At the beginning of this month, we broke the somewhat mystical boundary of 100 employees. It may not seem like many, and it did take us 8.5 years to get here, but I think of our 100 like of the 300 Spartans. We’re a small, diverse and agile, but strong and united to our purpose, team.
Reaching this round number got me thinking about what drove this company growth. And I dare say that it was each of our employees’ personal growth that made this happen and contributed to this success. As great examples, you can read the personal development stories of Ewa, Wojtek and Adam on our blog.
What drives us forward
In this article, I would rather focus on how we try to encourage this growth. We can see how each individual’s development contributes to the growth of the company.
As a good starting point, I would recommend this book by Carol Dweck which explains a lot about a growth vs fixed mindset. Coincidentally, this publication was also used by Satya Nadella in his transformation (or, as he called it in his book Hit Refresh, “rediscovery”) of Microsoft.
A growth mindset is a critical attribute of Predica’s employees. One of our Triangle of Power values states: “be challenger”. The first person to challenge is yourself. This is not possible without a growth mindset. We encourage this type of perspective in three key aspects of our work:
What does it mean in practice?
We work as a team, rarely do we have projects that would center purely around individual work. Thus, the ability to work hand in hand is critical, and doing things together brings us closer.
At the same time, physically we are very often in different locations. This can include any of the 22 countries in which we do projects, in our Qatar or Egypt offices, or simply in one of the 7 different cities outside Warsaw where our employees work from home. So, to stay connected, we use the power of technology.
A great example of this is Yammer, the Microsoft enterprise social tool which we employ for a number of scenarios. However, growth is a specific focus of two of its features.
With over 30 members now, this is where we share all kinds of different books, audiobooks, podcasts, articles on personal growth and areas outside our main technology stream. This way we inspire each other with different, new ideas, so that we can challenge the status quo at our company, our customers or in the world.
In this group, every time one of the Predicans delivers exceptional performance and is praised, a post with a badge linked to one of our values is automatically shown. This is simply a positive reinforcement of behaviors we value at Predica.
This kind of recognition comes only if we go out of our way and comfort zone to deliver for our customers or improve our internal operations.
We motivate each other simply by working in an environment that accepts failures and celebrates successes that stem from significant personal growth. Here is an example of a recent recognition for Justyna:
The badges we use demonstrate the attitude we present both within our company and to our customers:
Our social network is alive, with people communicating on it daily, to stay connected wherever they are. Here is an insight into the engagement in the last 7 days on one of our company-wide channels (and there are over 30 different groups):
On a professional level, our personal growth translates directly into company strategic objectives, thanks to the Objectives & Key Results system we use. It is also used extensively at Intel and Google – yes, we like to get the best practices from worldwide leaders!
This system allows us to track all non-project-related activities. It also allows every Predica employee to make a contribution to the world, by adding a stepping stone to the implementation of our strategy.
There is a never-ending pool of objectives you can pick up from the “stack”, organize in groups and simply impact how we deliver services to our customers or manage our operations. You can also add your own objectives, provided they align with a higher parent one.
Below is a quick overview of some of our OKRs from the 7Geese system. You can see how each single smaller OKR lines up with one of our company-wide 5 key objectives.
Another key point is that in order to advance at Predica you need to acquire totally new skills in a new, unchartered for you, territory. It may relate to project management, people management or sales.
See the career chart for our two biggest organization units (consulting and delivery) which details the required new skills:
Last, but not least, we like to support our employees with an education budget of 8000 PLN a year. This way they can use any required resource to support their growth. Moreover, we have a set of prepared training programs for each role.
Some of the more interesting training or activities we finance are: Sandler sales training and coaching program, time management and productivity training from our ex-Microsoft colleague Marcin Kwieciński, EY Manager training, or less formal improv lessons!
If you join Predica, you will be able to use this plethora of resources for your own growth and give your career an outstanding boost.
How it all comes together
To sum up, we don’t pretend we are something we are not. We are a services company and most of the value we deliver to our customers comes from our employees. We like to treat them fairly and well.
Kid yourself not though – Predica is not a place for a constant 9-5 job with mundane, repetitive tasks where your manager will dictate your every step. You will be challenged in many different ways. What’s more, you will have the space to challenge others as well.
If that does not scare you but rather spikes your interest, do not hesitate and reach out to us to see if we can find a nice spot for you in any of our 3 offices, or anywhere remotely, as with 100 people, we feel like we are just getting started!