At Inwedo, we have a habit of setting monthly goals. Each person who has a role in the organization, at the beginning of a new month, sets a goal or goals that they would like to achieve. Most often, these are strategic goals related to the development of teams or the company. The following month, the person summarizes his or her activities, shares what has or has not been accomplished, and defines what he or she will work on in the coming future. This rule also applies to the board of directors. It works very mobilizingly and allows us to stick or nimbly change the course we have set. It brings transparency to the organization, greater synchronization, and allows us to strengthen the sense of security.

In October 2022, I set as my main goal to see how to create an even better and more friendly (co)working environment. In practice, I decided to meet with everyone at Inwedo.

In the company, we have been making improvements in the organization’s operations all the time, in small steps, and implementing various initiatives (such as our own meetups/events). We have been improving the efficiency of the organization in various areas, and the most important change we have made recently is the third update of our Salary Formula in a year. What follows is another salary increase. On top of that, we’ve introduced more frequent integrations, more emphasis on people’s well-being, mental and physical comfort, meetings with experts, increasing external visibility, or increasing levels of cyber security.

I wondered to what extent all this actually translates into the internal perception of the organization by our people. Are the actions taken visible to the teams? How much do they appreciate them, and do they help them in their daily work? With these questions in the back of my mind, I decided to talk to everyone at Inwedo about these topics.

I conducted a company-wide, short, anonymous survey that asked the question:

Please tell me how you would like to share your opinion about Inwedo. I’d like to know what motivates you, what bothers you, what ideas you have for improving our operation. I am guided by one thought (mission): to create for us the most friendly (co)working environment possible. What do you choose?

And I gave options to choose from:

  • let’s make “trampolines and barriers”,
  • i can write it to you on Slack,
  • let’s do an anonymous survey,
  • let’s do an open survey,
  • i’ll tell you in a 1:1 meeting,
  • i don’t want to talk about it at all.

Two items won ex aequo in the vote:

  • anonymous survey with a score of 37.5%,
  • a 1:1 conversation with a score of 37.5%, broken down into:
    • let’s talk over coffee – 20.8%
    • let’s talk on Slack – 16.7%

I began to act in two ways. I prepared a questionnaire in which each person in the company could decide whether he or she ultimately wanted to meet with me or whether he or she preferred to answer the questions immediately in an anonymous manner. I encouraged a meeting, of course, because that way, it is always easier to inquire about certain things. I didn’t want to push for this and ensure that everyone was free to speak.

The survey included the questions:

  1. Rate on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied you feel working at Inwedo.
  2. What can I do to make your rating one point higher? Or what can other board members or others at Inwedo do?
  3. Were you able to achieve your set goals for the week/month? If you did not achieve it, what prevented you from doing so? Also, please let us know what is the challenge you are currently facing or facing.
  4. What information about the organization is most important for you to feel comfortable being in Inwedo?
  5. What can I and/or the board do for you to make Inwedo an even better place to (co)work?
  6. Imagine that you are the one in charge of Inwedo, and you have the opportunity to make any change in the functioning of the company. What would it be? There could be one change (even a small one) that you would make to how we work as an organization
  7. Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked about?

The amount of positive information that came back to me was very encouraging. People in the company not only noticed and spoke highly of what we were doing but also indicated how much they appreciated that the person at Inwedo always comes first.

By introducing both anonymity and providing the right climate in individual meetings, I learned more about the current challenges and concerns that people have. As a result, I was able to react in real-time, very quickly to try to solve the problem or launch appropriate actions that will improve the functioning of the area in the future.

After the action, I prepared a short presentation for the entire organization, in which I transparently shared the results of the survey. You can find the entire prepared material below. Perhaps you will find it helpful or inspiring.

Source: https://clipchamp.com/watch/uAsSqdMdtKA

As you read this, you may be wondering, why am I sharing all this with you? What is the benefit to you of reading this text and/or watching my presentation?

As COO of Inwedo, I try to keep in touch as closely as possible with all the people in the company. We are a software company of several dozen people. Over the past two years, we have been cleaning up processes and striving to improve the efficiency of the organization. That’s why today, I can afford to “take myself out” of operations for a month to take care of the needs and examine the thoughts of our people. This allows me to be closer to the challenges and problems they face on a daily basis. This approach allows me to help teams deal with difficulties. Regardless of how large an organization or team you manage – I recommend you conduct one. It’s a kind of “stop-frame” that allows you to look at the company (its strengths, but also its weaknesses) through the eyes of your people. Priceless, valuable and informative.

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