“Great ideas can come from anyone in the organization, so we hire smart people and give them the environment they need to innovate. Those are the core of how we build a great organization.”
— Guillem Segarra, HappyFresh CEO
HappyFresh Group is the number one online grocery company in Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Jakarta, the company has expanded to eight cities in three countries and now operates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Every day, the HappyFresh team (called HappyFreshers) delivers the freshest, highest quality groceries to thousands of customers in Southeast Asia’s major cities.
The company’s purpose is to deliver a simplified life to its customers. In order to achieve this, all HappyFresh’s HR practices are based on the idea of designing an environment of trust and empowerment. The company’s employer value proposition is built upon 3 pillars: growth, leadership, and work-life integration.
“While many other startups haven’t put much thought into people and culture in their early years, at HappyFresh we play the long game. We have only been around for 4 years, but we invest in our people from day one.”
— Borries Putra, HR Business Partner
The objective of the growth pillar is to create a sense of mastery among HappyFreshers. Under the growth pillar, the company has four practices designed to foster employee growth:
a. Personality training and assessment
HappyFresh believes in putting the right person in the right place, and that people can perform far better when put in a role that benefits from their natural drive and/or personality. The company implements this belief by using a tool called VERITA to identify a candidate’s suitability to a role during the recruitment process. HappyFresh also uses the tool for team effectiveness coaching where everyone is made aware of their team members’ personality type and communication style, so they can work better together.
HappyPerformance is HappyFresh’s agile performance management framework. The process involves four elements: goal setting, bi-weekly check-in, quarterly appraisal, and analytics. The first goal of HappyPerformance is goal alignment. The company sets quarterly goals and the managers will make sure that quarterly individual goals align with the department goal and the company goal. The bi-weekly check-in provides platform for ongoing conversation and feedback between staff and manager. The quarterly appraisal incentivizes the top performers to progress faster in their career and helps the company to quickly identify skill gap that needs to be addressed.
c. HappyTalent – Young Manager Training
The average age of the HappyFresh manager is 27 years. Most of them were promoted from Senior Associate level, hence they might lack previous experience as a manager. On the plus side, this is also a great opportunity for the company to shape them into strong champions of HappyFresh’s values and culture. In the HappyTalent program, the young managers learn about fundamental managerial skills from Strategy Alignment to Managing Change. The training puts emphasis on experiential learning using tools such as Change-Pro simulation.
d. Succession Planning
40% of HappyFresh senior leaders are results of succession planning within the company. HappyFresh succession planning is a continuous cycle from defining key positions based on organizational strategy to promoting the people. The company believes in grooming and developing more people for leadership positions in the future.
The objective of the leadership pillar is to create a sense of purpose among HappyFresh employees.
a. Ask Me Anything (AMA) session
Every quarter, HappyFresh CEO and the senior management team organize a forum where employees can ask any question and the questions will be answered on the spot. The AMA session has been proven highly effective to foster trust and transparency within HappyFresh.
b. Accessible leaders and empowerment
From day one, HappyFresh builds a culture of accessibility where anyone in the company can talk to the senior leaders about anything and is welcomed to propose any idea for the company’s improvement. HappyFresh culture makes sure people feel empowered to start a new initiative. Anyone can shoot an email to the CEO or any senior leader about anything.
3. WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION
The objective of the third pillar is to create a sense of belonging among employees by enabling them to design their work around their life, not the other way around.
a. Flexible work arrangement
HappyFresh has a flexible work policy where employees have the freedom to start and finish work anytime they’re comfortable as long as they achieve their goal and attend mandatory meetings. All employees also have the privilege to work from home 2 (two) days a month. In addition to that, our office design accommodates both the need for private space and open space.
b. HappyBenefit (flexible employee benefit)
People have different ideas when it comes to “meaningful company benefit”. With HappyBenefit, HappyFresh allows people to pick what is best for them. HappyBenefit is an annual allowance that covers many things from health to personal development. HappyFreshers use HappyBenefit for various things from parasailing experience to organic cooking courses.
c. Recreational activities
HappyFresh organizes recreational activities to create bonding among HappyFreshers. Some of them are HappyFriday (a monthly get-together where employees gather for potluck, movie night, karaoke, etc.), HappyFit (a free Yoga, Zumba, or football session once every two weeks), and HappyConference (annual conference for 3 countries that combine hackathon and outing activities).