Through the years, VBP has taken pride in being one of the few culture-led organisations in the Philippines. Our amazing company culture is one of the main qualities that distinguish us from other companies here in Cebu. Thus, we aim to deliver our promise to our team and our clients—to maintain our culture (despite our growing number) and create a place where people can work and flourish at the same time.
The US Trip
Learning about culture, training and development at Zappos
Last month, I, together with Dave Carney (our CEO), had a chance to visit Zappos, one of the leading online shoe and clothing retailer in the US. Zappos is a recipient of multiple awards and is known for its real competitive advantage—its culture.
From the moment I stepped into their headquarters, I could tell that there was something special about the place. The tour was led by their culture maestro, Ryo, whose stepmom is also a Filipino (Woohoo! #PinoyPride).
Our tour started with watching some videos that showcased their culture and company history. We then got to meet some of their staff members who are not only accommodating, but also highly engaged. Their workstations reflect creativity and the unique personality of each employee which shows how the company values their staff’s individuality.
We also got check out their office facilities. My personal favorite was their nap room where employees can “sleep with the fishes”. The room is designed with an aquarium installed above reclining massage chairs, handcrafted by the stars of Animal Planet’s show “Tanked”.
After the tour, we had some one-on-one sessions with 2 of their trainers, Trisha and Kelly. As a trainer myself, I was so excited to learn about what they do differently that enables them to perpetuate their culture and attain their desired employee behavior.
The 2–hour session proved to be very productive as I was able to gain much insights on how to keep employees engaged despite the changes in the environment and growth in the workforce. One of the things that have been effective for them is infusing culture-related activities and sessions all throughout the duration of their training, from onboarding up to graduation.
This is something I believe we can adopt here in VBP; to ensure we instill the VBP core values to our new staff members as early as day 1 to make them more emotionally engaged. This will also inspire them to create a WOW experience not only to their clients but also to their colleagues.
In addition, Zappos also has comprehensive progression plans which help their employees attain short or long-term goals within the organisation.
Employee engagement training at the Disney Institute
We also attended the employee engagement training by Disney Institute. The 1-day session focused on how we can be intentional when immersing people into the organisation’s culture.
It highlighted 4 areas: Selection, Training, Communication, and Care.
Selection – by hiring the right people and giving them the right roles; Training – by giving high quality training; Communication – by listening with the intent to understand, and delivering difficult messages without violating any culture standards; Care – by showing genuine care and making sure the day-to day routine of the employees is hassle-free.
This aims to give a clear picture of what the organisation’s culture is all about.
In VBP, we have very talented, skilled, and amazing people working with us and we want to continue to provide an atmosphere that will allow them to grow professionally and personally.
So what better way to give our team a sense of belonging and the opportunity to grow than to make sure we keep the culture alive and thriving?
In our journey to strive and create a solid company culture, we hope that we continue to get everyone’s support and collaboration to succeed and achieve this continuous goal.
After all, it is the people who make the culture. In the words of Walt Disney,