The Culture Mapping project was undertaken by the research team at SAP SuccessFactors as a development research goal for 2021 to “ Better understand how culture affects employees' needs and expectations in the workplace today”. Globalisation and the pandemic have acted as catalysts for technological acceleration and caused a dramatic shift for employees from physical to virtual workspaces, which are now turning hybrid. Employees are experiencing hyper-connectivity, yet there remains a disconnect between organisational culture and what an employee chooses to identify and embody as their own culture. The team decided on communication as the focus of the research and built three primary focus areas for the study–
1. To understand the various communication styles and how that impact collaboration at work
2. To understand how culture impacts participation, engagement, feedback, and response to requests
3. To uncover culturally influenced unconscious biases that are present in the workplace
The team conducted qualitative research with 14 North American, European, and Asian desk employees. The diverse employees represented various roles and industries - IT, Finance, Human Resources, Healthcare, Design, Media/News, and so on. These participants were then posed with qualitative questions where culture was defined as one’s self-identified nationality. The interviews yielded rich and high-level data on various impacts of culture on their line of business. The team discovered that the primary workplace behaviours that were impacted in a multicultural setting were (1) Participation, (2) Communication Styles, (3) Conflict Management, and (4) Personal Culture v/s Work Culture.
The team used this deep understanding to build various artefacts, like the Culture Crucible Game, the Culture Navigator cards, and Culture Model. These artefacts were then woven through a Cultural Knowledge Management Strategy aligned at a Functional, Operational, Business, and Corporate Level for SAP SuccessFactors.
Communication and Collaboration, Cultural Knowledge Management Strategy, Employee User Experience, Enterprise Resource Planning, Human Resource