Make complicated -> simple
Imagine faceless, soulless and heartless companies. We do not want to be one of those guys. We have vision of company we sincerely want to be a part of. And the most important part of Vertex – You. You are this company and your work distinguishes Vertex from others.
We started this book together so it would guide us and our future colleagues to our goals, better understanding of each other and better life to individual and to a Team member. Everyone can contribute to this book by submitting ideas and thoughts on how things should be done in our company.
We want to keep everything simple, easy to understand and implement.
Let’s agree on two fundamental rules, which applies to all current and future projects:
- Develop great products and solutions, do it with love and passion, benefit from them.
- Stick to whatever we are good at. Do not waste time and energy in fields we have zero competence. Stay focused on fields we are the best.
To empower our Team to achieve the above written we should live on daily basis with these values:
Team work – always think about the result of your team. Be useful to your team. We cannot accomplish anything alone, thus we cherish our relationships and working in team. This book is dedicated to Team work.
Honesty – be honest to your Team members and to yourself. Always say what you think and give appropriate feedback. Do not fear to be unheard or misunderstood.
Responsibility – take responsibility for your actions and your team actions. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, as it is natural thing on the way to success.
Creativity – never stop improving. Do not stop improving yourself, do not stop improving your workplace, do not stop improving all that is around you. Including this document. Mistakes are acceptable. If we do not change our ways for a long time, we will think that these are the best and only ways. They are not.
Efficiency – perfect is not always perfect. We are a small company so our work should be efficient. It is much better to launch the product or feature a little bit early than to polish it to our death.
Freedom – we have a lot of it in Vertex. You can work remote, you can choose your work schedule, you can create and propose your projects. This is a big value for us all, but only if it is accompanied by all other values stated here.
Discipline – we all must have this value in order to achieve our goals. As individuals and as a team. Discipline is not the set of rules carved in stone – it is a thought and an action which involve all values delivered and expressed on time. Discipline is essential with keeping our promises to Team.
- Be Creative – this is very important. Doing things the same way might seem very good, but this will lead us nowhere. Each of us must think of ways to improve ourselves, our products and our customers. Thinking is the hardest work in the world and it is also the most valued and the most paid work in the world.
- Focus on Results – focus on what should be achieved but enjoy the process. Remember the second rule – if you cannot be passionate about what you do – you are on the wrong Team.
- Be Responsible. Take responsibility for you and your team actions. Always think about consequences before taking actions.
- Always Say What You Think. Do not be afraid to involve into moderated discussions or productive conflicts with your team members. Let’s face the brutal facts and acknowledge them. It is impossible to make good decisions without an honest confrontations of facts.
- Have Fun – let’s not forget to have fun while working. Apart from sleeping, most of the time we are working. So let’s sleep in comfort and work while having fun and making ourselves happy by expressing ourselves through the work we do.
- Do Not Be Afraid to Fail. You will not fail if you do not do anything. Failing is OK, we all do. Admit it, correct it and go on.
- Share Fails and Victories with your team. Let’s celebrate our achievements and learn from mistakes together.
- Be Fast. Our market is challenging and constantly changing. We have to adapt and we have to be efficient. Let’s not be trapped in some super new technology for the sake of just having the super new technology. The technology itself does not deliver results. We should use it as a tool, not as a result or excuse.
- Be Disciplined. Although, do not mix discipline with bureaucracy or autocracy. We are not here to control each other and to micromanage each other. Discipline means you follow and live up to our values and principles. Discipline means you are trustworthy and always keep your word.
- Be Useful to your team and company in general.
Our focus is to have people who follow these day to day principles and live up to the values above. These people are right for Vertex and they are the most important asset to our company. With these people side by side we will find out what to do, where to turn our company, what products to make and how to deliver for our clients.
Bonusly is a micro bonusing system that allows Vertex employees to show their appreciation to one another.
Recognition from colleagues is no less important than the one received from the manager. It is also motivating and fun to recognize and get recognized for the work you and your colleagues do. Here comes Bonusly.
How bonusly works. Every team member gets a monthly Bonusly allowance of 50 points at the beginning of each month. Points can be used to recognize a great work of colleague or a manager. You are in charge to decide how many points for what reason to give out.
Important. In the end of a month, the allowance boost expires, which means – if the points are not used up to thank or praise the ones around you - they will disappear.
We have brought together Council of Vertex. It consists of 5 most experienced Team members from different fields who advice CEO to make the best decision for the company.
Council members discuss Team cooperation, inner procedures, work culture, motivational programs and other important questions. Usually it gathers once per month, but upon request it can gather more often.
