Monday, October 2, 2023

Sysco LABS reimagines a hybrid workplace strengthening employee engagement

With the growing shift towards hybrid and remote work, Sysco LABS Sri Lanka, the captive innovation center for Sysco Corporation, the global leader in foodservice, has successfully redefined the nature of work, driving a high level of engagement and a stronger sense of purpose.

Sysco LABS, at the forefront of rapidly changing technologies and innovation, understands the pre-covid day-to-day rituals that created cohesive and robust relationships, have changed, with associates now transitioning between coming into the office and or choosing to work remotely.

Aligned to the new normal, and in line with the company’s purpose of ‘connecting the world to share food and care for one another, the company having considered lifestyle changes of remote work is now focused on using myriad approaches to blend the needs, opportunities and preferences of individuals and teams at work to enhance employee engagement and experience.

While looking after its most important resource: its people; Sysco LABS is focusing on a hybrid work culture, creating, and hosting engagement events and related activities with capacity for limited physical audiences while ensuing people do not miss out but are able to join in virtually as well. Importantly, these activities and events are bringing people together, building and sustaining a strong company culture.

Elaborating on the role of engagement in developing this strong culture, Rehan Anthonis, Director, People Operations at Sysco LABS said, “In a hybrid work world, with core drivers of engagement radically shifted, as an organization we have had to rethink our approach. At Sysco LABS, we strongly believe that key moments in the employee lifecycle present opportunities to create a sense of belonging. As expectations change, we have embraced new paradigms, addressed nuances and reinforced our culture delivering employee engagement and a high level of wellbeing.”

Recognizing that people are social beings with camaraderie helping to forge bonds leading to a happy, inspired and creative workforce, Sysco LABS have for the past few months initiated a series of innovative employee engagement activities. Among the events held so far this year are Sysco LABS Happy Hours – informal fun work gatherings to encourage employee comradery, The Connect – an internal weekly knowledge sharing exercise, Purpose Led – Leader Sessions, Diversity & inclusion sessions, PerfUp – an external event focused on developing the local performance engineering practice etc.

Also making a significant contribution towards building company-wide engagement is the Sysco LABS Ministry of Fun which was conceived early in the company’s history. Now, the in-house committee decides the style and temperament of the events the rest of the employees enjoy every year. They organize both competitive and non-competitive events, from inter-tribe games and tournaments to annual events like New Year celebrations.

Commenting further on bringing people together and the value brought by employee engagement activities, Rehan said, “Nothing is achieved singularly, teamwork is paramount and the best step towards that is to be able to socialize, have fun and build trust among one another. All our activities are designed to enhance this aspect.”  

Sysco LABS believes that a sense of belonging has now become the biggest driver of engagement. When people understand how their jobs contribute to the company’s success and the greater good, they are likely to experience work as meaningful.

To learn more about the culture at Sysco LABS and for more information on the work they do visit –

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