Together we go beyond: How Avanade is building a people-first culture from the inside-out

  • Posted on February 19, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

What’s in a name? Job titles don’t define us or the work we do – rather, the work should define the title. When I first stepped into the role of Avanade’s Chief Human Resources Officer last summer, I was honoured to be taking on a job that focused on our people, being an advocate and creating an employee experience that made them proud to work at Avanade. Half a year in, it’s clear to me a different title is more reflective of who we are as a company: Chief People Officer.

As we continue to become known as the destination for top talent, we want that to be demonstrated in our organization. Chief People Officer is an affirmation of our people-first culture, and it also reflects what we’re seeing in the marketplace. My new title felt like a natural evolution for Avanade, and it’s important to always be looking forward and avoid feeling stuck with something just because “that’s how it’s always been.”

But like I said, a title is a title. I want this to be more than just words on a page (or a screen), but something with actual meaning behind it. So, let’s talk about the meaning behind it.

As we approach a workforce of 40,000 people, it’s important to me that we make sure we’re continuing to deliver that same great employee experience that we had as a smaller organization. The last year and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has also driven us to become even more people-focused: As a company, we are nothing if our people are not healthy, safe, and able to thrive. All of that makes this the right time to redefine what it means to join and build a career here at Avanade.

You may have seen the launch of our new Employee Value Proposition (EVP) on our social channels and new career site. This launch is the product of months of work and thought on the best way to elevate that employee experience and attract and retain the best talent, and employees at every level of Avanade were involved in its creation. The strapline of the EVP is “Together we go beyond.” We played with other phrases that started with “You” or “I,” but at every turn, “Together” resonated more strongly with our people. They felt that we operate as a family; and this challenging year has shown us how important it is at Avanade that no one feels alone, we work together and support each other.

We have amazing initiatives that brought this feeling to life. We created an environment where people can succeed while remote working, keeping them safe at home. We encourage flexible working options, including an Alternative Work Week pilot, so that people are empowered to create a schedule that works for them and the other commitments they have in their lives. We focus on wellness during globally themed well-being weeks each month. We are introducing an employee share purchase plan, so that everyone can reap the benefits of the success of our company. We’ve held regular pulse surveys to check in with employees to listen and then act on their concerns. We have taken positive action around inclusion and diversity with special emphasis on belonging – ensuring that everyone can be their authentic selves at work and that they feel welcomed and valued. With our EVP, we are formalizing the three pillars that we feel make working for Avanade exceptional: distinctive experiences, limitless learning and ambitious growth. I’m excited for current employees and future candidates to benefit from this.

I am #AvanadeProud of the great work we’re doing. But I’m even more proud of our people and how important it is to all of them that everyone is supported at Avanade. The thoughtfulness and inclusivity I’ve seen in the past year has reaffirmed how I’ve always seen Avanade – a company that takes care of its people, and people that take care of each other. Together, we’ve made our world a better one. And together, we will continue to go beyond.

Sarah Heilig

Congrats Caroline! You are an awesome people leader, and it's impressive what you and your team have done this past year to make us feel inspired, confident and cared for. This new title fits perfectly.

February 22, 2021

Inside Avanade Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news.

Share this page
Modal window