05 November, 2020 

Company Culture And Its Formation — Where To Start

It would seem that the time of quarantine restrictions is not the time to talk about cultural issues in companies and office realities, because everyone has moved to remote work, and the format of human interaction has changed. But according to the CEO of BTC-Alpha, the culture and values of the team can be the key lever that drives your company forward
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Company Culture And Its Formation — Where To Start

It's not just about the set of values of the company, patterns of behavior of its employees, and internal processes that contribute to its integrity and the most effective representation in the market. It's time to look at how we feel about the workflow in general, the tasks in teams and departments within the team - and talk about how we see each colleague's place in reality when a pandemic increases social, psychological, and financial stress.

How company values ​​are transformed

To begin with, let us remind each other of what we call company values. In summary, this is the main idea that the company associates with its activities and the products or services it offers, and which it tries to adhere to in all processes, both external and internal. This imposes certain responsibilities on the company's management as well as on all its employees at various levels.

But values ​​are not only formed internally, they must also be transmitted externally and applied at all stages of interaction with customers. If a company positions itself as customer-oriented, it means that it must implement a developed customer support structure (for example, a discount system or around-the-clock hotline). In the field of cryptocurrencies, this means at least the organization of round-the-clock technical support for traders who have questions or difficulties with their operations - and such support should be provided not only through chat on the website but also in thematic communities, company pages on social networks or through other channels of communication. For the company's employees, this can mean an atypical or irregular work schedule (for example, our support service is organized on a shift basis) to meet all possible customer needs.

If the company's values ​​are innovation and advanced technologies, they should be implemented not only in product representation but also at all stages of the workflow. In this case, employees will also be required to understand these technologies, confident use of them, and constant self-education in this area.

For example, we regularly improve internal processes for verification and technical support of traders - and this increases both the quality of our service and understanding of product features by marketing and technical support, the level of the team interact with each other and with the end-user.

Models of behavior - the foundation of a common culture

"We have it that way" or "We don't have it that way" - these phrases can cause cognitive dissonance in a beginner. In an ideal world, patterns of behavior and a set of rules should be as formalized and universal as possible so that new people in the company can become familiar with all the rules at once and not break them. But in practice, a company that grows out of a technology startup may not always formalize such things. Moreover, formalization kills the spirit of creativity, and it is critical to the success of the product. On the other hand, without creating rules and regulations, you risk causing burnout in the team. So rules - and models of behavioral interaction - are still needed in the company. They are usually formed by patterns that have proven to be the most effective for productive work and the best results for this company.

For example, when launching new products, we may have overtiming (especially in the conditions of quarantine work in the mode of remote interaction). Now, provided that the business needs to be maintained and developed, this style of work will be socially acceptable, and a person who follows these behavioral patterns will have a better chance of improvement and generally better performance. One can argue about how justified and necessary it is for the common cause, but during this period, when the product is launched in a pandemic and remote teamwork, such temporary rules become socially acceptable. However, when returning to the usual office schedule, the practice of such episodic overtime will recede.

The hierarchy is dead, long live the hierarchy

And of course, the company's culture cannot exist in isolation from the processes of making and implementing management decisions. If with the officially registered hierarchy in the company everything is more or less clear, then in the practice of work process various situations can arise. Of course, when you have a company of 100 or 500 professionals, you need to formalize all relationships and clearly delineate sectors and levels of responsibility. But when it comes to smaller teams, up to 20 people - here the level of interaction will be completely different. There are companies where it is customary to report to the immediate management for each task performed, and without approval, no step of the workflow will take place. Other companies follow a more democratic model, where employees have more freedom of action, but also more responsibility for the consequences of possible mistakes. Here a lot depends on the specifics of the company, the dynamics of the work process, and many other factors. However, whether your departments have a vertical hierarchy or whether you practice spaghetti structure, you will equally need responsible people, project managers, and mini-teams. The classical hierarchy is dying out, interim project managers and leaders are taking the place of "bosses" - just such changes are needed in a year when everything around has changed dramatically.

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