Focus on EVP at Fujitsu helps attrition rates drop

'You can't just have this global-level EVP that's one size fits all, because each region is different,' says VP of purpose, people and culture

Focus on EVP at Fujitsu helps attrition rates drop

Nicole Forrester has a statement she’s passionate about and which serves her well in her role as VP of purpose, people and culture at Fujitsu Asia Pacific – that ‘activity doesn’t equal impact’.

It’s an approach that’s helped in the organisation’s drive to achieve an EVP that everyone lives every day. And that EVP has helped significantly towards a marked reduction in attrition rates.

Listening, measuring and being agile in terms of responding to employee feedback have been key to success so far, she says, and there’s a deep commitment to further improve, adapt, and keep listening to make sure the EVP stays relevant and relatable.

“We’re very focused on impact rather than activity,” says Forrester, who’ll be sharing details about Fujitsu’s journey and focus on EVP at the HR Summit in Melbourne this November.

“We haven’t cracked the EVP code for everybody everywhere, but what we do have is a set of principles around this guiding state that we’re always trying to make incremental improvements towards, working together to be able to get better every day.”

Inclusive employer of choice

At the heart of the EVP is the organisation’s goal “to be an inclusive employer of choice that creates social impact for our customers and the communities where we live, work and serve”, says Forrester.  

“That reflects how we develop our policies, the leadership decisions we make, and the way that we listen.”  

A major influence on Fujitsu’s EVP has been the organisation’s purpose statement which was launched in 2020.

“This statement is ‘to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation’,” she says. “It indicated a big shift in the organization, to say not only are we a digital transformation company - and that's what we are going to continue to do well as we focus on the digital transformation services piece - but we have to have a really distinct reason for being that’s going to drive our business strategy. And that was this purpose.”

Having an overall EVP provides consistency for a minimum global standard, but what Forrester - who sits in the global leadership environment, and also in the Asia Pacific region - and her team have done is tailor the approach according to local feedback.

“You can't just have this global level EVP that's one size fits all, because each region is different. Even in the APAC region we look after nine countries. So there are localizations that we draw down from the global standard.”

Volunteer days help keep EVP meaningful for everyone

Forrester gives an example of one way the business has ensured EVPs stay meaningful for everyone, no matter where they’re located.

“We do a lot of listening and our people were telling us that we've got this global purpose statement, but they weren't initially connecting with it on a personal level,” she says.

“So we created volunteering leave for volunteering with purpose. That is an APAC initiative and involves giving everyone three days of paid leave a year to volunteer with an organization that matches up for them in their community against the company purpose.”

The initiative was so well received and is now part of the global EVP approach.

“We wanted to work out how to signal to people who are already here to live every day in the EVP, that we care about the stuff they care about outside of office hours.”

It also demonstrates how the organisation is living its ‘people promises’, she adds, saying her favourite people promise is ‘be completely you’.

That message resonates personally with Forrester, as an Aboriginal Australian.

“This is the first company I've ever worked for, where I feel like I can bring my full self to work every day, that's actually valued, that my difference of thinking is something that helps the business be better and is recognised for that.”

As an organisation globally, Fujitsu has totally embraced the power of inclusion. Those that don’t harness its benefits “will miss out on the talent they didn't know they needed”, she says. Opening up that talent aperture helps the organisation to be successful and sustainable into the future, with the best and brightest talent.

Considerable reduction in attrition

EVP is not only critical to organisations in terms of talent attraction though, she says - the benefits are more widespread and in Fujitsu this has manifested in a considerable reduction in attrition.

“I talk about how we have to live our EVP inside our organization every day, because it's not about how you attract somebody, although that's very important, it's how you keep people, how people feel valued, and they have meaningful work.”

Organisations should also be mindful she says that EVP is not just an internal brand but also the external brand. “If you're not living your EVP every day as an organization - your internal brand - there's a disconnect and that's where you get retention issues and attrition issues. So I think we really closed out that gap between what we say we are, and how we're living our EVP every day, and we're seeing that in the data, which is great!”

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