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Developing a company culture

By: Lisa Cheong, Singapore
Published: May 26, 2009

Singapore - For construction tools and applications producer Hilti Far East, a strong company culture has enabled the company become one of Hewitt's top employer of choice.

According to Heng Teng Teng, HR manager at Hilti Far East, in order to drive company culture, the company rolled-out a culture-training programme titled Our Culture Journey (OCJ) three years ago.

In this OCJ programme, "team camps" are organised so that various teams can gather and be trained in the company's values. The first team camp held three years ago was focused on orientating employees to the company's three key principles of performing worthwhile work that is aligned to a higher purpose, taking responsibility in achieving goals as well as encouraging others and celebrating small successes.

In the second team camp, held a year later, the discussion focused on exploring ways and various actions that can help employees demonstrate the company's values. For instance, Heng says, because the company values celebrating small successes, one such outcome from the team camp was the development of several reward and recognition initiatives.

One such initiative is the Hearts Award, where an employee can send a colleague a Heart Card to recognise the person's good work. The recipient can then exchange the Heart Card for a grocery voucher as well. 

The difference between the OCJ programme and other culture-training programmes is the folllow-up conducted after the team camps, says Heng. "It's not just typical team-building where you have two days of fun, and that's it," Heng says. She says the company reinforces the culture during subsequent team meetings, where the value-driven actions are flashed and discussed before going thr

According to Heng, the first team to undergo the team camp would always be the senior management leaders and members on the executive body. After which, the senior leaders would help refine and fine-tune the programme further. Having the senior leaders undergo the team camps helps validate the programme and garner senior management buy-in, says Heng.

Hilti has now completed its third team camp which sought employees' opinions and suggestions on what needs to be changed or be redirected in order for the company to move forward.

"We try to create a culture that attracts the likeminded people who believes in the set of behaviours," says Heng.


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