Digiteum Talks about HR Club
Welcome to HR Club! The first rule of HR Club is: you talk to HR Club. The second rule of HR Сlub is: you TALK TO HR Club. The third rule of HR Club is: if you feel you have a problem at work, want to switch a project, or need to relocate, please, talk to HR Club.
What is HR Club? Unlike the famous Fight Club, which is a brilliant metaphor for breaking out from a dull comfort zone, HR Club is a safe place. A place you can go to when you are in trouble, when you are in doubt, or when you seek a career change or uplift.
We’ve talked to the founding members of HR Club at Digiteum, Monika and Anastasiya, about the role of HRM in the life of an IT company, their goals and challenges, and the impact of their work on People, Culture, and Vibe at Digiteum.
What you are about to learn won’t blow your mind. But it will give you a decent idea of how HR can structure and simplify different processes at a company, nurture team spirit, and, frankly, just take a lot of pressure off so many shoulders.
2023 is the first year we start with a fully equipped HR team. Monika, Nastya, what do you plan to accomplish this year?
Anastasiya: I can’t speak for the whole year. We decided not to build a roadmap for a year and instead approach the HR planning quarterly. This is a new thing for the company, so we want to see how it will go in this quarter and then decide on the next steps based on our results.
Monika: True. I can also add that most of the things we want to do in this quarter were defined by the annual employee survey that we held at the start of the year. Based on the feedback we received from our people, we’ve built a list of areas that we would like to take care of. And for the first quarter, we have chosen the most important and urgent ones.
Anastasiya: The main goal for this quarter is to revise and create several key procedures, such as onboarding, offboarding, and relocation. And a few routine things, like sorting out hardware and equipment at our physical office.
Monika: Another crucial goal is to set an environment that would encourage people to come to the office more often, gather, collaborate, and integrate. This will help foster relationships between people and teams.
Anastasiya: And we want to conduct team events more often now that we work in the hybrid space. According to the annual review, many people miss in-person communication and want to hang out in and outside the office, as well as have online events like workshops and studies. So we need to come up with a schedule that will allow us to meet more regularly in both locations.
Finally, we will work on a procedure that will include regular one-on-ones with everyone. This will help us increase the frequency of feedback and also allow us to better communicate the company’s goals and plans.
Monika: We definitely want to have regular one-on-one meetings, mainly to remind people that we are here and that we take care of them.
So you go agile and want to increase engagement. Who will be most impacted by this change?
Anastasiya: We are revising our procedures, such as onboarding and offboarding, and adding structure to relocation. People will now go to HRMs when they want to move and work from another country. But not everyone will feel this change right away. Because onboarding, for example, concerns only those who have just joined the company.
On the other hand, I hope everyone will feel that we now have more team events. When I attended my first event at Digiteum, I was amazed by how much people are connected at the company even though they work on different projects. There is a very friendly vibe, and I hope we will unite people even more. I’ve had a very positive first impression, and I also learned that people at Digiteum are not afraid to talk to an HR.
Monika: I can see this in the Polish office too. We already have a very strong core team in Gdansk. This is one of the reasons why many people who want to relocate consider Tricity in the first place. Even though this is not the fastest option in terms of paperwork.
It’s very important to focus on building relationships. For example, we’ve noticed that rotation peaks among the people who work at Digiteum for less than one year. This means that one year is not enough to integrate into our culture — people find it easier to switch jobs if they don’t feel connected to the rest of the team. Moreover, they don’t even consider switching projects within Digiteum and instead go and search for other companies.
This looks like a major problem. What other challenges do you have to deal with?
Anastasiya: You are right, this is a real challenge. You know, it’s not that difficult to gather people or organize a team event. But to create team spirit is an entirely different story. It’s not something that depends on HRM — it depends on everyone, and it depends even more on the teams, managers, and so on.
And there’s no shortcut or framework you can just take and install at the company to boost team spirit?
Anastasiya: No. It might seem that similar companies have similar needs. But based on my experience, it’s not like that. You have to understand what moves people in each particular case — their motivation, satisfaction, involvement, and so on, and build up on that.
What about you, Monika?
Monika: Perhaps it’s easier to nurture team spirit in the Polish office because we all started here from scratch. People understand that they need to contribute and put something on the table to build a team.
We hire 100% remotely and focus mainly on senior-level roles. Most of the people we work with are self-sufficient and don’t need mentorship. This can be challenging for them though, because they may not see how they can grow in this environment.
Okay, what will be the easiest thing to do then?
Anastasiya: I have worked on onboarding strategies before, so this one will be a piece of cake. Though it is quite a busy process.
You work in two different locations. Do you synch?
Anastasiya: We try to keep our strategy in synch, though there are some tasks that are different depending on location.
Monika: I’m really happy that we have HRM in both offices now, and we can work together.
Anastasiya: Agree. When I sometimes feel short on ideas, I know I can always call and talk to Monika. We have weekly synch calls to make sure we stay on the same page.
What role does HR play in the success of the company?
Anastasiya: It depends on the company. The main reason why Mike and Kate hired me in the first place was to recreate the atmosphere and comfort that we were somewhat losing after several years of remote work, especially for the new people.
I believe that the success of the company sits on the well-organized work of all departments — HRM, Sales, Engineering, etc. HR is important because it is focused on people.
Monika: It is crucial for a company that enters a new market and has to compete with other companies for candidates and employees.
The growing role of HRM teams is a general trend. Once we moved to remote work, businesses started seeing more value in HRM. They see us as partners, which was hard to reach before. They better understand how important it is to care about people, and this leads to a positive change.
How do you measure the result of your work?
Anastasiya: It depends on what exactly you want to measure. Based on employee surveys, for example, we can measure team satisfaction from various perspectives – project, tasks, company, etc. We can measure involvement. We can measure retention, which is easy to calculate based on how the team changes throughout the year.
Monika: We also measure net promoter score during exit interviews. It shows how much our employees would be willing to recommend working at Digiteum. Most of the people who leave the company have very positive feelings about Digiteum. In terms of people development, we can also measure the number of events, conferences, courses, and other activities to show progress.
Anastasiya: There are things that we can’t measure though, such as a friendly atmosphere. You can only feel it.
Looks like our HR Club is all set and A-OK for the work that is cut out for them. We can only wish you a successful and productive year, and can’t wait for all the novelties and events galore that are coming our way.
If you are looking for a team that could offer you not only a steady career uplift but also comfort and care for your well-being and team spirit, join the crew! We have a bunch of enticing positions for talented IT specialists open right now. So hurry up and secure your place on the team.
And, please, don’t forget the first rule of HR Club.