Every Team member can propose a topic or an idea on how to improve our work and office lives. Every proposal will be discussed in a nearest meeting.
At Vertex, we plan our work very carefully. All team members are introduced to Planning tool and basic planning requirements when joining our team. This is a very simple, convenient and fast way to create, prioritize and delegate everyday tasks.
Although we pay a lot of attention to planning, our main focus is delivering the desired result, not the plan itself. Thus, we create a quarter road-maps which is a set of 3-5 goals each team member must achieve. It could be a sales target, product launch, knowledge gain and so on. Quarter goals are the focus for planning tasks in Planning tool.
First Tuesday of every month we have meetings to discuss our progress with Quarter road-maps. During them all members of the team prepare a small progress presentation.
We also have a weekly meetings one on one to talk over progress and plan tasks for next week.
One of the main Values we live with is Freedom. One of the forms of Freedom implementation is the ability to work from home when it is needed. We are not forcing anyone to do it though, so it is up to you only. Of course freedom to work from home comes with obligation that your productivity should be better at home than at the office as you have a chance to concentrate on really important tasks.
If you want to spend a day working from home you should notify about this on Monday so all colleagues could plan and know that on specific day you will not be present at the office in case they want to schedule a meeting with you.
Working from home maintains usual working hours (or almost usual) and active communication via Slack, e-mail and phone. So do not snooze :)
Ability to work from home is granted by your senior manager or CEO and it could be done after 3 months of working at the company. This could also be prohibited if your manager sees that your performance when working from home is declining.
If someone starts feeling sick/ill at work, that person should inform the manager and go home. There is no reason to stay at the office feeling bad and trying to catch up with your work. This could lead to poor performance, mistakes and making other colleagues ill too.
When person starts experiencing symptoms of illness in the morning, he or she should simply call their manager or CEO and inform about situation. After that – group mail to colleagues should be send informing that you will not be present. Put a note about your plans for the day – will you be working (if you feel like you can) or just having a rest. It is much better to stay at home, get better quickly and not worsen one’s condition. Even if it’s just a headache or a sore throat.
A doctor's appointment should be made if condition continues for two days in a row. A sick person must visit their doctor on the third day of sickness at the latest. After the visit inform your manager about your health and how long you will be on a sick leave. Starting that day your main objective is to get better. Inform your colleagues and delegate all your unfinished work. We are not expecting people to work when they are sick and will try to not contact them on any matters.
It is up to person and his team when their work day starts. For example, it does not matter when developers start their day as long as it is agreed in team, but for a sales person starting late will result in low productivity and bad performance. So you have to think about that.
Short e-mail to other team members is necessary to be sent if being late for work. Even for 15 minutes. It is a common sense and shows respect to co-workers.
We understand that some personal matters can be dealt with on working hours only. In these cases, senior manager and colleagues should be informed. Please inform your senior manager the day before and colleagues no later than in the morning of the same day as you plan to be absent. After taking care of personal matters focus on work results should be returned.
We should only pick relevant conferences to attend at least three months before the event. This rule applies when attending with a stand and as visitors.
Conference to attend can be suggested by any team member. The decision will be made after considering:
- What benefits we see in attending;
- How much it will cost in total;
- What team members will attend it.
To answer these questions a team member will be appointed. Only after this task is finished the conference will be approved and booked. Our administrative team will make reservations and bookings. When leaving to conference other team members should be informed and the dates marked in leave calendar.
We have an inner document on conference approving process. Please read it carefully.
Vacations are very important and should be relaxing and stress-free for you and your colleagues. They should be informed about it at least a month before the date and reminded a few days before the date.
Of course, we all are human and sometimes we need to make fast and spontaneous decisions. One should just keep in mind – the more days till vacation, the more likely it will be granted.
If you do not know how many days of vocation you have saved – just ask our administrator. She keeps all the records!
We strongly advice to go for at least 2 whole weeks of vacation in a time.
We have a yearly budget for our team to attend seminars and conferences. This budget is presented at our annual meeting for the last years result overview.
We try to find the best seminars and conferences to attend, learn and improve or gain new skills. Although, we always encourage initiative of our team members to offer needed courses and seminars. Managers will consider if it will be useful and should it be paid by the company.
We are working to be even more involved in socially responsible activities.
This year Vertex team contributes 36 000 EUR to charity. This direct support is contributed to charities we've been cooperating with for years. We also work with five day centres in Lithuania supporting them directly. Do you have a vision how Vertex team could make an action in this area? Offer it today to your manager or CEO.