Welcome back to the second part of our article about our company culture. In this part, we’ll be diving into what we believe is important for a healthy work-life balance, as well as discussing topics such as innovation, agile environment and socialising.
Work-life balance – The Greentube way
Flexibility is essential in today’s working world; not only must employees be flexible, but companies as well. Greentube understands this fully and ensures employees are given every opportunity to balance their personal and private lives through flexible working hours. We have a core time to make sure that there is a specific time-frame where everyone is working and where we can have internal meetings. Outside of this core time, every employee has the possibility to decide how they want to distribute their working hours. No matter if someone is an early bird or a late riser, our employees can work whenever they want within the flexi-time framework.
It is well-known that employees who can work on flexible schedules experience positive effects on their health and well-being. Employees with flexibility in their job reported effects (Thomas & Gansters) such as perceived greater control over work and family/personal life, lowered work-family/life conflict, increased job satisfaction as well as improved physical and mental health indicators (reduced health issues like headaches, insomnia, depression, blood pressure, etc.).
At Greentube, we know how important a healthy work-life balance is and that spending time with your family is essential to be happy and healthy. Therefore, we also provide our employees with the opportunity to go on parental leave and to return to an equal position. Since many of our employees also have children, everyone is understanding and accommodating when it comes to these family topics. We always want to make sure they are able to balance their professional and private lives and that they have enough time to enjoy all of the great aspects of having a family (at home as well as at work, with their “Greentube family”).
In addition to this, Greentube is a firm believer in life-long learning, which is why we whole-heartedly encourage the pursuit of knowledge and further education by providing our employees with the opportunity to take educational (part-time) leave. The gained knowledge not only improves the person but their colleagues and the company as well, as these new skills are tested and shared with others. Employees at Greentube have the opportunity to ask for support and will get advised by our HR experts what kind of leave best suits their individual situation.
Greentube also offers many other opportunities for personal and professional development for our employees. Our internal personnel development team conceptualizes internal career paths, training measures and maintains an internal Greentube Academy. Personnel development paths have been analysed for the different target groups (leaders, employees, new employees) within Greentube.
Innovative and Agile Environment – ‘If you have an idea, go for it’
Before we go any further, it is perhaps important to explain what an ‘Agile environment’ actually is. Put simply, an Agile environment is one that accepts and promotes change, process improvement, collaborative working and innovation. Agility, the ability to think, move and understand quickly, is key.
This is especially important in the modern, globalised and fast-paced markets like the online gaming industry Greentube is based. Simply being ‘innovative’ isn’t enough anymore. Sustainable success in this area can only be achieved by concentrating on not just innovation, but agility, engagement, self-organisation and customer-centricity. Only through the introduction of these leadership and management approaches are we able to keep pace with the growing complexity and speed of the market and, at the same time, not lose any of our innovative strength.
The idea is no longer to be as efficient as possible but to reinvent oneself constantly to react quickly and flexibly to the changing customer demands. Instead of focusing too much on the efficiency of the job they are currently doing, Greentube pays attention to keeping up with the market changes.
Coming up with high-quality and innovative solutions is also what counts for our employees when it comes to reaching their individual goals. It is not important how our employees complete their tasks, but the end result is what matters. This is why they are free to choose their own frameworks and whatever conditions they need to work productively and achieve the best results.
Working from home is also encouraged if employees feel like this is the environment where they can concentrate best and produce the most effective results. Being in the office more often or for more hours doesn’t necessarily lead to better results or an increased positive perception of a team member from a team leader. Both the terms “face time”, meaning being physically present at work solely for being acknowledged as hard-working, as well as “presenteeism”, meaning showing up ill at work or being at work to prove commitment and productivity are the norms at quite a lot of organisations today. This is not the case at Greentube. What matters to us is that our employees use their time productively and produce high-quality output.
The leadership at Greentube empowers employees to take ownership of their responsibilities and sees it as their priority to facilitate employees in a way that supports their particular way of working. Therefore, our employees are encouraged to discuss the demands and expectations put upon them openly. Project deadlines are discussed on common grounds and should always be achievable; however, work should still be challenging. What we are trying to prevent in our culture is having a competitive way of thinking within our teams. They should be encouraged to share their knowledge and, through that, come up with even better outcomes.
However, finding a way to satisfy shareholders and customers simultaneously and continuously develop and innovate at the same time can be challenging, but also time rewarding if successful. Therefore, from an HR perspective, we always try to foster and spread a culture where employees are encouraged to try out new things and are not afraid of making mistakes.
By enabling constant training and development for our employees, we strive to continually develop more efficient ways of working and optimised processes. We try to support our employees in their pursuit of innovative ways of working by not only providing constant development opportunities but also by giving them the chance to work with cutting-edge technology.
It is therefore essential that we remain up to date with the best software development methodologies and cutting-edge technology, which is why we work in an agile environment that brings a lot of benefits and advantages. Instead of betting everything on one single big launch, an agile team delivers work in small but consumable increments. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously, so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly (Atlassian, Agile Coach). The Manifesto for Agile Software Development values the four following principles:
“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan.”
Higher collaboration, transparency and engagement can be expected as all of the stakeholders are involved in the process, and they, therefore, feel like part of the project. As we work in sprints, it makes it generally easier to predict the delivery of new features as well as aid the planning process. This, in turn, leads to better predictability of time and costs, since every sprint is a fixed duration and the cost is predictable. “A sprint is a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work. Sprints are at the very heart of scrum and agile methodologies, and getting sprints right will help your agile team ship better software with fewer headaches” (Atlassian).
Another important point is that at Greentube, the saying “Customer is King” is lived. By creating user stories that focus on the needs of our users, we make sure that what we develop is actually what our customers enjoy. Hand in hand with this is the need to prioritise our features according to what delivers the most value to the company. By working agile, we are able to reprioritise and refine the product backlog continuously, and priorities can be changed quickly. Working towards an agile methodology also allows us to break down the project into manageable units. This allows the team to focus on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration.
Socialising – We want you to feel comfortable and part of something.
You don’t truly know Greentube until you have been to one of our well-known Greentube parties. These social gatherings of various shapes, sizes and ‘levels of craziness’ allow our employees to meet regularly to network with people from other departments they wouldn’t necessarily meet during their daily routine. These events revolve around discussing things that wouldn’t necessarily be talked about at work, helping to establish and strengthen relationships that foster our ‘one company’ feeling, and, most of all, to celebrate having fun together as the Greentube family.
These regular get-togethers are especially useful to our new starters, as they provide them with the perfect chance to connect and get a feeling of the size of the company as well as its informal rules.
As stated above, it is easy to walk up to somebody and ask for help in our company, and it is even easier to do so if you have met a colleague before at one of our informal events. We believe in findings like Deb (2009, S.215), who states in his book that, “Forming relationships is critical for accomplishing jobs effectively and efficiently.”
Another beneficial effect of our regular events is that they are also a way of showing our appreciation to all of our hard-working and focused employees who try their best for the company every day. We try to encourage our managers to celebrate more often, especially if a project has been finished successfully. It’s not a must to establish these events for a company (Durstmüller, 2002) and it definitely does not have to be a motivation boost for all of your employees, but it is an important part of our company culture at Greentube. In general, it is important for us to foster and maintain a healthy and happy working atmosphere among our employees, because moods matter, especially when it comes to (great) performance.
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