“We -uell” instead of “Solated”-that's how corporate culture works

“We -uell” instead of “Solated”-that's how corporate culture works

Even if we hopefully survived the coarsest of the Corona crisis soon, the world of work is still fully under its spell.Most startups and tech companies still act largely remote and have the employees in Home Office.If at all, many are very hesitant back to the office.The enormous challenges brings the enormous challenges to build and impart a corporate culture as the central success factor of a company.Especially when companies grow strongly, hire virtually and many employees have often never got to know each other personally.

As it can still work despite all the new circumstances, the Austrian startup Kaleido shows.Thanks to a “Culture First” strategy, hardly any employee has left the company who takes care of the background removal of images and videos thanks to a “culture first” strategy.What needs from Home Office packages to mood tracking or traditions such as virtual skribbl groups, which learning has taken with you in this way and why transparency, feedback culture and flexitimes belong to the future, co-founder Benjamin Grössing in today's guest articleExciting answers and tips.

Quite a few tech companies, their management levels and HR departments are faced with a luxury problem once again by the wave of digitization that Corona is once again: they grow economically and thus also in terms of personnel.With all attached humility in this happy situation, we too were massively encouraged and expanded despite the Covid crisis.Several new employees are currently joined in every week.The biggest challenge was and is to be virtually virtually virtually virtually used for the corporate culture as our central mainstay despite the new circumstances around Covid and Home Office.Why?Above all, to keep the motivation and well -being with our current team constantly high and with all the new ones from the start.Definitely not an easy undertaking when you consider that many of the team have never met personally.

Corporate culture as the linchpin for long-term success in the startupwieso is the subject of culture so important under difficult circumstances?Because it makes sense on all levels and is corporate critical.To ensure that an engine runs smoothly, it takes lubricants, otherwise it will sooner or later be defective.In the case of a company, these lubricants are the interpersonal relationships and the communicated but above all lived values.To enable and convey all the digital first to every team that is growing in a rapidly growing team is elementary for the company's success and, above all, our own demands.A hardly existing employee fluctuation was not our primary drive, but is the most beautiful side effect and reward.

In our startup, corporate culture is the central starting point for all action before the product.Together with my co-founder David Fankhauser and our COO Alex Brix, together on this topic for weeks.We have intensively considered what it really needs to build the best company for us.What would we have wanted in our previous jobs?What does employees really fulfill and weld together as a team?Apart from exciting new technologies and products with real impact, we were concerned with the fact that everyone in the team is really motivated and committed and have fun.In the best case, it shouldn't even feel like work, even if it is natural because the enthusiasm for the matter and the cohesion are so great.

In the course of the process, we looked at a lot, reflect, rolled plans and finally created and implemented resources.If we had not been able to get this in order for us, the entire startup would probably not be at all.It may be a somewhat radical approach to bury a good idea for a startup if you can't get the best possible framework for great cooperation.But this consistent orientation towards “Culture First” has paid off very much in retrospect.

So the basic structure was already in place and even if Corona apparently put us in the thread in many things, we also took a lot with us.In the hopefully old normality, like before the Covid crisis, we will soon remain some of it because it has proven itself.How all of this worked and how it is digitally possible not only to keep your troops happy, but also to go completely new ways, we now want to show you based on our top 10 tips on building a corporate culture in times of Home Office:

1.) Whether offline or online - community structures and values ​​from the start away above all the first point for this has just been cut: initially strong community structures and values ​​create, whether in the office or at home. This is therefore easy to say, but at the beginning, a time and effort not to be underestimated. Specifically, the management team means together with everyone a scaffolding of values ​​and behavior that not only enable good cooperation, but rather promote and fertilize. Also and especially for all the descendants. Of course, these are not carved in stone, but should grow as well as the team. Specifically, this went with us through anonymous surveys in the team, the mostly mentioned aspects were the starting point. In our case, these were aspects such as agility and “fail almost” mentality, team first or the highest possible transparency (see below). Since the question of corporate culture was particularly common in job interviews and is a key criterion for many applicants, we have also summarized it on our Careers page (https://www.remove.bg/careers


2.) Die physische Homebase & ein Zuhause für das ganze Team – das Büro ist und bleibt wichtigIn unserem Fall war das noch mal eine ganz spezielle Situation. Wir waren eben in unser neues Büro gezogen, dass noch mitten beim Einrichten war und dann kamen die Lockdowns. Viele hatten das neue Büro oder Arbeitskollegen noch nie gesehen. Und genau das wollten wir bewusst niemanden verwehren. Jeder Mitarbeiter hatte immer im Rahmen der gesetzlichen Regeln die Möglichkeit zumindest zwei Tage in der Woche ins Office zu kommen. Das Rotationssystem wurde dann gerade je länger die Lockdowns und Home Office dauern immer besser angenommen, was uns in diesem Vorgehen bekräftigt hat. Wir sind alle soziale Wesen und eine Luftveränderung zum Schreibtisch Zuhause und das zwischenmenschliche Miteinander – sei es nur ein Plausch am Weg zum Mittagessen holen ist nicht gänzlich ersetzbar. Wir sind der Überzeugung, dass das Büro gerade auch als Begegnungszone im Unternehmen weiter eine wichtige Rolle spielt und nachgefragt wird, auch wenn wir prinzipiell die Möglichkeit bieten über weite Strecken „fully remote“ zu arbeiten.

