Inspiring a culture change within the workplace

May 31, 2019

My name is Lân, and I was born in 1991. I left Vietnam for a while and spent four years working in Copenhagen, Denmark. During this time, I was lucky enough to have worked in three Danish startups where I was introduced to a new style of work created by my amazing colleagues. I learned valuable lessons, especially when it comes to problem-solving, team management, and business development.

The A team!

 

 

Danish startups, or Scandinavian startups in general, have similar elements. One of the key ones that really stood out to me, and the one I want to focus on today is “sharing is caring.” If you were stuck with something and didn’t know how to proceed, no problem, there was always someone willing to share their knowledge or information with you. How about a problem in your workplace? That’s fine too. Let’s solve it by discussing it first and getting all the necessary facts out. How about a personal problem? You’ll have a shoulder to lean on. And this happens whether you’re a new face to the team or not. It’s a kind of environment where you transition from strangers to colleagues to friends, effortlessly.

 

Now I’m back in Vietnam and working for Discovery Loft Vietnam. I’ve brought back with me the culture of sharing and caring, and I’m looking to inspire that type of atmosphere in here as much as possible. I try to keep a low hierarchy – there is no “boss” here, only team leaders. Everyone works hard together to realize our goals, and no one gets left behind. Trust to us is so important. I also try to blur the line between work and life, and I want everyone to feel as if we are a second, or extended family. Work shouldn’t feel like work – when you wake up in the morning, you should not be dreading to go to work, only excited thinking about the day ahead.

 

Of course, I face obstacles in doing this. Many companies and people in Vietnam are not used to this type of environment yet. Many colleagues are used to being silent, afraid to raise their voice or ask questions, only do what they are told. They’re afraid to get too close to their colleagues. But I guess that’s the beauty of a challenge. I am trying to lead by example – asking the team to criticize my ideas, and giving everyone a voice. If someone doesn’t like my idea, I will ask them to suggest better alternatives and we will once again evaluate it together. Decisions will be made for the benefit of our community.

 

I’m so happy to say that things are changing for the better and we are becoming a more cohesive and productive team. It’s not easy for people to change so quickly, so steps are small, but I am glad it’s happening and I hope that one day everyone is able to enjoy waking up and going to work every day.