The global crisis pushes employers to pay more attention to the environment they are creating for their teams. COVID-19 caused a major shift towards remote work and emphasized the need to consider employees’ psychological needs as they deal with uncertainty. Netguru is sure that it’s possible to answer these challenges and bring positive change that will last beyond the crisis. In this article we describe what Netguru does to answer the needs of their team and meet the challenges that the current situation brings to the world.
With more than 600 delivered projects under the belt and over 700 team members on board, Netguru is perfecting the art of communication, transparency, and sustaining company culture. Netguru follows its team’s lead in nurturing an atmosphere of trust and high achievement by keeping things informal whenever we can, allowing for flexible working hours, and encouraging remote work (pandemic or no pandemic).
Adjusting community-building to post-covid times
Since the very beginning of the pandemic, it was clear to us that Netguru’s people’s wellbeing and health is our top priority. Thanks to the team and their experience, Netguru was able to adjust very quickly to the global crisis and the pandemic restrictions in Poland. Remote work has always been a part of the company culture, which from the start has been its advantage. The company has also prepared a comprehensive COVID policy and switched to recruiting and onboarding new employees 100% remotely. As COVID-19 has unexpectedly forced many specialists on the previously stable IT labor market to look for a new employer, Netguru decided to put more emphasis on the Netguru talent marketplace to give contractors new opportunities to choose from among interesting projects and teams.
To help team members adjust to fully-remote work, Netguru offers a 1000 PLN allowance for creating a personal home office and added WorkSmile to the list of employee benefits. Thanks to that team members are able to find a tailored set of benefits that suits their situation and supports their personal growth. Other benefits include a growth budget (e.g. for books) and a management budget (for training courses) available to everyone in the company.
The company has also launched multiple initiatives meant to bring people together and allow them to stay “sane” during this crazy time. One of such initiatives is Donut Chats - a dedicated application that allows us to connect with a random person in the company for a short, informal conversation "over coffee" once a week. It's a good way to stay connected while working remotely, but also to meet new people from other teams. What is more, numerous well-being initiatives, such as yoga, gymnastics, and health-related webinars have been launched.
The team started to share their interests and experiences as part of the "Netguru After Hours" series. The webinars during which team members share their passions, travel memories, and private life experiences, gave team members the opportunity to virtually go to Antarctica, Australia, and Pakistan, learn the secrets of climbing, mountain hiking, vegan cuisine, and home plant cultivation.
We’re building work environments in which we feel good – supported and safe. Because of our awareness of other people’s needs, of information exchange through the internet, we can practice more empathy.
Mateusz Jankowski, UI Lead
Knowledge sharing for team cohesion
Despite the current situation, sharing knowledge remains in Netguru’s DNA. The team share their experiences via internal and external blog posts, video content, with full documentation for open source projects, as well as by running internal webinars, seminars, and workshops. Last year allowed Netguru’s team members to organize the first in-house online conference in Netguru's history, during which members of the Netguru team were both speakers and listeners. For the first Burning Minds Together at Home, anyone could submit their idea for a presentation or workshop under one of the three thematic paths.
The pandemic did not stand in their way in sharing what they’ve learned with a wider audience by participating in conferences and meetups. Netguru believes that sharing one’s experience creates the possibility of growth both as a professional and as a person.
Increasing the salary brackets for Senior+ roles
The market is changing, the demand for tech talent has risen, and the company wants to continue to be on the front line and deliver the highest quality services to our clients as well as scale its Delivery team. That is why Netguru has recently increased the salary ranges for Senior+ Delivery roles. Each role has a clear career path allowing people to reach their full potential and decide what comes next for them. The company wants to offer their team members personalized opportunities for growth, based on their level of experience. There is always room for development. Netguru believes that this change will also be a boost to their junior and regular team members, encouraging them to develop on their way to senior positions.
Transparency is the key
Transparency is incredibly important to the people of Netguru, which is why regular AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions with the CEO are organized. Every employee can take their questions directly to the CEO or the board. Open feedback is encouraged. The CEO writes a monthly letter to the entire team, updating them on all the details of Netguru’s current situation, financials, HR affairs, and more.
Over 89% of our employees participate in our yearly Employee Satisfaction Survey which we conduct using Culture Amp. This allows Netguru to identify the problems the people face and struggle with, the challenges of switching to fully remote work, and the impact of the pandemic on their well-being. Results are then discussed with managers and used to establish the next steps in creating a work environment in which everyone feels good.
At Netguru, every team member is eager to show appreciation and give recognition to the people who they collaborate with whenever they do an awesome job. I believe it is thanks to the culture of continuous feedback and open communication – we all feel responsible for it.
Marta Stachowska-de Freitas, Senior Recruitment Specialist & Team Leader
Our work has been rewarded
During a time of upheaval in nearly every industry, Netguru received the GPTW certificate, joining top companies in Poland and around the world. Great Place to Work is a global authority on work culture based on trust. For over 30 years, they’ve been offering worldwide support to companies in building better environments for employees. Their research and certification program runs in more than 60 countries. In 2020, GPTW certified the Polish branches of Cisco, Dell, SIX Global Services, and Bosch.
But that’s not all. If you’re curious about how the IT community in Poland is doing these days, check out Bulldogjob’s very thorough report. It includes a demographic profile of the major representatives of the Polish IT market, a breakdown of the most popular technologies, as well as the working conditions and lifestyle of IT employees. In the category of top IT companies to work at, Netguru ranked third, after Google and Microsoft.
Working in an inclusive environment that allows you to grow makes all the difference. And knowing that the company has great values and is not afraid to stand up for them makes me feel very proud of the culture we created.
Marta Grzesiak, QA Engineer
People are Netguru’s greatest value. Engaging them, taking care of their wellbeing and development as well as knowledge-sharing has also been appreciated externally! At the same time, Netguru treats this as a commitment and a show of trust that the company does not intend to lose. Our team will definitely not waste this opportunity and we will continue to strive for Netguru to be a place where people feel good and to become one of the top employers in the world.