Crafting our company culture

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Company culture. A phrase you hear tossed around by many organisations, each with their own definition.

  • "Culture is bean bags in the office."
  • "It's a mini fridge stocked with beer for Friday afternoons!"
  • "It's buying everyone lunch every now and again?"

The truth is, no one's 100% sure what it is. Except for maybe Google, who earned 12 awards from Comparably in 2018 (including Best Company Culture). Here at OneUp, we're cursed with the lack of capabilities compared to global giant like Google (who isn't?!) but that doesn't mean we can't build our own culture in other ways.

There are a few things we aim to do to keep our merry team motivated and happy, but they're all underpinned by trust. If someone abuses the trust the team puts in them, the freedoms and allowances become tighter. Thankfully no one has given us reason to exercise this yet, but the understanding is there for all to see. Communication is of paramount importance first and foremost.

1. An excellent first day for new staff

"I've been here two days and feel like it's been months."

All said after a cheeky Nandos one fine lunchtime!

We have a checklist that is diligently followed for every new starter. This includes:

  • An onboarding presentation from the CEO
  • Dishing out a brand new laptop & gorgeous company shirts/hoodies
  • A full walk through of the OneUp product
  • Outlining where they fit into the bigger picture
  • Going for lunch with the team at a place of their choosing
  • Defining a 30-60-90 day plan led by the new team member
  • Setting aside time to arrange weekly check-ins and quarterly CEO catch ups

We often assign them a buddy for their first week (sometimes said buddy can change day-to-day) to make sure they have someone to ask questions to. It's definitely an intense first week but the passion and drive in the rest of the team is easy to see this way.

2. Work hours flexibility

If you've ever tried to get your hair cut on a Saturday or tried to go to the gym at 5.15pm, you'll know how much it can suck. Hours waiting to achieve what seems like a trivial task. And let's not even talk about trying to coordinate a delivery to your home whilst you're at work.

With Monday mornings being an exception (company weekly sync!), we allow our team to arrive a little late or set off a little early if they desire. Want to go to the gym at lunch to save fighting for the machines in the morning/after work? Go for it! Going back to the earlier point of trust, we have faith in each other to put in our fair share towards growing this rocket ship.

3. Culture days

Any founder will know how easy it is to get stuck working "in" the business rather than "on" it. We like to think we help our team to work "on" themselves rather than just "in" the business, so we have regular culture days.

LinkedIn post about OneUp's culture day
Our first one was an amazing success!

The idea behind culture days is that throughout the month, anyone in the team can field a question or topic they'd like to explore. Someone picks it up and presents! For the first day we had:

  • An introduction to software-as-a-service
  • An overview of coding
  • A quick dive into our integrations system
  • A run through our sales process

Complete with a few beverages, obviously!

The result is a more engaged, inspired team that understands what everyone else gets up to in their day-to-day more intimately. Then we head off for a group social and have a blast together – the perfect ending to a fantastic day.

Next up is climbing I'm told – we'll see if the founders can hold onto their titles as number 1!

Listening intently to a presentation from our chairman on our culture day

4. Regular values reinforcement

Our team aren't unfamiliar with random spot checks to see if they remember our values! We have 4 that we live by and they're a little different to your usual ones:

  • Always be Authentic (AbA)
  • Dive into Discomfort (DiD)
  • Go for Gold (G4G)
  • Operate with Optimism (OwO)

Whether it's being yourself, putting yourself out of your comfort zone, aspiring to be your best self, or coming to work with a smile, these 4 values reinforce what it means to work at OneUp. We can't forget them, so discussing them regularly helps keep everyone aligned to what we're all about.

5. Full team involvement

Recently we had a product workshop – 2 hours discussing the future plans for our product and what we wanted to see. Everyone was invited.

Using the Disney ideation methodology, we start big. Then we narrow it down as we progress through the methodology with everyone able to contribute their ideas at each stage. The variety of views and opinions from different disciplines was very interesting to see and it stops us becoming tunnel-visioned in our quest to become the best sales gamification solution on the market.

We believe that when you have a team this small, there's no excuse to put up barriers between departments. Devs get involved in marketing ideation, sales contributes to product, customer success weighs in on sales collateral, and so on.

"It's about the journey as much as the destination"

Even if that journey involves forcing each other off of go-kart courses

Ultimately, we want people to enjoy their time at OneUp. We all have the "North Star" in our mind, but life's too short to not enjoy the journey towards it.

We have a long way to go before we can claim to be anything like Google, but our culture is one of friendship, trust and ambition. And we wouldn't have it any other way.