“Tina, shouldn’t we have company values? This is something essential when a company grows, right?” Sure, let’s talk about values. In every good management magazine, you can find an article saying that values support the company’s vision, shape its culture, and guide the team on how team members should work together. But what does that mean exactly? And why did we decide to work on our values together?
Let’s start from the beginning
We are a young team, steadily growing and adding new parts to the company, which means we are still building the organization. From time to time, we discover aspects that we still need to establish, just like the values that we wanted to tackle at the beginning of this year. However, the thing with values is that they are never useful if dictated from above. From our point of view, the real power of values represents how people work together and what the team members can expect from both their colleagues and leaders.
So, having this in mind, we formed a focus group with team members and leaders who have already been at Dotbite for some time. These have worked on projects related to the team culture and know how it really looks like working at Dotbite. After several meetings, the decision was made on the five core values that represent us the most and give people an insight into what they can expect when working with us. Then, our CEO Emir communicated these values officially to all team members in one of our bi-weekly team meetings to verify everybody was on board with the decision and that our values were not only written down but also lived (or worked) by.
This brings us to the next step – the team itself. What do we all have to say about these values? What do they really look like at Dotbite? This was the topic of a whole video campaign where we asked everybody to join us in giving us an insight into these values. And the reason behind this is that we wanted to give each person the chance to reflect on them and integrate them even more into their work life. How did it go? Here’s a short insight into what the team told us:
Our first and probably the most important value for us is authenticity. “Be yourself, call a spade a spade and speak your truth” is the first thing that came to Julia’s mind, our EdTech marketing genius. So, you are ideally communicating your thoughts openly and staying true to your own beliefs and values. “To communicate on equal terms with everybody, from team members to leaders” is what Julian, our sales manager, added. He also mentioned that being open about receiving and giving feedback is part of being authentic when facing problems or challenges. Following this statement, Markus, a junior dev, told us about his experience with Adrian during his first contact with Dotbite: “When I had my job interview with Adrian, my lead, he motivated me to always openly say what I think as this is what brings us all forward.” Is this too corny for you already?
“I think much more can be achieved when we share our thoughts. Two minds have more potential than one, and we should really use that!” says Lukas, our Head of EdTech. Julian mentions: “No one can say that they are perfect but we can help each other grow when we are open.” He adds that when we are open with each other, we build trust which makes us a better team. That being said, we realized how important it really was to bring our values to paper. There were so many great thoughts on this! Reflecting on it, Emir told us: “Open communication, direct feedback, and telling each other things that might not be easy at first brings us all forward!”.
If you don’t know what we mean by Momentum, here’s our official statement: We work in an agile, solution-oriented, and user-centered way to get the best solutions for our clients and projects. So, what does that mean for us as a team? Jonathan, one of our web developers, says, “Working agile at Dotbite means that we continuously communicate with each other and keep each other up to date regarding all the projects we are working on to make sure that we are on track.” Web developer Lukas thinks that “it is important to work in an agile way because you need to work smoothly on changes made by clients at short notice. Software development, in general, is never going to work out the way you had imagined at first!” Well said, Lukas!
“Direct communication that happens consistently – that’s what helps a lot when working together on a project”, says Christoph, one of our founders. “I prefer taking the time for a 5-min-video-call over sending 10 different emails regarding a project or an idea – let’s just quickly talk about it!” mentions Julia. And Tina, our HR Manager (that’s me), tells us: “I can always count on my colleagues – whenever I need help or an idea, I know that I will get new input. That’s what is so nice about working as a team!” Are you getting the idea of it?
Last but definitely not least is our value of individual development. “I continuously motivate my team to take on responsibility and try new things – because you learn the most when you make your own experiences!” states Lukas. Christoph adds: “I have taught myself everything that I need today from scratch and I’m convinced that anyone can learn anything if they are ambitious and eager enough!”. This philosophy is also part of our recruiting strategy – you don’t need to know everything. You just need to be keen to develop yourself and your skills. Maybe Julia has the perfect last statement for this value: “You will probably be thrown into the deep water from time to time, but this also means that you have the chance to develop yourself, and you also get the freedom to do it the way you want to!”.
Looking at these values now, they are already filled with so much life. How cool is that? We think that the best version of our values is the people living by them. So, thank you to the whole team for doing that in such a fantastic way!