Swiggy: Where values define behaviours and performance

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This food ordering and delivery company has got it right, in terms of having the right values in place and also ensuring that they cascade down well.

Successful businesses are not built on just immaculate marketing strategies but on a strong value system. Deciding on the values that form the foundation of the organisational culture, aligned with the business agenda and embedding these values across levels in the organisation isn’t an easy task to accomplish. It takes a dedicated top-down approach and constant reinforcement for the values to set in well. And here is a company that has got it right, not just in terms of having the right values in place but also ensuring that they cascade down well.

Swiggy’s core values form the bases of how the food ordering and delivery platform built on its culture, brand, behaviour and beliefs. Here are the eight core values:
• Consumer Comes first
• Strive for Excellence
• Be Humble
• Stand-up, Disagree and Commit
• Always be Curious, Always be Learning
• Exhibit bias for Action
• Be honest, display highest levels of integrity
• Act like an owner

Talking about how it all began, Girish Menon, head-HR, Swiggy, says, “The journey towards crystallising our core values wasn’t an easy one. As we began to scale at a rapid pace, it was imperative for us to re-align and establish values that shape and influence people’s attitudes and behaviours towards our consumers, partners and one another.” Having followed certain guiding principles since its inception, Swiggy now wished to look at values that would not only inspire people but also be deeply ingrained in all of their actions, serving as the cultural cornerstones.

Girish Menon

The journey towards crystallising our core values wasn’t an easy one. As we began to scale at a rapid pace, it was imperative for us to re-align and establish values that shape and influence people’s attitudes and behaviours towards our consumers, partners and one another. 

Madhav Vamsi, head-talent and culture, Swiggy shares, “Internally, there is an immense amount of awareness and articulation of our core values. I feel culture is always top-down, and as a cultural leader, it is imperative to build and design programmes to put values into action, deliberating role modelling and setting the right rituals for the organisation.”

The eight values were unveiled on the occasion of Swiggy’s third anniversary. “We needed employees to start living, working and leading teams in alignment with our core values, principles, beliefs and purpose, to ignite the extraordinary potential in all around us,” Menon shares. So, in order to cascade the values and ingrain them into the work environment, the entire office space was branded with them—right from desktop wallpapers to ceiling drop-downs. The values are also a part of the new hires’ induction process, hiring process, performance appraisals, and the rewards and recognition programme.

To build a culture we wanted, our leaders had to go first, modelling the way and setting an example for others to follow.

In addition, what really stands out as an effort to embed these values well is the storytelling drive Swiggy took up. Realising that the best way everyone could connect with the core values was through real-life stories, the Company decided to bring out living examples of when and where values were displayed in everyday life at Swiggy.

Madhav Vamsi

“To build a culture we wanted, our leaders had to go first, modelling the way and setting an example for others to follow,” Vamsi explains. The values core committee went about organising leadership narrative sessions for each department, which involved leaders coming up and speaking about their experiences at Swiggy. These stories in the form of interesting infographics, each carrying a caricature of one of the senior leaders and their experience with one of the values have been shared on social media and across channels.

Menon believes that this is an ongoing journey, and there’s still a lot for them to do. Striving for consistency in communication and processes across all offices PAN India is essential if everyone at Swiggy is expected to start living and abiding by the core values.

“As our culture continues to grow and evolve, our values will be our constant that can never be compromised. After all, it is these values that are at the heart of our amazing team of people, and ultimately, these are the people that make Swiggy so special,” Menon says.

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