEO speaks about our goals to all employees, we always come back to our vision and share our performance very openly, which helps. Being transparent and having open and honest communication with our colleagues helps drive this deeper into the DNA of the organisation as well. At Convatec, we have a 'forever caring’ promise to all those we serve – patients, healthcare professionals, colleagues and communities, and even though not everyone has direct contact with customers day to day, it’s a powerful mobilising force to bring our vision to life: Pioneering, trusted medical solutions to improve the lives we touch. Above all else, it’s a clear vision, promise and values which motivate our colleagues to bring their best selves to work, excel in their roles and thrive personally and professionally.
Having consistency in behaviour and ensuring everything you do aligns with the values of the organisation. It’s also about holding people accountable for what they do — if they have a specific role, then they have responsibilities within that to uphold.
Oftentimes the things we view as weaknesses in ourselves are barriers we give ourselves in our heads. Put yourself out there because what’s the worst thing that could happen? Whatever the outcome, you can learn something from it.