The power of culture

Our Head of Human Resources Luka Babic took some time to explain the importance of company culture - as an important aspect of any business. Enjoy his guestblog!

April 14 2014

Amidst the rise of social media publishing and ”fast-food“ online articles, there have been many who tackled the question of best HR practices. Big corporations, Silicon Valley start-ups, influential CEOs – they all have advice about how to recruit people, what questions to ask at interviews, the best perks for employee engagement and retention. Some of these suggestions and claims are diametrically opposed one to another (some even mutually exclusive), yet all of these big and successful businesses and business people have been doing quite well with their talent selection and engagement programs.

Different approaches

How come that these different approaches to the same problem work so well within different organisations? How is it possible that Buffer capitalises with completely transparent payrolls, and the Nerdery gets away with everyone within the organisation being a co-president? The answer lies in this little thing called company culture. We tend to underestimate the power of context which the culture brings - it can make some very uncommon business procedures feel just right, while other established patterns of organisation utterly wrong. Culture is the single most important retention tool as it defines and aligns the goals of the company with the goals of their employees.

HR professionals tend to look at different shortcuts and ways to implement “cool” perks to their organisation, forgetting that this would only emulate the likes of some other big names in the industry. This has recently been a trend within the IT sector. However, what HR needs to understand is that what makes the difference between a successful culture and an unsuccessful one is authenticity.

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings… Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent […] In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.
(MovieMaker Magazine #53 - January 22, 2004)

jim jarmusch American director and screenplay writer

If you start to value the perks that speak directly to your company`s soul, then you are in a position to build something great which will take your organisation to the next level.

How we do it

At Infobip, Human Resources are looking to define our company culture through the Academy programmes. These three-week long educational sessions in Vodnjan, Istria, intended for fresh Infobip employees are the mirror of what Infobip stands for. For the past two years in 16 instalments, 216 employees of 36 nationalities have attended our IBA programme to acquire in-depth knowledge of the company’s products, solutions and gain a thorough understanding of what Infobip is all about.

This is the place where new employees get to understand that creativity, closeness and passion result in meaningful innovations that create value for our partners worldwide, and that ambition, courage and commitment are the keys to bringing big ideas to life. While studying hard for exams and at the same time hanging out in the closeness of their own groups, Academy attendees have the opportunity to discover the beauties of rich cultural and historical heritage which gave rise to the company, making the multicultural environment of Infobip encircled by the place which everyone ends up loving.

Educational programmes are as old as organised business and are not the fruit of Infobip’s imagination, however, the approach and the value that the Academy brought to Infobip is altogether authentic. 

By defining what all of us in the business stand for and looking at our core strengths and weaknesses while verbalising them, we define the culture of the company. Unless this process is organic and authentic and comes from within your organisation, there is no way on earth that your culture would result in success, no matter how hip and wacky it is.

Luka Babic, Head of Human Resources at Infobip

So, what is your company’s culture asset? What truly makes a difference for your organisation?