IT service company Netcompany was founded out of Denmark in 2000. 20 years later it remains headquartered in Copenhagen, but it has now grown into a global organization where half of its revenue comes from outside of Denmark.
It now has 7,700 employees across the Nordics, DACH, Benelux, the UK and Vietnam. Looking after this global workforce, and their employee experience, is Jesper Klitgaard, Netcompany’s global chief people officer.
Interestingly, despite its size – and rapid growth – Netcompany has a very flat structure – the leadership team is very aware that it cannot know everything that is going on, so having “input and involvement” from employees is key to business success.
Employee listening is therefore top of mind for the tech employer – but this is pointless if there is then no action taken – “you also need to grow and improve as an organization”, Klitgaard shares exclusively with UNLEASH.
“We lead by example, but also by trust” – “it is important that we as top management create a space where employees feel comfortable coming to us” with problems and concerns, he adds.
Diversity and ERGs at Netcompany
To further cultivate this trust and transparency within the organization, last year, Netcompany launched an employee resource group (ERG) initiative – it now has seven active ones across its global business, and each one has an executive sponsor.
The aim was to use the ERGs to ensure the senior leadership was being “proactive” around employee listening.
“It is important that we as top management create a space where employees feel comfortable coming to us” with their concerns – and their feedback was really driving progress around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).
Klitgaard added: “We want to see real change” coming out of the ERGs, and for the actions to be quick.
The priority was “having an open discussion on the ideas that they’re bringing forth, and then [agreeing] on what actions we need to implement”.
Recent examples of changes made through this executive-ERG partnership are adding pronouns to email signatures, a gender-neutral dress code and a revised employee handbook, including a new section on how to support those who may need special assistance to carry out their work.
Because of the close relationship between the ERGs and the management team, these changes could be taken quickly – some even in just a few weeks.
Looking beyond Netcompany
Clearly DEIB is top of mind for Netcompany as an employer – it wants to build an inclusive workplace for everyone (doing so, simply makes sense), and will continue to make progress here. “We’re doing a lot of great stuff, but we’ve only just started.”
However, this commitment doesn’t stop at the walls of the company. Netcompany has partnered with Danish esports organization Astralias, and specifically its women’s team.
“We believe that gaming and esports are good and natural ways to spark interest in technology, but you need the right role models. With this partnership we want to be a part of building up female, and aove all, roles models within esports and gaming,” notes Klitgaard.
He adds that the tech employer takes a similar approach to how it thinks about internal development -yes, it is good for current employees and the organization as a whole, but it is bigger than that.
“The investment that we make in our people, and in their personal development and training is giving back,” states Klitgaard. “If somebody leaves, they will take that knowledge with them, and give back [to wider society through] the digital capabilities” that they’ve learnt.
The core of Netcompany’s learning and development strategy is its internally built Academy.
“We’ve conducted around 12,500 days of training through the Academy” – there are mandatory seminars, but employees can also access pop up courses that are relevant to their current role and their wider career.
Netcompany and the future of AI
The Academy is just one example of HR tech that Netcompany builds internally.
“We have the knowledge and skills sets in house…we have a really strong internal application development setup, which is really driving a lot of change in an efficient way”.
Klitgaard notes the company also keeps an eye on emerging tech, and the boundaries of technology, in an effort to drive innovation.
“We are curious about new technology,” he adds.
Data and analytics, in particular, are top of mind for Netcompany.
A big priority is having a “strong data foundation” to help Klitgaard’s HR team to “deep dive” and then slice, dice and analyze.
Another top goal for Netcompany now and into the future is AI. “AI is something that we’re already looking at, but we need to look into that a lot more,” shares Klitgaard.
“We want to use it internally, but I also think we bear a responsibility to play a role in how AI can be used and implemented in a controlled and secure way” – building out the right HR use cases and collaborating with its clients and partners is key.
Netcompany, AI and UNLEASH World
Klitgaard is thrilled that he will be sitting down with his colleague Alex Rylance, UK head of HR, to discuss the nexus between AI and HR in more depth at UNLEASH World 2023.
He is also “looking forward to getting a lot of inspiration, insights and ideas” on the key HR trends – “I expect to get a lot of great information to take home” and experiment with at Netcompany.
It’s not too late to join Klitgaard and learn from our roster of fantastic speakers! Grab your ticket now.
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