The purpose of corporate culture

“The definition of our corporate culture was concomitant with a period of change in society as a whole and in the financial sector in particular,” says Enrique González, responsible for culture and communication with BBVA employees. “BBVA has spearheaded the digital transformation process that has conquered the sector. Such a significant change must be complemented by an accompanying cultural transformation. Build a culture aligned with the type of business you want to be,” he adds.

With a workforce of 126,000 employees in over 30 countries and a long history of mergers and acquisitions, BBVA met a daunting challenge when it decided to establish a common goal to serve as a single banner for the entire company. “We have a wide range of generational and national diversity at the bank, and the question we looked at was how to make all employees feel part of something bigger,” says González.

The approach adopted by the bank was to involve all employees in the definition process from day one. It seems to have worked: 26,000 employees took part in defining the purpose of the bank. “The first step in defining the goal was to identify the concept that would embody what we want to be. “Hence the origin of the bank’s raison d’être:” Bringing the age of opportunity to all. “Subsequently, three values ​​were defined to help the bank achieve this objective:” The customer passes above all “;” We are one team “; and” We think big. “

“Making it a participatory process was fundamental. We had the full support of the top management and the help of the Talent and Culture department to develop all the necessary activities, ”explained Gonzalez. Another key factor was to apply our values ​​to all business processes: “The executive chairman and the management team can adopt the values ​​in their statements; teams can shape their dynamics according to values; but, in organizations the size of BBVA – with more than 100,000 employees and a footprint that spans over 30 countries – it is essential to integrate these values ​​and behaviors into our processes, ”he adds. . Use company values ​​as a filter when interviewing candidates and evaluating or even incentivizing employees are just a few examples of the processes where company values ​​come into play.

It has also become more evident, especially among young people, that people are increasingly interested in understanding the values ​​on which a company emphasizes. Society is changing, and the work environment must follow suit in order to continue to attract the best talent. The social object, carried by its values, represents a powerful tool of differentiation.

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