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How to foster a growth culture based on trust, transparency and freedom

Blog overview

At Aker BioMarine we believe that trust, transparency and freedom form the foundation for employee engagement. 

Engaged employees generate more ideas, are more productive and retain customers at a higher rate. 78 percent of our employees say that their job is a passion of theirs, not just a job. That’s why we at Aker BioMarine invest heavily to keep up the good spirit and ensure our employees stay passionate and motivated as our business grows.

We look for inspiration from the most successful and fastest growing companies in today’s business world and we zero-in on Silicon Valley. At Aker BioMarine we learn from such leaders about building a purpose-driven, dynamic organization that fosters growth.

To share in the spirit of these companies and stay close to the latest technological developments, we at Aker BioMarine have invested in StartupLab, a hub for technology startups in Norway. We firmly believe in using new digital tools to enhance efficiency and engagement among company employees in order to accelerate realization of new ideas and concepts.


Fostering Personal growth

New technology provides a handy way to foster employee growth and development. Last year we implemented BambooHR, a cloud-based administrative HR and performance tool that supports each employee’s development process.

Read more: How to attract, foster and build talent?

When selecting a new HR tool, the main focus was on user-friendliness and ability to drive motivation. We are not interested in tools that just rank our employees according to a criteria list.

We believe people want to do their best, and it is our managers’ responsibility to identify the motivation triggers for each and every employee. Establishing a culture of open and honest feedback is key to allowing new thinking to surface.

Among other things, we have initiated a leadership and employee engagement program that reinforces trust, transparency, empowerment, and engagement across the entire organization.


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Freedom to operate

A dynamic organization is a must for success in a fast-moving environment. To avoid unnecessary bureaucracy, we are modifying our organizational structure and leadership philosophy to empower employees to bring decision-making as close as possible to operational issues and opportunities at hand.

Our employee handbook has been revised to foster a corporate culture based on trust, transparency, and freedom. Gone are words such as “shall” and “must” and references to mandatory 9–15:00 work hours. We often see that disruptive ideas are not necessarily generated sitting in front of an office computer.


Read more: We need more skateboarders in the boardroom


We have built a culture where we take pride in the way we trust our colleagues to deliver results when given flexibility. For example, scientists may require time for silent thought when writing a paper, and that may be best accommodated at home or at a library, while marketing people may be inspired by visits to other companies or sitting at a busy downtown coffee shop.

Great ideas are often generated in discussion with others. We encourage our people to spend a lot of face-time with each other and to compensate for the physical distance between our crew in the Antarctic oceans and our global sales offices we were one of the first companies who started to use internal communication tool @workplace. Regardless of where our people are located, we always have a hand on the pulse and feel they are close.

This article was first published in our Annual Report. To read more articles like this click on the button below to download our Annual Report 2016.


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