We invest considerable effort in building and maintaining an
inclusive working culture. But 2020 challenged this goal in unexpected
ways, as we merged during a global pandemic.
25 February 2021
At the beginning of 2020, combining the processes of the newly merged Tieto and EVRY was a major focus. When Covid-19 restrictions hit, many key integration processes were still ongoing. Fortunately, everyone at TietoEVRY share the same DNA, facilitating this transition.
- During 2020, we renewed and integrated many of our practices by combining the best of both worlds, so to say. The close fit between our cultures particularly helped under these difficult circumstances, says Karin Schreil, Managing Partner, Sweden.
The Diversity & Inclusion charter gives clear guidance to everyday practices
The gender gap and under-representation of woman in tech is a real challenge requiring true commitment and concrete responses. Advancing gender equality and diversity has long been a key culture goal at both Tieto and EVRY. Thus, one of the major milestones for 2020 was the creation of TietoEVRY’s diversity charter, a document that outlines clear company ambitions and key diversity measurements. The diversity charter demonstrates TietoEVRY’s commitment, both internally and externally.
- The diversity charter gives us clear goals and therefore guidance in taking concrete actions to further increase diversity. For example, we have already redeveloped our recruitment process based on the diversity charter. Moreover, the diversity charter also has a scope that goes beyond gender, says Amanda Linden, Head of Innovation and Excellence for Cloud and Infra at TietoEVRY from Sweden.
The visibility of the diversity charter in everyday practice and measuring actions based on it provide critical guidance. But this document also attracts new talent, as purpose and value-driven talents can now more clearly see our concrete goals and commitment.
Continuous dialogue and engagement enhance culture
TietoEVRY’s Cloud and Infra service line spans different countries and business units. With Covid-19 requiring remote work during the merger, it was quickly realized that a deeper understanding of the new organization itself was needed.
- We continuously held digital calls and engaged with personnel throughout 2020. We discussed open questions and shared thoughts and ideas with everyone. In the process, we found out that almost 90% of the organization considers diversity and inclusion as the most important aspects to champion in our culture, Linden continues.
To further advance diversity and inclusion, a task force of around 20 employees passionate about these topics was formed.
- Concrete business benefits of culture are easy to spot: gender balance is important for attracting talent, while inclusion is critical for retaining talent. When you put people together who have passion, great things can happen!
Many ideas and actions were developed and reported to TietoEVRY leadership. Based on an organization-wide survey, four main focus areas were identified, with specific actions developed for each: champion gender balance, boost inclusion, foster differences and urge equality.
- Advancing diversity and inclusion is continuous work, as is building awareness and focusing on people. Small, continuous actions can mean more in culture building than big, top-down actions. Both are needed. Especially under extensive remote working, we all have a responsibility to engage our organization, Linden concludes.
Getting to know TietoEVRY
The TietoEVRY integration increased the number of office locations from one to three in India. With more than 4,200 employees, year 2020 was a year of learning and new initiatives, among other things.
TietoEVRY has four cultural pillars: customer driven, achieving together, keep learning and always genuine. In India, culture-building initiatives were co-developed and implements for each of them.
- For example, we had a monthly “In-Focus Leadership” series that promotes openness and trust throughout TietoEVRY global and specifically within the India business. We also held virtual events recognizing internal trainers who spend a lot of time training colleagues and thus enabling our continuous learning. Another example is our “Lead by Excellence” series for line managers – a session about topics of interest, where everyone can learn new things. Overall, we put significant effort into the employee experience through continuous engagement with the whole organization, says Kunjal Kamdar, Senior HR Specialist from India.
The diversity charter made a big impact in India too.
- Among other things, we had virtual events on inclusion and quarantine practices. We had campaigns on our Workplace platform for sharing family stories in order to break gender stereotypes. We took a steady flow of small steps, Kunjal sums up.
Culture building never stops
As Karin Schreil points out, even though the 2020 TietoEVRY integration had to be run almost completely with digital tools, the process moved quickly:
- But despite integration proceeding during the pandemic, we found common ground really fast thanks to our similar cultures.
During 2020, the new Culture Code at TietoEVRY was developed through organization-wide engagement.
- In our Culture Code, we established common goals for culture building and activities supporting this. This guided all our activities – from development to teams and entire business segments – to ensure that we act according to our values of openness, trust and diversity, towards a common culture. We held culture hackathons involving the whole organization to get broad input.
Karin Schreil continues by noting that a successful culture requires the right mindset, people and activities to put the plans into action, and while everyone’s input is important, management plays a crucial role:
- We also formed a company-level leadership framework, which addresses what is expected from leadership, going hand-in-hand with our culture code. Culture is about learning and growing together, and it is continuous work. Strategy without a supportive culture can be very difficult if not impossible to achieve, emphasizes Schreil and continues:
- We have always valued having employees with various backgrounds – with different ways to think and act. This not only improves diversity and inclusion but also helps us in developing customer solutions. In 2020, we also started a reversed mentoring program, where younger colleagues act as mentors. We also set up the Young Advisory Council to support our leadership team in topics related to our culture. This brings new perspectives while connecting young professionals with senior management. This is all on top of our longstanding coaching programs to help younger professionals grow.
Over the past year, many initiatives to advance our culture of diversity were conducted with external partners. In Sweden, a gender diversity program included TietoEVRY mentors and participants, with an aim to increase diversity in IT and the telecom industry as a whole. We also continued numerous partnerships to advance women in technology, for example to actively support and coach female leaders and thus promote diversity in society more broadly.
“We want to be doing good for society. It is particularly inspiring to have a meaning in operations that can inspire customer and partners too. Together, we can have a large impact and create a more inclusive and diverse culture, Schreil explains.