3.) The optimal work station for everyone-whether at home, in the office or on the go, the topic has increased us in the course of Corona crisis and the associated home office.What do employees need at home, but also in the office to be able to work in the best possible way?Apart from the actual computer or laptop-extra screens, a good ergonomic armchair or technology tools for on the go.If all employees know that from wherever you want to be, the best possible setting, then this has a positive effect on the entire workforce.And as so often, if you create opportunities, they do not use it, they do not use it, but order things that make sense in their view and that they really support in their job.

“Wir-tuell” statt “Ich-soliert” – So klappt Unternehmenskultur

4.) Volle Transparenz & Vertrauen – jeder soll und darf offen sprechenWas gerade dann hilft, wenn man sich nicht persönlich sieht, aber generell eine hohe Bedeutung für die Unternehmenskultur haben sollte, ist ein sehr hohes Maß an Transparenz. Und das in vielfältigster Weise. Transparenz von Seiten der Gründer, dass die Mitarbeiter über alles was relevant und spannend ist frühestmöglich informiert und miteinbezogen werden. Das beste Beispiel bei uns waren die Exit-Gespräche mit Canva. Sämtliche Mitarbeiter wussten über diesen Deal bereits Monate vorher Bescheid, dicht gehalten hat trotzdem jeder. Oder unsere vierteljährlichen Townhall-Meetings, bei denen das gesamteTeam vom Management wirklich über alle Zahlen, Daten, Fakten und Pläne informiert wird, seien sie noch so heikel und vertraulich. Dieses Wissen um die gegenseitige Verlässlichkeit schweißt zusammen. Ein Unternehmen wächst aber gleichzeitig auch daran, wenn Mitarbeiter wissen, dass sie jederzeit positiv wie auch kritisch Feedback geben können und gemäß dem Motto “we listen” auch gehört und Ernst genommen werden. Jeder soll seinen Impact und Space im Startup haben. Diese beidseitige Offenheit und Feedbackkultur vom CEO bis zum Praktikanten im täglichen Zusammenarbeiten ist umso wichtiger und hilfreich, wenn man sich nicht tagtäglich vor Ort sieht, um Missverständnisse frühzeitig zu erkennen und zu beheben.

5.) Stimmungstracking – in Einzelgesprächen & über anonyme Feedback-Tools wie officevibeDamit einhergehend sind gerade Einzelgespräche elementar. Wenn remote gearbeitet wurde, läuft das eben im digitalen Call, aber der 1:1-Austausch oder Feedbackgespräche im kleinsten Kreis sind durch nichts zu ersetzen. Was uns persönlich wirklich sehr positiv überrascht hat, sind Stimmungstools wie officevibe. In unser internes Kommunikationstool Slack eingebaut, fragt diese App alle Mitarbeiter natürlich freiwillig und anonym über wichtiges Themen von Arbeitsbelastung, persönlicher Weiterentwicklung bis zu Gehaltsniveau oder der Beziehung zum Team-Lead. Drei von vier unserer Mitarbeiter machen bei diesem Tool völlig freiwillig mit. Über Anwendungen wie diese, sind auch kleinere Veränderungen bemerkbar und können dann einmal offen angesprochen werden. Gibt es hier Ausschläge wird das monatlich mit dem Team besprochen. Das Feedback und wie darauf eingegangen wird, wird regelmäßig mit den Mitarbeitern unter anderem über unser Kommunikationstool Slack geteilt, um zu zeigen dass Kritik und Wünsche gehört und auch behandelt werden und nicht ins Nichts gehen. Auch hier gilt Prävention, Früherkennung und aktive Inangriffnahme von möglichen Schieflagen hilft dabei, gemeinsame Ziele schneller zu erreichen und ein gutes Klima beizubehalten.

6.) Team events, the Skribbl Group or the common fitness challenge ventilation events themselves have been part of the standard repertoire for team building and employee motivation for many years.In view of strictly Lockdowns and assembly bans, like many others, we were faced with the question now?In the case of the Christmas party, we then managed it virtually well with a lot of effort and the same money as for the on-site celebration.Everyone got a party package home with cladding, all the required ingredients for a cocktail course that we then all did together under guidance.Overall, it was a valuable and iconic experience, but we are all looking forward to all on site events!

But it is really different with other virtual fun groups, who are now loved.Funnily enough, they were already created in front of Corona and have proven themselves since then.On the one hand, the weekly scribble hangouts, in which words are drawn and guessed online, or together together fitness challenges, where together and, for example, are matched via the clocks or trackers.The top premise with all of this is still the voluntariness, if you want, nobody has to or should feel pushed.

