A passion for responsible business, supported by a people-first culture, have been two pillars behind Fujitsu’s response to the global pandemic.
This was a key takeaway from a breakout session at Fujitsu ActivateNow, our flagship thought leadership event for 2020, when we heard first-hand from senior leaders within the Fujitsu Global Delivery business unit.
For SVP, Tim White, a people-centric approach is embodied in everything we do, including the reaction to events which shook the world in 2020.
With a global team across four continents, this presented an immense challenge, but Tim explained key lessons were learnt in the very early stages of the pandemic. It meant when the time came, all of the 23,000 strong workforce were working remotely within just 10 days.
“It actually taught us that it's not just about the technology expanding, it's about engaging our people about their wellbeing, and in how they deliver services,” said Tim.
“The wellbeing of our employees was at the front of mind in everything that we did.
“And by looking after our employees, they looked after Fujitsu. And most importantly, they looked after our customers.
“In fact, through the rise in the pandemic, our customer satisfaction figures actually increased, and our employee engagement increased overall, as we embrace these new ways of working.”
What does a people-centric approach look like in practice?
First off, this was about ensuring employees were given as much support as possible.
Sarah-Jane Littleford, Head of Responsible Business, Fujitsu Global Delivery, said there were 3,700 hours of well-being activities between April and June which helped support the physical and mental wellbeing of employees, in what was a testing time for everyone.
“Most of those were virtual,” she said. “Our employees responded really well to that. They enjoyed digging into activities they may not have done before, like online yoga, mindfulness classes.”
But being people-centric goes beyond wellness and supporting mindfulness. It’s also about empowering decision-making and giving people greater responsibility.
Tim said: “We are constantly reaching out to employees and looking for feedback about what's working for them in the environment, what they'd like to see improved.”
It meant harnessing the ideas of thousands of employees, which (in Tim’s words) makes things better for them, but also explores how we can improve things for customers.
“It's a combination of culture, about working smart, and about technology,” he explained. “[It’s about] embracing this new way of engaging, but also remaining with this spirit of co-creation that exists within the teams.”
Building a culture of responsible business for the long term
We’re fortunate at Fujitsu to have a culturally diverse workforce operating at a global level.
This very much forms the backbone of a strong responsible business, or as Sarah-Jane puts it: “It’s in our DNA. Fundamentally, being responsible is embedded in what we do, not only in global delivery, but right across Fujitsu.”
But diversity of experiences and ideas is just one element. To take a longer term, more strategic view of how our business can positively benefit wider society, Fujitsu aligns to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This is the framework we've put around our responsible business approaching global delivery for many, many years,” said Tim. “It's about how our people can contribute to society, which is really at the heart of Fujitsu's purpose.”
Sarah-Jane explained a new initiative, allowing individuals to get behind these ambitious global goals, by giving them the opportunity to align an SDG to their own personal values.
By joining an SDG ‘tribe’, a virtual community, employees can connect with others around the world who share the same passions.
“It's a way for employees to personally contribute and make a difference, a positive difference to society and to the environment,” she said.
“They'll be able to learn, share ideas, and come up with potential initiatives that we could implement both locally, and also potentially right across our operations.”
After an initial trial in our Costa Rica, India and Portugal offices, the initiative is being rolled out globally in January. By combining programs like this with the motivation of teams to contribute to society, it’s something we hope will help take responsible business to the next level in 2021.