Article: This Japanese company fosters inclusivity across 13 different markets

Employee Relations

This Japanese company fosters inclusivity across 13 different markets

Next-generation tech company AnyMind prioritises employee well-being and engagement while maintaining a commitment to performance-based progression, ensuring that work-life balance isn't just a buzzword but a daily reality for its global team.
This Japanese company fosters inclusivity across 13 different markets

In an exclusive interview with Shiori Matsuyama, Deputy Regional Head, People at AnyMind Group, People Matters delves deep into the intricacies of managing a multi-country workforce across 13 diverse markets. From addressing cultural localisation challenges to promoting a flat and inclusive culture, Anymind's approach to HR stands out in the ever-evolving landscape of modern workplaces.

You oversee people across 13 markets across Asia. What are the HR challenges you face in your multi-country operations, especially for India?

We don't view challenges as obstacles but rather as opportunities for growth and innovation. One specific challenge we encounter is localisation. We prioritise ensuring that our actions are culturally relevant in each country, while also maintaining alignment across markets.

To illustrate, let's consider the aspect of building our corporate culture. We have established five core corporate values: be open, move faster, be bold, stay updated, and achieve together, which are embraced by everyone in our organisation. However, how we refer to our members varies based on their backgrounds and cultural contexts in each market.

For instance, let's take the onboarding process. When a new team member joins, the local HR team conducts an onboarding session on-site. Simultaneously, we offer an online virtual onboarding session conducted in English to ensure that everyone receives the message from our regional HR and from the board. Additionally, our Chief Culture Officer (CCO) actively participates in these sessions to personally convey the message and maintain consistency.

In the case of India, where we have three offices, we go beyond onboarding sessions. Our HR team regularly visits each office every quarter to ensure that our message is effectively communicated, and understood by our members, and to provide any necessary support. People with a growth mindset who are eager to work in a fast-paced environment are always welcome to our team.

What is your approach to offering unique experiences across multiple segments of the workforce?

In addition to our focus on localisation, we also emphasise activities that span across markets. For instance, in our offices, our HR teams work closely with the country managers. They also maintain a strong connection with the regional team to ensure seamless coordination. This ensures that we are always aligned, especially during important events such as the IPO.

During the IPO, we took employee engagement to a new level. For example, in Japan, we conducted a traditional bell-ringing ceremony, which was a significant event. To ensure that all our employees, not just in Japan but also in other offices, felt part of the celebration, we live-streamed the ceremony. In India, for instance, we arranged for refreshments, allowing everyone to participate in the experience. Employees from different offices joined the livestream and engaged by sharing comments, expressing their happiness with emojis, and congratulating the company. This approach allowed us to foster a sense of unity and celebration not only in Japan but across all our markets and offices.

Many CEOs see culture as a key driver of positive financial performance, how does AnyMind’s management support a strong culture?

Our core values serve as the foundation of our organisation. As we continue to expand rapidly across various industries and ventures, it's crucial that our people grow at a pace that matches the company's growth. We are committed to motivating our employees and ensuring they understand our financial standing. Additionally, we keep them well-informed about our new products and developments so they can consistently provide cutting-edge solutions using the latest technology.

Our founders emphasise the importance of alignment, and they take an active role in conveying their vision. Management personally delivers messages to foster a sense of belonging and a shared commitment to our common goals.

Furthermore, we embrace the principle of 'be open, be bold.' We encourage a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing suggestions for improving workplace culture and driving innovation. Our CEO, for instance, welcomes input from anyone in the organisation and even holds open channels for discussions and suggestions. Additionally, we conduct an anonymous survey every six months across the entire group to ensure that we capture our members' voices, understand their sentiments, and provide the necessary support. These initiatives exemplify our dedication to fostering an open and innovative culture.

Being a new-age company, what are the challenges you faced to overcome nationality, race, and gender biases to build a flat culture and an inclusive working environment?

Since the inception of our operations, we have fostered an inclusive culture where progression and recognition are solely based on performance, devoid of bias related to gender, nationality, or race. In particular, when considering gender representation, our managerial levels and above comprise 47% female and 53% male employees, striking a well-balanced equilibrium.

What are the most important things that leaders need to do to make work-life balance happen in practice?

I believe the first one is to keep work communications within working hours. Second, is keeping an open mind towards employees' needs and also ensuring that the team is performing optimally within working hours so that they don't have to work longer hours to complete their job to help employees who sometimes are not able to up to the mark.

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Topics: Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, #HRCommunity

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