Overcoming rapid scaling's growing pains by fostering a cohesive culture
Company Culture, Management Skills
Carousell is an online classified marketplace with both business-to-business and business-to-consumer offerings. Headquartered in Singapore, it also operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. A newly-minted unicorn company nine years after its inception, it is currently valued at 1.1 billion USD and continually expanding.
Challenge: Integrating cross-cultural teams to build a cohesive organisation
Rapid growth comes with growing pains, and a main blocker was integrating their cross-cultural teams across markets. Fostering robust global teams takes time, and can be challenging when an organisation is scaling fast. The quandary remains: How do you keep moving to achieve company targets, while ensuring that each team member align on different cultures, management styles, and ways of communication? This can lead to a lack of understanding and trust across teams, affecting morale and work outcomes.
Solution: A shared learning experience to increase mutual understanding and work efficiency
All great shifts start somewhere. Su Lin Tan, Carousell's Chief of Staff, nominated their Marketplace Experience and Sales teams to kickoff their learning partnership with us. Teams across Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines needed alignment on management expectations and cultural understanding to work towards a shared goal of effectively serving external stakeholders.
Building empathy and better working relationships
A successful team is made up of many moving parts, and shared understanding is a catalyst to nurture one. With the exchanging of ideas during our small-group activities in our live sessions, learners were able to create realistic work scenarios and learn to problem-solve together. In doing so, they develop a stronger understanding of each other's professional challenges, supporting and learning from one another. As Vanessa Sng, Sales Strategy & Operations Manager, noted, "reading their weekly reflections and key takeaways were the highlight for me. In a way, you get to learn more. Your takeaways might be different from others, and you get to see what's important to your team."
Increasing rapport with intention
To improve integration across Carousell markets, we intently grouped team members from different locations together for programme activities.
"It was great that I was able to connect to someone outside of the Philippines" — A Philippines-based team member
The learner emphasised that the programme gave him the chance to get to know a teammate on a deeper level, which would otherwise have been less likely in their day-to-day work. This gave him insight into how he can go on to build stronger ties across Carousell's cross-cultural teams.
Levelling up people management through applicable learning
Every individual's transformational journey leads to a larger organisational culture shift.
"I gained new ideas on how to improve as a leader through being able to express myself during activities" — A Sales Manager
This was a sentiment shared by other learners. Equipping managers with essential people management skills, such as coaching methodologies, bolsters their confidence to lead growing teams across borders.
Impact: Strengthened morale to face bigger leaps
Flourishing in the global online marketplace landscape, Carousell's relentless growth has seen them through multiple mergers and acquisitions. As they continue to move forward, integrating cross-cultural teams will be a persisting need, and this is where NewCampus comes in as a learning partner that adapts nimbly for diverse teams. For now, the Marketplace Experience and Sales teams are taking on with renewed confidence to lead dynamically at Carousell. As Joans Mateo, Team Manager in Manila, said, "the programme rekindled my spirit to build a legacy".