AXA Call to Action: Culture Transformation

The recent AXA Call to Action event was hosted in Chancery Pavilion, Bangalore on September 25, 2019. Industry veterans came together to delve deep into a key challenge that's facing almost every organisation - How to transform workplace culture to adapt to the changing business environment and employee expectations. Close to 100 professionals across domains and industries participated in the event.

The event began with a welcome address by Marie-Louise Elhabre, CEO - AXA Business Services and AXA GIE Adminstrator. This was followed by an engaging 45-minute panel discussion and Q&A sessions.

Our eminent panelists at the event were:
  • Sunita Rebecca Cherian, Senior Vice President – Corporate Human Resources & Global Head – Inclusion & Diversity, Wipro Limited
  • Amit Kalra, Head – Global Services Bangalore, Swiss Re Global Business Solutions India Private Limited
  • Sumit M Chadha, Head – Enterprise Shared Services, AXA XL
  • Rajendra Ambekar, Head – Human Resources and Communication, AXA Business Services
  • The discussion was moderated by Padma Priya Saraswatula, Chief Operating Officer and Interim Deputy CEO, AXA Business Services

The discussion touched upon various facets of culture transformation at workplace including the need for it, challenges faced and best practices in driving such changes. Our panel members also quoted real-life examples and experiences of how they have leveraged various tactics to drive such transformation.

Key highlights from the discussion:
  • Driving accountability across the organisation: Our panelists spoke on how the responsibility to drive culture transformation is not restricted to any person or team. It has to be a holistic approach where each member of the organisation takes ownership to imbibe that change and drive it forward. Moreover, it is important to both align your top management with your vision of change as well as identifying champions at the grass root level to drive the transformation.
  • Using AI, data and analytics to drive culture transformation: All our panelists agreed that metrics is very important is driving culture change. The extensive data that is today readily available with us is a great indicator of how effective the culture transformation initiatives are and what are the scopes of improvement. An important aspect here is to foster an environment of continuous feedback and listen to the voice of employees.
  • Leveraging influence and position to drive change: A key point that emerged during the discussion is how can leaders leverage their position of influence to drive a positive culture change. Mentorship/Sponsorship was acknowledged as an effective way to impact the mind-set of employees and further shape their thought processes.
  • Culture fitment: Our panelists looked at how organisations today are moving away from the approach of hiring people with the fitment to the job role to recruiting people who have both the skill for the role and attitude to adapt to the organisation's culture. Culture fitment is becoming one of the key criteria of candidate selection. Moreover, organisations today are focused on building a diverse and inclusive team that encourages multiple points of view and approaches to a problem rather than hiring like-minded people.
  • Inspiring through goals: A major aspect of transformation is to 'inspire change'. Culture transformation at the workplace is not possible unless employees believe in it and take the ownership to drive it. One of the ways to inspire this change is through a robust learning program that educates people on how a culture transformation is beneficial to both the organisation and the employee's career growth. Another approach is to reward and recognise employees who demonstrate behaviour that drives this change, thereby motivating others to emulate such behaviour.

The panel discussion was followed by a networking session over cocktails and dinner where leaders from AXA Business Services along with our panelists took the time to connect with the event attendees and listen to their views on a one-on-one level.

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AXA Call to Action: Culture Transformation