Swisscom's culture that puts people at the centre

Swisscom’s Data, Analytics & AI (DNA) organization consists of 350 data and analytics experts organized into 40 teams collaborating to enrich Swisscom’s data and analytics capability. As a forward-thinking organization, we foster the idea of data-driven business success.

Like many tech-driven companies, we face talent attraction and retention challenges. As we consider people our most valuable asset, we want to keep and attract highly talented and skilled colleagues.

From an organizational development point of view, we want to find the most fitting answer to the question: how do we create sustainable growth opportunities for our people that challenge them while being supported by the organization?

Therefore, we looked into the root causes of our past successes. We discovered that the essential factors of our DNA culture are, from a behavioral point of view, transparency, openness, and personal connection. And from an organizational perspective, purpose, development opportunities, education, and innovation. We decided to leverage our existing strengths and work on our weaknesses. With all this in mind, we formulated a guiding vision:

“DNA is the place to be for highly skilled people. Our culture emphasizes the importance of personal growth and purpose.”

Our vision statement builds on the belief that through everyone’s personal development, we also thrive as an organization. This idea stems from the concept of Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDO): organizations that promote a culture where employees can develop and pay attention to their personal growth as part of their daily work environment. Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan first introduced them. DDOs offer many benefits, first and foremost, improved employee retention, better communication, faster solutions to challenging problems, and the impact brought by servant leadership – precisely what we are looking for.

But how do we implement our vision? Our strategy aims to make an impact on three levels:

  • Personal level: personal development starts with self-awareness. Besides the offerings on a company level (i.e., talent program, five education days, learning academy, mentoring, and coaching), we offer a transformational leadership program built on The Leadership Circle by Bob Anderson for our leaders and talents. The program aims to sustainably increase leadership effectiveness through introspection, creating a vision, and bringing it alive in the teams. Furthermore
  • Team and organization level: personal growth needs a healthy balance of challenge and support. Career conversations are one of the structures we put in place to keep this balance. Our people managers and Scrum Masters offer regular checkpoints that create space for our members to design further career steps. Furthermore, our Scrum Masters facilitate regular team retrospectives and lead conversations about skill planning to integrate personal next steps with the whole team’s development.
  • Community level: every ten weeks, all DNA members are invited to inspect and adapt our organization to identify systemic impediments that hold us back. In this open space format, we empower the participants to shape the environment they work in actively. As a result, everyone takes one small next step, creating momentum for our cultural transformation. And on a systemic level, get some insights into what we can do better.

Swisscom's DNA organization prioritizes personal growth and purpose to attract and retain top talent. The vision focuses on creating a Deliberately Developmental Organization which benefits from improved employee retention, better communication, faster solutions to challenging problems, and servant leadership. DNA’s strategy aims to make an impact on personal, team, and community levels by creating a healthy balance of challenge and support, empowering employees, and shaping the work environment actively.

Christian Hofstetter

Christian Hofstetter

Release Train Engineer

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