Our corporate culture is something we’ve valued from day one, and it’s something we’ve continued to put a lot of effort into. While that may have been initially driven by the owners and leadership, we’re now 10 years into it, and what’s exciting is seeing those cultural values – the approach to getting things done – clearly visible throughout the organization.
We’re finding that our younger people place a great value on culture. Twenty years ago, there wasn’t so much emphasis on listening to what employees had to say. Today, it’s an expectation.
People, Vendors, & Processes: The Value of Investing in All 3
We have a formal leadership team, and there’s a definite route we go through to ratify and change our processes, but it all begins with hearing from the individuals who work for us and who we work with. We’re only as good as our people, our vendors, and our processes. That’s why we have a project management team that holds best practices meetings every other week where the people who operate in the processes offer suggestions based on their experiences and insights. We go through the process and the result is bottom-up process change.
It took us a while to get there. Leaders who had been doing things differently in the past had to start getting comfortable with the idea that it’s our individuals who are going to define what tomorrow’s processes will be. But it’s happening, and it’s one of the things I’m most excited about.
Creating a Strong Corporate Culture: Building the Team
Talisen aims to add individuals to our team who will thrive within our structure. Let’s talk through what happens after we’ve onboarded new team members. We do a 90-day review to check in with them, see where their head is at, and what we can do to improve the acclimatization process.
After that point, we do two reviews annually for every individual. During the mid-year review, we want their feedback on their experiences: how the year is going, and what we, as an organization, can do to help them be successful. This is important – we want to hear their voices.
At the end of the year, there’s a robust evaluation and development meeting. Here, transparency is key. If they say “I feel like it’s been my best year ever”, managing by fact means their supervisor can look at the numbers, look at the jobs, and say “Hey, you’re right, everything’s come in on budget and you’ve delighted the client”, or “Help me see what’s happening here.”
The Value of Corporate Culture
There are a lot of challenges on any project. You’re collaborating with many people and that means multiple agendas. You must be cognizant of that. This is where the value of processes become clear. Using fact-driven processes and analytics and being unafraid to publicize exactly where things are in the process, without getting defensive, helps the operation mature. It becomes possible to manage by facts, and people won’t be throwing each other under the bus. This transcends hierarchy. The PM is not afraid to hold his or her supervisor to a task that they should be delivering as part of the collaborative team, and that helps problems get solved quickly.
Our culture is collaborative, managed by fact, and highly transparent. That’s why, no matter what different challenges come with the job, our clients are going to be delighted by our delivery.