Passing the Culture Test in 2020
Culture has become a popular topic of corporate conversation in recent years. It’s often used as a way to attract talent. If you can explain how things get done in your company, you will be more likely to hire people whose individual value system and expectations align.
But culture is so much more than a tool to attract new people and help them settle in. It’s also about empowering your existing employees – allowing them to make sense of the organisation and its people, processes, rules, motivations and ambitions. If you do this successfully, the whole system is likely to work much more efficiently and consistently. And that’s got to be good for business.
In 2020, company culture has been tested like never before. Without the office environment, employees have a less rounded and less social working life. It’s essentially them and the ‘bare bones’ of the task in hand.
While mentally taxing, it’s less of a problem if you love what you do and if you feel like your work has an impact.
As Head of Internal Communications at Temenos, it’s part of my job description to ensure that our people feel a sense of connection and commitment to the company and can see the outcome of their daily grind. Fortunately, the people at Temenos make my job easy in that regard. They seem to live and breathe our culture of Temenosity. They are ambitious, tenacious, responsible, and focused on the end goal – helping to make the world’s banks better through digital technology.
As a banking software company, we’ve certainly felt the pressure to perform this year given the crisis. Banks have been called upon to help society – either by providing digital banking solutions to customers or by helping governments to roll out financial rescue packages. And they have looked to us for innovative solutions that help them do it.
Like everyone, our people had to adapt to the trials and tribulations of working from home. Many also had to add new tasks to an already long list of responsibilities.
Despite the challenges, they provided game-changing solutions to banks around the world. This included helping one bank to build a new digital loan portal in just four days, supporting thousands of small businesses and protecting millions of jobs. They continued to develop and deliver our mission-critical software without interruption. They implemented projects remotely and in fact helped over 300 banks go live on our software, which is on a par with the volume we would deliver in a ‘normal’ year. They volunteered in their local communities and they even donated their salaries to support people impacted by the pandemic.
The dedication of our ‘Temenosians’ has been inspiring. It’s a great illustration of their commitment to our customers, to their colleagues and to Temenos as whole. And it’s a living example of our culture of Temenosity.
2020 has been an acid test of company culture that not all companies will pass. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the ones that fall short have a ‘bad’ culture (I don’t think there’s such a thing as a good or bad culture) but it perhaps suggests a poor fit. To be successful, a company’s culture has to be authentic and fit for purpose – both for the company and for the industry it serves. Our industry demands speed, agility and innovation and this is what our people have delivered in the most difficult of years.
I’m incredibly proud to be part of Temenos and delighted that the efforts of the past year have been recognised as award-winning. We picked up the prestigious award of ‘Culture in a Crisis’ at the recent Business Culture Awards 2020. The judges commented on our ability to use our culture to respond quickly to the crisis, inspire our people, and deliver strong business results. Congratulations to all my colleagues on this great achievement.
Temenosity has united our people with a sense of purpose, dedication and togetherness. We haven’t just survived 2020, we’ve used our culture to embrace it (from a socially-safe distance of course) and kick on towards a bright future.