A few weeks ago, we published our company values and guiding principles. Whilst in that earlier blog post we elaborated why we think it is important to make them explicit and how we went about mapping them out, we wanted to dive deeper into each value in follow-up posts and explain what they mean to us.
Today, let’s talk about Transparency! We value it very highly as it reveals the background of our actions and decisions, makes them understandable and creates trust. With everything being transparent, we are empowered to take informed decisions, take ownership and participate in the continuous improvement of our company. To live up to it, we all need to be transparent by default and communicate proactively.
Default to transparency and communicating proactively
Any information that we come across that could be valuable to others, anything we do or any decision we take that has an impact on someone else is supposed to be shared, so everyone can act on the same knowledge base. But just putting the info in a place that is theoretically accessible by others often is not enough: We need to approach others in a proactive manner and let them know about new details, a change of plans, a deadline we are not able to meet, a change in a process, or anything else that is important to know so everyone can adapt accordingly. That way, we can avert problems before they arise.
At EMPAUA, the transparency already starts with the recruiting process: after the Discovery Day, where a candidate spends a day in one of our offices, gets to know the people there, has lunch with his potential new colleagues and has several interviews, the so-called Recruiting Panel will provide very detailed feedback on cultural fit, role fit and skills, which is then sent to the candidate. Our salaries are transparent for everyone in the company and there is also no exception for Managing Directors or Founders. When it comes to hiring new talent this is helpful to find a fair salary from day one on. Then of course, all our roles and accountabilities are accessible in holaSpirit, our tool for our role-based company setup, so if we are trying to find out who to turn to with a certain issue, we can easily find that information there. Our complete Google Drive structure and therefore all documents in all team folders are free for anyone within the company to look at. Furthermore, we just started to publish our short- and mid-term goals, so everyone knows what their colleagues are trying to achieve, which fosters motivation and allows for the discovery of potential synergies. There is a Slack channel for each office and team – people give updates in the morning and inform their colleagues in case they will work from home that day, join the office later because of an appointment, or are sick and need to stay in bed. That way, nobody needs to wonder where a certain colleague is when they are looking for them. Of course, all our calendars are set to visible to anyone within the organization, so we can also check each others‘ appointments and see who is going to be off when. When our Sales team wins a deal, everyone gets an email and can have a closer look if they are interested; and when a project is finished, there is an automated posting in the team chat, displaying some KPIs and people who have contributed to its delivery.
Needless to say, there is still room for improvement – nothing is ever perfect. But we strive to get better every day, and the most important thing is that every team member is empowered to share their ideas, kick off new initiatives or make suggestions regarding the adjustment of processes if they see the potential for us living up to our values to a greater degree.
Reach out via email in case you have questions or want to learn more about our company culture!