How Global Merchants Make Our Company Culture Awesome | Boku

Tracy brings a wealth of global payment leadership experience, with notable roles including Head of Local and Alternative Payments, FinTech Partnerships at Meta, and Director of Digital Solutions at Visa. Tracy has expertise in payment technologies, covering authentication, tokenization, mobile wallets, real-time payments, and carrier billing. Her expertise extends to business development, strategic partnerships, and product commercialization.

Recently, I had the privilege of hosting and moderating a thought-provoking panel discussion on how to nurture a thriving workplace environment. I was delighted to be joined by leaders from three companies with inspirational cultures. 

Here at Boku, we want to be intentional in the way we build and nurture our company culture, especially as we rapidly scale. By creating opportunities for open discussions and bringing in leaders from companies whose cultures we admire, we are shaping  a customer-centric business that also champions and empowers our incredible team. 

The event was hosted at the Boku office in London in December. Our panelists shared insights with a packed room of Boku team members on topics including how to foster a resilient and value-based company culture, how to build authentic connections within your team and the importance of dynamic feedback in the business. 

Here are some of my key take-aways from the event.

Empower. Every. Individual.

Empowering every single person in the business to deliver their best serves as a beacon for a thriving workplace. It is the foundation of a growth mindset — an unwavering commitment to continuous learning and development that typifies world-leading companies.

It’s essential that diversity isn't merely encouraged, but is viewed as a true celebration of authenticity. Employees should feel free to bring their true selves to work in a culture grounded in values including respect, integrity, and accountability.

Leadership practices should be focused on clarity, energy generation, and delivering success. This sets the stage for an accountable and dynamic workplace. Regular surveys and reviews serve as invaluable tools, creating feedback loops that guide individual and collective growth. 

Build Connections, Build Trust.

It’s profoundly important to actively foster connections between people throughout your organization. Companies can’t rely on this happening organically – leadership must create pathways for these connections to be forged and nurtured. This, in turn, creates a workplace where every employee feels a genuine sense of belonging. 

Great products and solutions are created by people, so it’s essential to establish a company philosophy that emphasizes the significance of individual contributions. Feedback, both given and received, should be a cornerstone of company culture. Leadership should actively seek employee input, asking the pivotal question, "What can I do better?" This commitment to continuous improvement at all levels of the business should be embedded in formal feedback mechanisms, including peer feedback. 

Leaders need to actively encourage and embody authenticity, transparency, and trust. Frequent fireside chats and a weekly Q&A session with the CEO, for example, are proven ways to enable open dialogue and build a company culture that enables team members to challenge leadership, supporting better and more transparent decision-making. This accessibility ensures that upper management remains approachable and available, fostering a truly collaborative environment. 

Live Your Values.

It’s one thing to articulate your company values in a poster on the wall or in employee training, but how do you ensure the lived experience of your company culture actually embodies these values? 

Take the value of being a customer-first company, as Boku strives to be. Our panelists discussed ways that companies can make their values “visible” inside the business: daily reminders, embedding discussions of values in projects, regular workshops – even including a symbolic "empty chair" in meetings to represent customers, thus reinforcing the idea that the customer should be present in every decision-making forum.

By making values visible and striving towards continuous improvement, a positive culture becomes an integral and guiding part of the everyday life of the company. This is only possible by making sure that every team member understands their pivotal role in achieving the company's overarching goals. When your people, regardless of their individual roles, feel deeply connected to the purpose of their work, that’s when the magic can happen.

DEI Dos and Don’ts. 

Navigating the landscape of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), our panelists emphasized the significance of a proactive approach. At Boku, this commitment to proactive DEI really resonated. Whether giving new team members training on workplace culture, acknowledging different religious holidays, or fostering diverse employee groups – the emphasis on listening to employees and recognizing the unique DNA of each company cultivates an inclusive, supportive and productive environment.

Our panelists cautioned against adopting a “one-size-fits-all” mentality when it comes to DEI. They emphasized that success lies in creating a tailored approach, acknowledging the individuality of each company's culture. 

Location, Location, Location. 

In the era of remote and hybrid work, our panelists shared practical tips for nurturing a vibrant culture regardless of location. Technology is a positive enabler. Tools like Slack, Teams and Zoom create virtual spaces for enhanced collaboration and communication, giving remote workforce a stronger sense of team unity and cohesion around the world.

Virtual activities, such as book clubs and step challenges in which team members can participate whether in office, hybrid or remote, were highlighted as effective ways for fostering employee engagement. Small gestures, from keeping a drinks fridge in the office to communicating through fun gifs and memes, were underscored as vital contributors to creating a thriving culture, wherever people are. 

Company Culture in the Good Times… and the Not So Good.

Maintaining a positive culture is comparatively easy when times are good for the company. But company culture is both tested and cemented when companies go through more challenging periods. 

Job swaps and guided activities that build peer-to-peer empathy are essential to fostering a truly resilient culture. Supporting employees by acknowledging their emotions and providing avenues for communication are, likewise, critical components of maintaining a culture that carries a business forward – even through the most challenging times.

Boku’s Commitment to Culture.

Reflecting on the best practice and hard-won insights shared by our industry leaders, it’s evident to me that a robust company culture is not a luxury. It is a necessity. 

By embracing tailored approaches, learning from the experiences of companies that exemplify great company culture, and committing to continuous improvement, Boku is championing a company culture that centers the customer, supports every employee, and drives continuous innovation within the payments industry. 

Ready to be part of a dynamic team that values innovation, collaboration, and individual growth? Explore the exciting job opportunities at Boku and discover how you can contribute to a culture that defines success as being a catalyst for positive change.

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