FOSTERING ENGAGEMENT: OUR RECIPE FOR KEEPING COLLEAGUES THRIVING

Sara Stamova, Head of People Operations talks about how we foster engagement and keep our colleagues thriving.

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Employee experience (EX) is a topic that is gaining a lot of traction, and with good reason. The focus is on hiring top talent, but it is equally important for a company to retain that talent.

Usually retention strategies include making employees feel engaged, productive, and understand how their job plays a role in the company’s overall success. 

The feeling of engagement itself is a very complex but very important characteristic. Through engagement we boost motivation, retention and the production of high-quality code.

As Head of People Operations at ITIDO, I understand the importance of creating an environment where colleagues feel motivated, connected, and excited to contribute their best. And it’s my and the managers’ responsibility to monitor and contribute to developing such engagement.

In this blog post, I’m sharing our strategies for keeping our colleagues engaged – and plot twist – it’s all in the balance. 

BUILDING STRONG FOUNDATION:

In recent years, remote work has become an integral part of the modern workplace. So naturally, we’ve embraced this trend, allowing our colleagues greater flexibility on when and where they work best compared to the standard 9-to-5 jobs . On one hand, his flexibility empowers them to balance work and life effectively while staying engaged and motivated. 

On the other hand, remote work can distance people from each other, so combining it with regular time at the office is the way to go. Our office isn’t just a place to work; it’s a place to unwind and have fun too! We’ve created a vibrant workspace complete with table tennis and foosball tables, often gathering around “the players” for a chat or just to relax.

Connecting with your colleagues in such informal ways increases the feeling of belonging and boosts morale. On top of that we  actually like spending time together, so it’s a win-win.

On the topic of spending time together, our team events are a vital aspect of our engagement strategy and life at ITIDO. We regularly organize team-building activities, offsite retreats at Vitosha mountain or just having a beer together. 

And during these informal events a lot of times, beyond formal meetings, we dive into friendly and open conversations. Such heart-to-heart conversations promote a culture of inclusivity and encourage our colleagues to bravely exchange ideas, share their concerns and look for advice. 

EMPOWERING OUR COLLEAGUES:

Building such a solid trust with our colleagues leads to very open and qualitative One-on-One Sessions between Managers/HR and the team. To ensure every colleague feels heard and supported, we conduct such regular one-on-one sessions. These sessions provide a safe space for discussing career goals, addressing concerns, and nurturing professional growth. 

One of ITIDO’s key values is Expertise and the way we honor it is through constant upskilling. Not only on a technical level, but on an individual one too. Betting on the gamification of online courses and education in general,  we have provided our team members with numerous internal academies (including Java Academy, AI Lectures and Workshops) and with many external training platforms. 

To top it off, our People Leads and Software Development Managers are actively involved in their team’s life, mentoring them through technical and non-technical challenges. We thrive in collaborative environments where we can learn from and support each other. Fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration, where our developers feel supported.

But we also let our colleagues have the autonomy to make decisions about their work. We provide expectations and goals, but then give our teams the freedom to figure out how to achieve them. We trust their experience and dedication.

And all of this is based on transparency and open communication from leadership. We try keeping our colleagues informed about the company’s decisions, strategies and goals, and provide regular updates on the product roadmap and priorities.

OUR PEOPLE ARE THE BACKBONE:

At ITIDO, we understand that engaged colleagues are the backbone of our success. From embracing remote work to our innovative summer initiatives and fostering a culture of open communication, we prioritize creating an environment where colleagues thrive. By incorporating these strategies, we’ve cultivated a workplace where every team member feels valued, motivated, and excited to contribute their best. Together, we’re not just building software; we’re building a strong and connected community.

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