HP’s founders, Bill and Dave, had a fundamental belief that in order to excel, they needed to create a workplace that fostered teamwork, encouraged high achievement, and rewarded loyalty. It was this belief that formed the basis of the management style and culture that has been a part of the company since our founding days in a Palo Alto garage.
Ultimately, this philosophy became known as the HP Way and played a role in leading the company to many noteworthy successes, including innovations that shape society and improve the lives of individuals. For this reason, the HP Way became one of the most iconic corporate cultures, setting the stage for the employee-centric values many Silicon Valley companies are known for today.
“What is the HP Way? I feel that in general it is the policies and actions that flow from the belief that men and women want to do a good job, a creative job, and that if they are provided the proper environment they will do so.” — Bill Hewlett
Like Bill and Dave, I too believe in the power of HP’s employees and see our workforce as key to HP’s turnaround. When I joined HP three years ago, it became clear to me that we needed to redefine our culture. Bill and Dave had intentionally left the HP Way ambiguous. Through acquisitions, changes in leadership and many years passing since Bill and Dave worked for the company, the HP Way had grown to hold a different meaning for every employee. Yet, it still had incredible impact in the organization. I saw this firsthand when I visited our Beijing office early on, and saw that the street in front was actually named HP Way.
In order to help HP continue to win in a rapidly changing industry, it was my goal to put employees back at the core of everything we do, and restore the much-heralded HP Way. At the same time, I recognized the HP Way needed to further evolve in order to support our current business environment. So we rolled out the HP Way Now, our reengineered and evolved take on the HP Way—honoring the past while making it relevant for today. The HP Way Now is an ecosystem that re-articulates the core principles and values by which we operate as a company. It also defines the attributes and behaviors required to succeed at HP.
Since its launch, the HP Way Now has spread virally throughout the organization. Employees have rallied behind it, finding fun and engaging ways to spread awareness and understanding. And it’s making a huge impact on the turnaround—our workforce is more united, with employee engagement up 23 percent since the beginning of the turnaround. Our customer satisfaction ratings have improved and the stock has more than doubled since we rolled out the HP Way Now.
Now, almost two years after standing on stage with Meg at an All Employee Meeting to formally introduce the HP Way Now to our more than 300,000 employees globally, I am more convinced than ever that the company’s culture is once again a differentiator.