The Group’s evolving platform for engagement, co-creation and empowerment, Get Wonky, nurtures the ‘blockchain of culture’

Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Get Wonky initiative has been a critical factor in Eltizam’s resilience and success in recent times. Renata Liuzzi, founder and CEO of Axis partners, and an experienced business transformation strategist, visited the Eltizam headquarters and assessed the impact of the corporate culture on employees and company as a whole. During her visit, Liuzzi interviewed Chris Roberts, Group CEO, Eltizam where they discussed the stairway to success through effective employee engagement. 

“In today’s world, where blockchain is transforming the way we live and interact, we need to re-think the concept of what engagement means in the Web3 era. It is simple, blockchain has trust, security, transparency, ownership and decentralisation at its core and is fundamentally changing the way people behave and the role of companies is shifting from creators to facilitators,” said Chris. 

Get Wonky mirrors the Blockchain philosophy, making it extremely innovative, scalable and future-proof. The culture became the cornerstone for Eltizam’s success while undergoing rapid expansion through acquisitions. “You can merge financials, employees and databases which is quite straightforward but to merge companies’ values is a long-term process and requires constant development”, added Roberts. 

Liuzzi’s conversation with the Group CEO highlighted several factors that makes culture an integral contributor to the company’s excellence.

Organisational culture as a collaborative platform 

Get Wonky’s philosophy allows different companies to work towards a shared purpose of growth. When Eltizam acquires other companies, it facilitates a blend of culture across the organisation. Chris believes, “culture develops your business rather than your business developing your culture. Thus, all of our organisations can retain their culture and independence but enable the core Eltizam culture to flow into them as well”.

“When a company grows at the pace Eltizam has, it is challenging to find common ground amongst people. It was fascinating to learn the motivation behind Get Wonky, they formed a trusted platform where every company and employee of the group has the opportunity to add in its own understanding and perspective towards a shared purpose,” said Renata.

Listening to employees creates community

Organisations that want to embed their culture in their employees’ mindsets must actively listen to its employees and use the learnings to continually improve – this forms the engine of an ever-evolving cultural platform. “When the listening is followed by immediate action, it transforms the learnings into a collective platform of growth, which helps create a great sense of community in an organisation,” said Roberts

People are the most important asset in any organisation

“I was impressed by the enthusiasm that Chris had towards the employees in his organisation; as Group CEO he emphasised that employees are the single most important asset of an organisation and stressed that loyalty is crucial in the service industry, which is only achieved if the head of the organisation has a people-centric mindset” shared Liuzzi. 

Employee loyalty is earned

“Loyalty is the single determining factor of why an employee wants to remain in your organisation; you look after them and they will look after you”, said Roberts. With humanity at the core of the business, Roberts has an open-door policy making all employees very comfortable while approaching him. “Nurturing a sense of community is when employees feel like they are working for a bigger purpose, take ownership and have a strong sense of belonging. This fuels innovation and allows employees to work as a team and push boundaries,” he added. 

Decentralising by empowering employees

This essentially means providing employees with autonomy and control in their day-to-day activities. Eltizam embodies this spirit by allowing employees to make decisions and mistakes. “We don’t fire people for making bad decisions. If you make a mistake, you own it, you live it and you carry on because you will never make the same mistake twice”, said Chris. The growing culture at Get Wonky, helps Eltizam’s employees understand that failure is shared as well as success. “Protecting your employees when they fail is important and driving them to learn from mistakes is even more important. Trust and safety are key to enable a decentralised workforce” added Roberts.

“In a Web3 era, it is critical to create platforms for people to engage, create community and drive excellence organically. Facilitating collaboration, not only nurtures a healthy organisation, but it also allows to add value to customers and stay ahead of the wave in an ever-changing market”, said Liuzzi. 

Invest in upskilling your employees

It is essential for businesses to be cognisant of the fact that the workforce of the future will be very different from today’s in terms of skillsets and mindset. “Change is the only constant. Things are going to change, therefore a business’ culture and its interactions, have to change as well,” said Roberts.

Training and upskilling employees are investments every organisation must make if they want to equip their employees for this changing market. Eltizam has tie-ups with leading business schools such as INSEAD and Harvard to ensure its employees are equipped with the right skills. Additionally, all Eltizam managers conduct training sessions with the company’s employees. 

An educational approach not only fuels the future of business, but also creates knowledge communities that unite employees through a learning and growth journey, resulting in an efficient business. “Harvard Business Review (HBR) demonstrates that companies ranking at the top of the ‘best places to work’ have outperformed their peers by understanding the connection between culture and revenue. Their research also highlights the ‘three things employees really want are career, community and cause’. I am delighted that Get Wonky enables a community that is aligned with similar standards of HBR,” said Chris. 

“Eltizam’s Get Wonky has succeeded because it acknowledges that business is about people and that success spins around the axis of people-centric strategies. This applies to all the stakeholders in the business ecosystem, including customers and employees” shared Renata. “The future of culture is here and I am looking forward to seeing how Eltizam continues to disrupt in the culture space, while creating value to their customers and stakeholders,” she added.

A cultural framework is one that embraces diversity and change through trust, safety, transparency, ownership and decentralisation. This is why Get Wonky is described as ‘The Blockchain of Culture’. 

About Eltizam Asset Management Group:

Eltizam Group, a joint venture between International Holding Company (IHC) and ADQ, was founded in 2009 and is the region’s leading physical asset management company and investor into the built asset environment. A technology driven investment group comprising four holding companies, Eltizam has significant investments across MENA in facilities management, real estate management, energy management, prop-tech, intelligent building technology and disruptive technology.

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