“Our people are our greatest asset,” is a statement made by many companies. But few can actually prove this statement, by creating a great workplace for their people. One of these companies is ISM APAC, which recently won the prestigious Great Place to Work award to prove it. Based in the Netherlands and over 25 years of e-Commerce experience, ISM eCompany is one of the top e-Commerce companies in the world.
How did the company come to Sri Lanka? It all began in 2014 when ISM eCompany was evaluating 20 countries for its next development centre. Ultimately, they chose Sri Lanka and so in April 2014, ISM APAC was born. Three years later, the company expanded from a small batch of people to team of 150 people. ISM APAC had evolved and so too did its culture. So how did they create a culture that was recognized as a Great Place to Work?
With a small team it’s very easy to maintain a family culture in the workplace. But with a team of 150 people this becomes significantly harder. Thus, the decision was made to move towards an open culture, which wasn’t so challenging because of the strong foundation at ISM APAC. A foundation built upon five core values: team spirit, entrepreneurship, ownership, focus on talent, and loyalty.
In this open culture that ISM APAC has adopted today, what matters the most is the voice of every employee. This is exemplified by the CSR committee, which consists of a group of employees that create multiple CSR projects and execute them. One such project was offering helping hands to offer better education for children in the Kantale district. Furthermore, the company focuses on creating a fun culture with its various tech talks and other initiatives that aim to create a great relationship with employees, which in turn creates a fun environment.
But the greatest example of this open culture at ISM APAC in action, is seen when the employees and directors speak on a “machang” basis because the entire company consists of leaders. This is what makes ISM APAC a truly fun place to work, which is the great relationship amongst the entire team across the company. No matter, what an employee does, it is these relationships that make ISM APAC a great place to work.
Ultimately, the steps ISM APAC has taken to create its culture are the basics of creating a great workplace. To create a workplace that’s fun and where the voice of every employee matters. And that’s how they built a Great Place to Work.