Precisely because many of our team are often not in the office, such activities still give everyone, if they want, the opportunity to be and part of the community, no matter where you are in the world.In this regard, Corona was definitely a catalyst for the entire remote working movement.

7.) Resultatbasiertes Arbeiten statt Stunden zählen – raus aus dem Kontroll- & rein in den Trust-ModusAuch hier gilt ähnlich den Teamevents eigentlich das Motto alles schon gehört. Massiv relevanter wurde dieser Aspekt durch die gesetzlich auferlegte Home Office im Zuge der Corona Krise. Fast sämtliche Mitarbeiter mussten landesweit von Zuhause arbeiten. Viele Führungskräfte hatten mit diesem scheinbaren Kontrollverlust hart zu kämpfen. Das ohnehin veraltete Leistungs-Paradigma Anwesenheit war plötzlich dahin. Wir haben hier den Vorteil, dass wir darauf nie Wert gelegt haben. Am Ende zählt aus unserer Sicht immer, was dabei rauskommt und nicht wie lange jemand an etwas sitzt. Genau deswegen werden, wie auch bei vielen gerade digital fokussierten Unternehmen gemeinsam quartalsweise realistische Ziele definiert, die jeder einzelne erreichen will. Für viele Chefs war das insofern ein heilender Schock, weil der gute Mitarbeiter von morgen es als Standard-Option sehen wird, von wo auch immer und nicht unter den Augen der Vorgesetzten seinen Job zu machen.

8.) Traditionen fördern: Das Virtual Weekly Standup, ein Guten Morgen in der Früh & Slack-Chats mal auch ganz privatUnternehmenskultur basiert gerade und besonders auf vielen kleinen lieb gewonnenen Traditionen. In unserem konkreten Falle das „10:10“ – ein Online-Weekly-Monday-Standup. Fing es als klassischer Zwei-Minuten Überblick an, was bei einem letzte Woche passiert ist und was diese Woche am Plan steht, wurde die Pitch-Zeit parallel zur Teamerweiterung mittlerweile zwei Mal halbiert und das Format adaptiert. Noch immer kommt jeder kurz zu Wort aber nur mehr 30 Sekunden, in denen er sein persönliches Highlight auf einer Canva-Folie präsentiert. Gleich geblieben ist seit Tag 1, dass fast jeder mit einem Gemeinschaftsgefühl und einem Schmunzeln gemeinsam in die Woche startet.

The daily good morning of all team members on slack is almost a good tone, but certainly promote the mostly filled random slack channel with private fun with private fun.Especially when many had to sit at home, the urgently needed laughs were not neglected.And again - the employee from abroad, who works for two weeks from the family in Bulgaria, China or France, remains on the ball over the last gossip.

9.) Intensive onboarding puts the initial slide on the good corporate culture. An employee comes to the company, then onboarding this is around and up to be able to welcome it professionally as best as possible and to familiarize them with the corporate culture. All the more when Corona has never seen itself in person. In this respect, we have put a lot of emphasis in an extensive onboarding process, in the course of which every employee immersed in the company intensively in his first two or three weeks. To do this, every sub -area is presented to him by various employees in a personal call. So he can not only get to know many of his new colleagues, but also different departments. During the Home Office time, the onboarding also fulfilled the coffee, lunch and smoke break in one fell swoop and get to know each other. And the newbies among themselves saw themselves straight away. Another tool here is our “Ruffle meetings”, in which new employees from the “virtual hat” draw names out of the team with which they make informal meetings on topics away from work.

10.) Working according to energy level - just let go if it is no longer the most important aspects of team and cohesion that we really live flexible working hours. Say: private obligations and weaknesses are completely fine and can be built into everyday life. If you have a bad day, don't feel good or plague the worries, you can sometimes get the laptop better. Everyone is tired or struck, especially in Corona times and we really want to convey the feeling that it is better to switch back a gear than to torture yourself unnecessarily. We trust that the average weekly workload will be fulfilled and have never been disappointed. In the course of the COVID crisis for all stressful Covid crisis, we also installed Installp with us, a platform that every employee with real psychologists on all topics that can seek a conversation. The company bears all costs for this.

In terms of time and monetary effort as a key - corporate culture, many fruits are summarized: To invest time, heart and also financial means in corporate culture pays off at all levels!If only because in a “happy company” the motivation of everyone involved is significantly higher, employee fluctuation is far less and at the same time you have strong arguments for new employees in “War for Talent” with a coherent coexistence and a functioning structure.Every clever applicant quickly realizes whether a corporate culture is only a lip service or that it is also lived with conviction.

About the Autorbenjamin Grössing is the founder of Kaleido.With the startup from Vienna, to which the services Remove.bg and unscreen, everyone can remove the background of pictures and videos with one click.The Australian company canva recently took over the Austrian company.

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