Does a successful local employee experience also work internationally?

Transparency is therefore woven into the company and is a guiding principle for HR policy. This is emphasized by the priority given to the employee experience, Huising explains: “With a large employee satisfaction survey once every two years, timed right after a bonus or a fun outing, you do not take your employees’ opinion seriously. In order not to let momentum play a role, we ask five questions every two weeks via a people-first employee experience platform. By varying the questions, we can form a picture and measure the total commitment. ”

“Employees can provide anonymous feedback, if desired, so they feel safe expressing themselves,” Huising continues. “The tool is easily accessible and the staff fills in the questions faithfully because we emphasize the importance of giving feedback and the results are always communicated. We follow up on issues that we also communicate. That way, the employee experience really becomes part of our DNA: Employees see that their feedback helps and that they are involved in the organization. By constantly listening, we work for sustainable progress. ”

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A good employee experience is not just about a questionnaire every two weeks. “Despite the fact that the commitment to the organization is very high, we also experience that there is a greater distance because the staff is no longer present in the office full time,” says Huising. “That is why we try to organize small things to bring people together physically. Have breakfast together, or have a mobile coffee shop come by. All regions now work in a hybrid way, and we ensure that such actions are established in all regions in accordance with local culture. ”

Huising also states that she does not believe in separating work and private life: “Surely now that we are embracing hybrid work, the two are becoming even more intertwined. Health does not only belong in the privacy of our employees. Any problems in the home are taken at work and vice versa. That is why we have made health and well-being a permanent part of the organization. We deal with a different topic each time and attract speakers, for example. For the topic of mental health, we also worked with online psychologists in a number of regions. This was much appreciated by the staff. “Many more things were shared, and that encouraged them to be vulnerable, which in turn resulted in more connection and understanding for each other.”

An open culture internationally

The Sana Commerce office is located in the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Huising explains how the office building forms the realization of the employees’ experience ambitions and beliefs in the company: “The factory is very old, but very light and open. There are no enclosed areas and the CEO is literally in the middle of the open office landscape. There is no hierarchy. The openness of the office space inspires a flat, open corporate culture, where all opinions count. This forms the basis of our employee experience strategy. ”

In the Netherlands, an open office is no longer so special, but internationally it is different. “In New York or Colombia, such an open workplace is really much more unusual. Not to mention the lack of hierarchy. They find openness very special, “says Huising.

To introduce such a way of working in a culture where this is not common, Sana Commerce stays close to its own belief in employee experience. Huising explains how to work internationally to realize an open culture: “We think it is important that we create a comfortable workplace wherever employees can grow and where their contributions count. When opening a new office, people from the Netherlands are always present to convey our corporate culture, of course with respect for local customs. But abroad, working days of more than twelve or thirteen hours are sometimes perceived as ‘normal’. It’s as easy as organization to go with, but we do not believe in it. Thanks to our international attention to employee experience, with customization per. region, we create an open culture worldwide. “

“By focusing on our employees, we have been able to build a special corporate culture that is highly valued by the employees. This applies to all countries in which we operate. That does not mean we are sitting back now. We are growing fast and new employees are being added all over the world every week. But because employee experience is so intertwined in the organization and gives direction to HR policy, we can continue to maintain the corporate culture that we are known for internationally, ”concludes Huising.

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