SoftwareONE: Inspiring Its Employees Through Culture & Values

November 22, 2018
Courtney Reynolds

Author

Courtney Reynolds

Learning and Development Business Partner & Trainer

SoftwareONE’s Learning and Development team is continually busy preparing new strategies and offerings for all of our employees.  Over the past year, in partnership with our entire North American team, we facilitated over 30 team and leadership development workshops, creating approximately 500 critical touchpoints with our people. This equates to hundreds of hours that we’ve spent humbly witnessing the laughter, tears, debate, dialogue, frustration, joy, problem solving, lightbulb moments, and everything else involved in what we hope is transformative learning for our people.

Inspire Through Culture and Living the Values

One of the highlights of these learning initiatives was graduating 100+ team members from our Inspire Through Culture and Living the Values workshop. In 2017 ‘Inspiring Through Culture and Living the Values’ was announced as one of SoftwareONE’s Five Core Competencies for all of our people in North America, thus we knew we needed to create an opportunity for people to immerse themselves in the subject.

Developing this workshop presented a unique challenge – we needed to find a way for people to talk and learn about our culture and values that would feel meaningful and authentic. It can be easy to water down a subject like company culture. However, at SoftwareONE our culture and values are too important to us to blow metaphorical glitter at people about them. We wanted to give our team a chance to wrestle with the struggles we face, to feel inspired by the best parts of being a member of this team, and to understand what it means to be a guardian and a catalyst of culture and values.

Dare to Lead

To build the curriculum for the workshop we pulled from a few bodies of research, one being Dr. Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability. Often when people hear that we focus on a subject like vulnerability in a culture workshop they ask “why would you do that? That’s too heavy.”

Perhaps Dr. Brown offers the best response in her book ‘Dare to Lead’ where she writes :

“Show me a culture in which vulnerability is framed as weakness and I’ll show you a culture struggling to come up with fresh ideas and new perspectives . . . Adaptability to change, hard conversations, feedback, problem solving, ethical decision making, recognition, resilience, and all of the other skills that underpin daring leadership are born of vulnerability.”

In the Inspire Through Culture workshop we focus on building people’s vulnerability muscles because we have learned that people who embody vulnerability also tend to be the most bold, resilient, and inspirational people in their organizations.

Adaptability to change, hard conversations, feedback, problem solving, ethical decision making, recognition, resilience, and all of the other skills that underpin daring leadership are born of vulnerability – Dr. Brene Brown

At Home and At Work

It is always affirming when we hear our Inspire Through Culture graduates saying things like “everyone at SoftwareONE should have to take this workshop” (which we hear often). But the greatest compliment we receive is when graduates loop back to tell us they’re applying what they learned in a workshop not only at work but also at home with their families.

This is exactly the type of experience SoftwareONE wants for its people and why our company makes a significant investment in people’s learning: There is a real desire from our Board of Directors and beyond to give each of our team members the opportunity to learn and grow as a whole person, both in their careers and in their lives outside of work. It is part of what makes our company and culture so special.

“(I most enjoyed) seeing different people from different roles come together and learn about the company – not just the company history (thought that was helpful as well,) but really understanding that the company believes in the core values and wants every employee to strive to embody them in a real and meaningful way everyday” – Feedback from a September 2018 Inspire Through Culture Graduate

UK Wellness Week

Of course, being a global organization with a footprint in 80+ countries the culture and values initiatives are omnipresent at SoftwareONE from various culture days to the Human Resources teams in different geographies.

The UK team, for example, dedicated a week to ‘wellness’ for its UK-based employees. Each day focused on a different component of wellness to include physical exercise, mindfulness, nutrition and financial planning activities. The benefits of this program brought employees together, improved morale and enhanced productivity amongst team members.

In addition, the UK HR team also created a set of four development courses, based on feedback from the business, to increase soft skills and continue professional development, while also providing monthly people management training to support line managers in promoting the SoftwareONE culture.

Emily Lamb, HR director for the UK, believes strongly that, “Our people are our DNA and we are passionate about creating an environment where they can succeed, develop and have fun! We’ve focused strongly this year in providing tailored development opportunities and promoting well-being in the workplace. We have received fantastic support from the business and it’s been great to see so many people taking part in everything we have to offer.”

If you’re looking to join SoftwareONE, you can be sure that you’ll be joining a company which values wellness, both mentally, physically and emotionally.  Visit our Careers page today.

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