We shared a coffee and a really good chat with Andreina De Rufino, HR Manager at Talentfy. She told us how they have managed to involve the entire team in building their company culture and setting up corporate values. What better way of being a great place to work than having your team helping build it?
“The ones who really define a company culture and its values are their people. It isn’t just what the CEO thinks. The company culture and values should be nurtured by the employees who work day by day to achieve the mission.”
During her journey at Talentfy, along with her team’s support, they have managed to develop a positive company culture and a place where everyone is happy to work with each week.
Three key pillars to a positive company culture
Talentfy is a platform specialized in recruiting talent for tech companies, which uses artificial intelligence to choose the “perfect match” in record time. As their focus is recruiting, it is crucial for them to have a positive company culture, in order to attract better matches for their customers. This is why they have focused on building a great employee experience, in order to have an employer branding that attracts the best talent.
Andreina also talked about how they have managed to develop a positive company culture by doing a couple of things out of the box. Normally, the values of an organization are defined during its foundation. On Talentfy, respect and loyalty were established as their values when the company first started operating, but changes have been made adapting them according to the people who work internally. During team building activities or onboarding, they try to get to know their employees pretty well. As a result, they have defined diversity, trust, and proactivity as their core values, which distinguished Talentfy’s team.
Along with this philosophy, they have also added to their people strategy three key pillars, which have led them to their great company culture.
1. Work environment leading to employee happiness
One of the most important concerns for Talentfy is its work environment. They aim for their team to feel happy and excited about going to work every day. So they try to look after their employees’ necessities. The company tries to make them feel secure and confident that they can ask for help at any time.
Promoting teamwork and collaboration is key to Andreina and knowing that Talentfy’s team carries it on the core of their company culture feels her with pride. She said that when someone has left the team because they must return to their country or the project they were working on has ended, everyone says that what they will miss the most is their teammates.
“No day passes by at Talentfy without hearing ‘do you need help?’, ‘is there anything extra you need?’, ‘I’m helping out a teammate because they are having trouble with something’. This is what we all value, because for most of us it has been really hard finding a place where they recognize our work, worry about our wellness and really listen to us.”
2. Encourage innovation
Talentfy is a growing stratup. This translates to having a lot of plans, theories to test and having the mindset of continuous improvement.
“At Talentfy proactivity is a must. We are a startup, which means that you have to be proactive, have initiative and innovate. If you don’t, this is not the right place for you. In the end, we are a growing startup on which today’s plan, tomorrow can turn into three more!”.
This is how Andreina explained to us why for them promoting innovation is a key factor. During the recruiting phase, they look for candidates who aren’t afraid to leave their comfort zone, ensuring a cultural fit with the company and the team. Since the first stage of the onboarding, they try to give autonomy to the new hires, so they feel free to innovate and propose new ideas.
“From the day you start at Talentfy, we give each person the big picture of their job position, their tasks and objectives. At the same time, we encourage them to be proactive and give them the autonomy to propose new ideas. If you find something to improve and want to do it, it’s up to you.”
3. Become a role model to the team
Andreina also mentioned how they encourage personal and professional development among their employees. They encourage them to become role models for their teammates. This is how they create a company culture that inspires an employee to give their best.
“In order to motivate my team, I tell them: ‘you don’t work for Talentfy, you are working for you. In the end, it’s your own personal brand you are developing. So look for those projects, try to educate and train yourself, and try to be the best that you can be, because in the future, even if you’re or not at Talentfy, you can talk about your achievements, the projects you have developed, your learnings’. My personal goal is for every employee here to become an ambassador of their own brand”.
This is how Talentfy reaches high levels of employee engagement, by encouraging employees to commit to themselves and grow as professionals. The result? They managed to have a team who wants to stay and succeed with the company.
Taking care of your team during accelerated company growth
Talentfy is a startup that has never stopped growing! In a year they have gone from having 4 people on the team to 22. This accelerated growth is the result of the entire team’s effort and dedication.
Without a doubt, a huge milestone was achieved by the company. Even though for Adreina this isn’t Talentfy’s biggest achievement. For her, the actual challenge has been building a company culture that ensures a work-life balance and professional development. Team members often approach her and ask ‘What’s my next step here? What is next for me at Talentfy? What else can I do for the company?’.
How did they achieve this level of employee engagement? By having a founding team and an HR department that’s even more committed to taking care of their people. This is why along with the three pillars we have mentioned about their culture, the company has established actions that help them discover their team’s necessities and pulse. By collecting and analyzing all these insights about their people, adapting their company culture to what their employees really need is a piece of cake.
Create a feedback culture
One of the best actions that have helped Talentfy build a positive company culture is collecting feedback from their employees on a regular basis. They created the “traffic light”, a monthly meeting to which all the team assists, including the CEO and founders.
On the first Thursday of every month, the team meets to talk about last month’s issues. Also, they discuss the actions and improvements that were achieved; as well as set goals for months to come. The methodology consists of asking employees which resources are missing to ease their work. Then they prioritized all the necessities:
- Red: the more urgent staff, what is causing more discomfort among the team.
- Yellow: refers to everything that is about to “get burned”. All those issues that may not be urgent, but are still important.
- Green: gathers all the positive things of their company culture.
