Fostering a rich, inclusive and dynamic company culture by focusing on the complete employee journey and experience is not just good for our people, but the bottom line too.
In the 21 years I’ve been with Westcon International I’ve seen the business mature and grow, like a teenager into an adult. In that time there have been significant changes and some challenges, but we’ve always tried to improve how we work and the employee experience. And one thing I’ve learned is that the company culture is critical to sustainable business success.
Ensuring a good fit
I joined from an acquisition, during a time of heavy investment in acquisitions. From a business perspective, these were key to help us grow, specialise and develop the business, but when different work cultures come together, it’s not always a good fit. These cultural challenges taught me the importance of communication and culture to ensure smooth transformation.
The acquisitions also increased our diversity: people from different geographies, backgrounds and skills helped create the vibrant and inclusive organisation we know today.
They also taught us tolerance and patience – just because we’ve done business in one way, it doesn’t mean it’s the right way. So we’ve adapted, evolved and improved along the way.
Focusing on the employee
At Westcon-Comstor, our focus is very much on the employee journey: from attracting the right people and onboarding to training and talent development. New hires attend an induction course – whether they’re in a junior role or at leadership level – which gives them real insight into the business from the off, and the opportunity to meet colleagues from across the business.
We have a number of new exciting talent development initiatives in the pipeline too, because it’s really important people understand we’ll support and invest in them right from the start.
Once they start, an online self-service portal enables staff to own and manage their own data. This digital enablement also helps managers manage their people better, and it means the HR team can focus on more valuable tasks like talent development.
We’ve also taken on a larger role in helping the business to be digital, as well as do digital. Located around the globe, we are a collaborative business and use the same technology that we distribute to connect and work more effectively as a team.
Of course technology can lead to an ‘always on’ work culture, but we fully recognise the importance of a healthy work/life balance. We take employee wellbeing seriously with an employee programme that focuses on physical and mental health. For example, we put in place a number of initiatives to support Mental Health Awareness week including posters, leaflets and screens in the workplace.
Our employer brand gives the outside world a clear sense of who we are as a company, what our culture is, and what makes us unique and special. Now more than ever, a strong employer brand is crucial for attracting the right talent and for sustainable business success.
People today are looking for organisations that are open, honest and genuine. They want to know who we are as an organisation, what it’s like to work at Westcon-Comstor, and whether it’s a culture that connects with their values.
Westcon-Comstor is a vibrant, inclusive, diverse and creative place to work. You can see that in the passion our people have for the work they do, their relationships with customers, and their dedication to solving problems.
Equality and diversity
As a global company, diversity runs through the business at every level. We fundamentally believe that everyone should be treated equally, and that a diverse and inclusive workplace culture is good for our people, our brand and our business.
We recognise that the technology sector has some gaps with women in more senior roles, so it’s important that we ensure that we’re an attractive place to work and we support and invest in our people along every step of their journey. We believe that gender balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue, and we actively support initiatives such as International Women’s Day as well as encouraging staff to get involved with events such as European Women in Tech.
We continually monitor our workplace profile, our approach to recruitment, and how we develop our talent so we continue to foster our inclusive culture. People should feel ready to take the next step up when they want to, with the right support to reach their potential.
Employee engagement is key to a great company culture. Engaged employees are happier, more productive and more committed to our goals and values. But engagement is based on trust, integrity and two-way communication. Understanding the company strategy is important, but knowing that you can contribute to that strategy is critical too.
At Westcon-Comstor, our people see what we’re doing across the business – through internal comms, newsletters, business updates and leadership interaction – so they feel fully connected. This connection, this ability to feel part of a bigger organisation in their day-to-day life, is really important to show that their work has an impact on more than just their colleagues around them. We may be located around the world, but we all have the same goal.
And happy and productive people equals growth, so it’s good for people and good for business.