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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Workday
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Workday

1 minute read

Fast Forward Workday

Levent Arabaci on Transforming Corporate Culture

Levent Arabaci, the executive vice president of human resources at tech giant Hitachi, shares his insight on shifting employee mindsets.

Forget mandates

Instead of simply handing out orders for new rules and practices, Hitachi is honing a culture of collaboration. A compelling vision and strategy with an executable plan is key to getting everyone on board, says Arabaci. For example, Hitachi showed leaders around the globe the cost savings of its initial human capital management [HCM] system implementation—each company was presented with potential savings, as well as opportunities for greater benefits at lower prices.

"We have to enable some kind of culture shift in the way leaders think and operate," says Arabaci. "They have to know global efficiencies and understand and care about the greater good with Hitachi."


See also: Aligning Goals to Drive Growth


Manage expectations

"If a transformation is smooth sailing, that means you’re not pushing the envelope and doing the right thing," says Arabaci.

Hitachi knew that ambitious cultural change wasn’t going to happen overnight. The first step was getting a global count of all its employees. It then mapped 50,000 of its managers into a global grading system, a common compensation platform in its new HCM system that helps ensure that pay is competitive and cost-effective. Through this visibility, managers and leaders can better understand the progress they’re making by moving away from the outdated senior-wage system.

Listen to your employees

Hitachi conducted an employee survey about its new HR initiatives, inviting 211,000 employees around the globe to participate. The company received 163,000 responses.

"Based on that, we get our employee pulse and understand employee engagement across thousands of subsidiaries," says Arabaci.

Employees overwhelmingly said that putting the right people in the right positions is one of the top factors in achieving growth targets—a clear indication that the company is achieving the alignment necessary for its ambitious global growth goals.


This article was created and commissioned by Workday, and the views expressed are their own.