So far this year, we have experienced a 40% increase in staff, which prompted us to take the next step and (joyfully) move to new offices. Our projections estimate a further 50% increase by the end of the year, something that makes us very proud and poses a few challenges too. One of the biggest challenges for any company is to keep and improve the organizational culture as they grow, especially with such an exponential jump.
A Big Question Mark
One question arose during a quarterly results presentation by our CEO Andrés Vior, when Fer Lescano asked: “Is there a plan to keep as it is the company’s culture we are so fond of?” The truth is that in such a dynamic environment, staff rotates, responsibilities vary, and processes and methodologies are modified. So how can we uphold what really matters? How can we safeguard the company’s values? What can we do to preserve the essence of intive-FDV? To answer those questions, we interviewed Francisco Ronconi, Human Resources Director at intive-FDV, who has been working on the subject.
3 Keys to Maintaining the Organizational Culture when Growing
- Fluent Communication and Closeness to the Staff
Among the aspects we care about in this regard, we can mention:
- Recruitment Policy
We are always looking for the best talent out there, and the best fit for our culture. That is why we conduct a comprehensive process including exercises and technical tests with the Recruiting team and the project’s team to which the candidate will be assigned to, and also ask each applicant to take a psychological test.
- Staff Follow-up
One week after the candidate has started working at the company, we interview them in order to know how they felt and did in their first days at work. We also interview those who end their working relationship with intive-FDV, so as to learn why they decided to leave and find out what we can do to improve. The People, Culture and Development area follows each member of our staff along their journey in the company, based on the career plan we established together at the beginning. We are continuously providing feedback to our staff through the project leaders, too.
Often, the challenge is to keep the people who have been working at the company for some time motivated, so we encourage them to gain more experience, learn new technologies and get bigger clients. For instance, we offer them the possibility to participate in exchange programs in other countries, to discover new roles in different teams, or to be part of more challenging projects.
- Internal Communication
In Francisco’s words, “the aim is to be there for everyone and listen to each one. Anyone could have something to say that may be affecting their job.” For that reason, we have been working with the areas of Design and People, Culture and Development in a new process based on Design Thinking. Thanks to that, we are improving the Slack channels and internal newsletters, and creating a matrix of spokespersons for each area.
“We have ‘one on one’ meetings between the People, Culture and Development area, the technical leaders and team members in order to learn about their needs, wishes and careers goals, and to convey and uphold our values.” Francisco Ronconi
2 – Horizontality
This is a core idea we live by since our beginnings. When we decided to merge with intive, one of the things we considered was if they had a culture compatible to ours: we appreciated that they were a company with a similar entrepreneurial culture, born from a group of partners such as FDV Solutions was, who believed in the possibility of creating added value and of growing. The organizational mood, the method of designing software with agile methodologies, the way of organizing teams, the horizontality: everything was similar between both companies, enabling a smooth transition.
3 – Clarity and Transparency
Quarterly talks by the CEO are key to achieving transparency and opening doors in an ever growing organization. It is through such instances that we communicate medium and long term goals and sustain our values. In addition, we strive to give visibility to all tasks in each area, so that everyone has the tools they need to collaborate with other teams.
Daily Life at intive-FDV
Traditions are no less important in our culture. “Sweet Friday” each week, the “Keep, fix, try” initiative (a box to place suggestions to try new things, change or keep the usual practices), the series of talks, birthday celebrations: they are fundamental to us. Such habits define who we are, and we do not want to lose them on the way.
With only 17% of staff turnover (compared to an average of 25% in the industry), we feel proud of keeping and continuously attracting new talent. We know there is a long way ahead and that we cannot afford to stop trying, but we believe there is a bright and positive future for us.