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Name of Organization/Company: WAT Motor Sanayi ve Ticaret A.┼×.
Category: Leading Transformation Award

Entry Title: WAT “YOU are the Power of TRANSFORMATION” Culture Transformation Journey


WAT was founded in 1965 by GE and Koç Group. By 1999 TEE was merged into Arçelik, the largest home appliances company in Turkey, second largest in EMEA with 11 global brands serving in more than 145 countries. Motors produced by Arçelik known for distinctive technology, durability, have been first choice of the major OEM’s worldwide.

WAT is a B2B company selling tailor-made products. Its ability to meet changing needs of customers quickly is the most important factor for its success. However,

• Market share declined by 10% in 2018 as customer needs were not responded at the pace required.
• Critical KPIs (number of customers, response time, service delivery, sales, new customer acquisition) were not at the desired level.

This was the biggest trigger for a change in culture, business model, human resources processes that manage its valuable asset, talents. Responding faster was the most important step to regain market share. As a result of extensive studies, the engagement, motivation and cooperation between the departments are defined as the most important factors for this purpose.

by 2019, preparations started, and in 2020, Cultural transformation journey has begun. Results have significantly validated the success of this transformation.

“YOU are the Power of TRANSFORMATION” has been a very wide-ranging transformation journey in which the organization has moved the way of doing business and the work culture into a more agile structure, and all hr processes have been redesigned accordingly to achieve higher customer and talent engagement. Results are significantly successful in terms of talent metrics and company financials.

The Journey involves culture, organization, and talent management and followed all this through their impact on company goals. It is quite innovative in terms of its design and implementation, involvement of stakeholders, internal and external communication.

In line with the objectives set, the means of change were determined as agile methodology. But, it's not just the Agile Project Management approach;

-The change included the transition to the agile organization from a silo-based organization.
-WAT was Turkey's first production company to initiate agile transformation.
-Journey was managed phase by phase with a very detailed rollout plan within a short period.
-the biggest development investment in WAT’s history was done upon a needs analysis for new culture.
-Cultural dimensions were supported with an extensive development plan
-The most powerful aspect of the Journey was the measurement of positive development in many aspects beyond the original targets.
-All the processes of change in 3 cultural dimensions (engagement, motivation, cooperation)have a considerably positive effect on the commitment and engagement of talents, customer loyalty, and company financials.
-The impact on business financials, more importantly, employee engagement was very significant and validated

Key highlights of transformation:

-The organizational structure is voluntarily changed, inspired by the customer and employees. Hierarchy decreased, titles changed and the silo-based organizations moved into an agile and collaborative organization, the talent management was enriched by participatory and innovative human resources practices.
-New roles and competencies needed were defined, assessed, developed. All employees were offered a more empowered, collaborative structure where they could continuously improve and supported by new roles and expertise.
-Senior management support and commitment became a critical success factor. It was shaped by the continuous feedback of employees. New, innovative mechanisms developed to sustain continuous participation.
-transformation ensured WAT to become a best practice in its own sector in HR, Talent Management practices
-Impact on business performance metrics and financials, employee engagement was very significant and validated this change is a very correct initiative. (Details in ppt)

• Financials and critical KPIs have been improved, WAT has reached the best performance for the last 7 years and continues with evolving positive results.
o Overall company financials was improved by 61% and revenue increased by 70% in 2020 (Compared to 2018). The initial need was the decline in the market share. The market share was increased from 6% to 18%.
o There are incredible improvements in critical customerKPIs , Service Delivery Time (from 130 days to 65 days), Prototyping Time (from 30 days to 10 days), Proposal time (from 20 days to 3,6 days).
o Acquisition of 9 new customers and 5 new projects from existing customers.

It was a very visionary approach to define as the most critical tool to reach the desired performance on business results as culture change. However, it is better not to look at this journey as just a process of cultural change.

It has been a radical process of change that extends from organization to processes, from the necessary competencies to the definition of talent, to all human resources practices. Identifying the needs of the most critical actor “talents” and supporting their development with a comprehensive roadmap and serious investment done are also important factors for the success.

The attached presentation covers;

-Our Need for Change, Overall Journey Plan
(Our business need triggered transformation, our approach, detailed transformation plan)

-Organizational Change
(Details of the organization change and plans for agile transformation in terms of org model, roles&responsibilities, and way of working)

-Change in HR Practices
(Change Plan in HR practices and examples such as Performance Mng, Learning and Development Plan as the biggest contributor for change)

-Communication Plan and Activities
Results (including change in business KPIs and talent metrics related to 3 aspects of change,change in employee satisfaction results)


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