The ones who take notes of all the feedback that the team gives and their necessities are the founders and CEO! “We need more team building spaces”, “we have outgrown the current coworking space”, “I need this tool that will make my work easier”; are some of the examples Andreina mentioned about the requests that emerge during these meetings. From this point, the managers set actions and dates to help their team. Afterward, they send updates about what they are doing to solve those issues via email or slack. In case they can’t work on it right away, they explain why it’s not possible at the moment.
Andreina is sure that the manager’s transparency and willingness to help their team feel at their best, motivate them to give honest feedback. Being afraid of speaking out to say what is not right for you has been left in the past.
“In the end, the CEO and the other founders are the ones who have the final say. If they aren’t there to listen to the team, but instead leave it all in the hands of the HR department, a lot of staff can be left aside. HR has their daily tasks,a specific budget, or maybe people won’t transmit their concerns in the same way as they will to the CEO. It is the founder’s company, and they must schedule at least an hour a month to find out what is going on with their team.”
At Talentfy they have other ways to gather that feedback which is not that easy to give in public. They send mid and end-of-the-year anonymous surveys. They take the opportunity to ask their team to “let it all out, we won’t know who you are”. On these surveys the questions asked are:
- How do you think we can improve Talentfy’s work environment?
- How would you improve it?
This is their way of ensuring transparency and encouraging people to be as honest as possible. Everything that emerges from these anonymous surveys is also included in the traffic light issues.
Host team-building activities
Another success factor of Talentfy’s company culture is hosting periodic team-building activities. This idea came through the feedback the team provided!
They are having these activities to get together as a team every three months. Besides these more “official” spaces, sometimes they organize after offices, to end their business day by sharing good moments with their teammates. They see these meetings as an opportunity to really get to know the people who work at Talentfy, so they can adapt their company culture and values.
The most important thing for Talentfy is for its team to build and live its own company culture!
Promote employee development
For Talentfy, their team professional development is another way of looking out for them. They encourage this growth with different actions. One of them is the “Individual Development Plan”, which they review every six months. The idea is to build along with each employee their career path. It includes what a person wants to do in the short and long term, in or out of the company. They also add how Talentfy can help in achieving those goals.
These career paths are seen as an opportunity to listen to their team’s needs and show how the company wants to be there for them.
Look out for your team’s mental health
Building a company culture focused on collecting useful and truthful feedback from the team hasn’t been a piece of cake. One of the barriers is making employees feel free to speak out about what bothers them, ask about what is missing, or say if there is too much work above their shoulders. In other words, at first, it’s kind of hard to believe in Talentfy’s company culture, and don’t see it as an employer branding strategy.
They start taking care of employees from the onboarding process, trying to make them feel at home. Not a lot time ago, they started with a buddy program for new hires. From their first day, they present their buddy, to help them adapting and showing them how is a regular day at Talentfy. That buddy has to present the company culture to the new team member.
“We come from a business world where you can’t say no. Where you have to reach the goals despite your well-being, despite anything. This is why at the beginning it’s hard to believe in Talentfy’s company culture. For some people it feels unreal to be heard and recognized for their job. Others think it is only because they’re new. At first, it’s hard for them to understand our company culture and to lose the fear to live it as the founders invite us.”
This issue emerges with all new hires but is overcome after a while when they realize that Talentfy’s company culture is not just a fairy tale used as a marketing strategy on the website. Once employees get to watch how the CEO addresses the requests from the traffic lights meetings or at the anonymous surveys, people start believing that this is their new great reality.
For Andreina, this commitment that the CEO and founders have to their team’s well-being is the key to reaching their mental health. She also knows how the company culture of other places really is, and that it will be really hard to find the work-life balance Talentfy’s offers at another place. Here she also feels challenged to be better and get out of her comfort zone. She is sure that at Talentfy she will keep growing as a person and professional.
“If I get a job offer from another company, my thought is: to invest eight hours every day into this job, I would rather invest them here. Is not that I want to stay in my comfort zone, but I truly value where I am. I know this is a growing startup and we are reminded that it will keep scaling at a high speed level.”
Facing HR challenges while taking care of your employee experience
During our conversation, Andreina never stopped highlighting how important it is for Talentfy’s founders their company’s employee experience.
Thanks to their mindset of always putting your people’s wellness first, Andreina is creating a company culture “to be always present, avoiding employees telling me ‘I am leaving because I have a job offer at some other company”.
She believes people always speak about the future, and how we need to prepare ourselves for what’s coming. But the truth is that all those challenges that seemed so far away, are actually in our noses. Digital transformation, smart working, the great resignation, they are all here! And the cherry on top, startups are growing at an incredible rate.
This ends up challenging all HR experts. We must all be prepared, train ourselves and be aware of new trends or strategies to boost employee engagement. In the end, we must be able to quickly adapt to changes that the world brings every day, be always there for our team, and listen to their needs.
Prepare to face those challenges with Nailted
Being prepared to face all these changes is the best way to take care of your company culture. An employee engagement software like Nailted will help you conquer all these challenges. You could make better decisions based on real-time data from your team, promote employee recognition, schedule 1:1 meetings, have performance reviews and so much more!
Book a demo and one of our experts will show you how Nailted can help you boost your employee engagement by building a company culture based on your team’s feedback. What better way to create the work environment your employees dream about, than asking them to help you build it?