The Power of Organizational Culture

One of the goals every company seeks is scalability –your business’ ability to adapt to the changes of the times while continuing to meet market needs. This means that your brand continues to grow in all aspects of its operations and that your products and services can be exported as part of organic and exponential growth.

This was a great challenge in the case of EVERTEC, a technology company whose main business is technology outsourcing services and transaction processing through the ATH Network. In three years’ time, EVERTEC underwent rapid organic growth and made great leaps in expansion throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. As of 2007, the company is now operating in 7 different countries in the regions.

Moreover, all business growth and product exportation bring their challenges but successful leaders realize that at the heart of a company’s ability to unify and reach its business goals, are its employees.

Challenges to Business Growth

The growth challenges EVERTEC faced were by no means simple. With a workforce of approximately 1,800 team members throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, the company struggled with strengthening its organizational culture in a multicultural, multi-service and multi-generational landscape. In addition, its employees specialize in a range of diverse areas, from technical to highly specialized tasks such as software systems development.

The main question was, how would Evertec execute an organizational and service-centric culture that impacts everyone in each of the seven countries they serve? Another important part of the challenge was how would this be executed with a limited budget?

Internal Communications Strategy

Phase 1. A sense of belonging. With the emergence of EVERTEC, the EVERNautas were born. (The name given to the collective of EVERTEC employees.) After various acquisitions, the company faced a challenge in their operations in Puerto Rico: how would they regroup their extensive workforce to feel like one single company? In order to tackle the obstacle, an entirely new internal communications program was created and executed to unify and communicate the business’s objectives to all its employees. The transition was highly successful.

Phase 2. Growth. The goal was to achieve the same organizational culture that is lived in Puerto Rico in the other 6 countries where EVERTEC operates. The basis of the plan was to continue with the same transparency in communication to assure that every employee knew where the company stood in accordance with its goals and where the company was going. What were they doing well? In what areas could they improve?

Above all, how could it be established that the employees enjoyed and felt a sense of authentic belonging to the company? How could it be achieved that each team member be made to feel that they make everyday life easier and more effective for their clients through the transaction processing and technology services they provide?

The services rendered by the EVERNautas are critical to the populations they serve, as thanks to their executions, millions of bank transactions in the ATH Network in the Caribbean, and Latin America are processed daily. Aware of the essentiality of their team’s work, the EVERTEC executive team realized the importance of investing in their employees to reach these goals.

The Results

Under the slogan “Long live the expansion!”, the EVERNautas were invited to embrace the new changes and challenges that were part of their growth journey. On that same note, we used multiculturalism and the highlighting of the team members’ varying skill sets as tools to unite them. Each country where EVERTEC operates lived the expansion aligned with its own unique culture, while at the same time, demonstrating one single EVERNauta culture.

For instance, the Puerto Rican EVERTEC team celebrated the company’s expansion by wearing orange (the brand’s official color) to the sound of the panderetas (a traditional Puerto Rican hand drum), while the Venezuelan team, also dressed in orange, celebrated with typical Venezuelan empanadas. The Costa Rican team expressed their Pura Vida! (the Costa Rican way of life) to the rhythm of the calypso. Though each country’s team members come from different histories, beliefs, and ways of life, they are all EVERTEC.

The celebration of EVERTEC’s expansion journey throughout the Caribbean and Latin America was communicated through photos and videos and shared with all of the EVERNautas, allowing them to see how their colleagues in other countries were living their shared mission. In a fun and social setting, the EVERTEC executive team met with almost 1,800 employees from across the region to explain first-hand the company’s vision, values, objectives and describe the variety of products and services they offered.

The result was vibrant employees who were proud to be EVERNautas, championing the company’s cause in unison from different parts of the world. First, starting with the company’s president and senior management, internal culture was valued and lived in a genuine way: the words of the leaders were backed by actions. Second, genuine, hands-on engagement with the employees was achieved, resulting in them having a clear idea of where they were going, what the challenges were and what was expected of them. Third, the voices of the employees were heard, changes were made to processes accordingly and the successes of the team were recognized and awarded as part of the internal communications program.

That same year, the “Long live the expansion!” campaign was awarded for Best Internal Public Relations Campaign by the Association of Professional Relations of Puerto Rico (ARPPR). The campaign also won the Sixto Toro Prize for proving to be the most effective strategy in achieving its public relations objectives.

DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing communications to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisory services, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.