None of the actions we have initiated are groundbreaking, or even novel, but for us as a company they have been steps in a direction we have consciously chosen to take: To become a better place to work.
For example, with VividWorkers spread out between two offices in Finland, remote workers in other countries and most of us still largely working from home, it’s been harder to connect with fellow employees and it has been a bit lonely at times.
Like some others out there, we have established virtual coffee breaks when we can’t meet face to face. It has been a nice way to connect, switch mental gears for 15 minutes while we share drone flying videos and tips on coffee brewing or how to bake the best sourdough.
Leadership and support network benefit everyone
Every employee deserves a great supervisor who demonstrates leadership while also supporting their professional growth. One way that VividWorks employees can chart their own professional development and give and receive feedback is through Checkpoints, development discussions with their supervisor. A list of questions and topics about the previous, current, and future work periods guide the discussion and help assess growth, well-being and happiness.
Checkpoints encourage open and transparent communication and assist management in their salary review checks. In addition, our updated Early Involvement model aims to help supervisors address wellness concerns before they reach a critical point for the employee, team, and company.
Learning should be continuous
We actively seek employee feedback to ensure that our company culture is constantly improving. We have introduced monthly Pulse surveys to see where we are doing well, what we need to improve, and we take them seriously. One area where employees made their wishes clear was that of learning and microlearning. The company has talented, intelligent people and a lot of internal knowledge – so why not provide more opportunities for people to be both student and teacher?
Project Completion Discussions were restarted, a nice way to learn about finished projects and their unique challenges as we come together as a company with a sense of pride for what we’ve accomplished for our customers. In addition, a new type of group discussion was initiated, Tech Talks, with content targeted for developers by developers, the heart of the company.
Lastly, management looked into areas where technological expertise is needed and decided to invest in Microsoft Azure and the tools it offers. As a result, a small group of engineers will self-train and take exams to become Microsoft Azure Certified, which the company will reward with a small financial incentive for the duration that each engineer’s certificate is valid.
Small joys are wins too
Improvements can come in all sizes. A small but never-the-less important addition was a Thank-You channel. The new Teams channel gives people the opportunity to recognize and thank each other for big and small things. Other small initiatives meant to spread smiles around have been company t-shirts, hoodies and stocking the office fridges with soda and sparkling water.
Building a better workplace by growing an intentional culture is a team effort that has been terrific to be a part of because, hey, VividWorks is an incredible collection of passionate people.