25. 10. 2021

We want to employ the best, reward them well and leave them freedom

Ján Grujbár, COO of Aliter Technologies, says that every change is positive in the long term. That's why they change the company's philosophy and culture.

What specific changes are you making for employees?

It is not just innovations from the point of view of employees, we are re-setting the philosophy and functioning of the whole company. We draw inspiration from many foreign progressive companies or creative environments of innovative startups. Our goal is to employ the best professionals, pay them well, but at the same time give them freedom of choice and freedom to work. Of course, to make it work, freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility. This does not only apply to managers, but to every single employee of the company. The next step is to repeal rules and regulations wherever common sense can prevail. For example, we canceled the dress code and we proceed in the home office mode as well. Although we had it in place before the pandemic, we want to apply it to a greater extent. And perhaps the most fundamental change is that we are abolishing standard working hours and it is up to the people how to set their work – whether they will do it in the regime as before, or move it in the afternoon or in the evening, or they will do it in some blocks. We also leave them free in this regard. The condition is, of course, ensuring the operation of the company, production systems, customer service and participation in joint meetings. The whole principle is based on the fact that the employee makes an arrangement with his/her teamleader in advance and sets his/her regime. All these changes are being implemented within the company this autumn.

How did your employees react to these changes?

I think the announcement of this news has been a great success. We have fulfilled people’s expectations in this regard, as we have been receiving feedback on some form of release for a long time, for example regarding home office, dress code, etc.. But such thing as arrangement of their own working time was definitely a big and nice surprise for them. In our latitudes, this may sound a bit revolutionary, but there are companies, for example, in the USA, which came up with such a change several years ago. Then they went against the flow and it paid off.

In such companies, although high salaries are valued, they blame them for being too focused on a successful result, pressure for performance and no one is sure of their position.

Extremes are not healthy and we do not want to go to extremes. It is important for us that people feel free to work, have space to apply themselves, be creative and receive adequate evaluation for it. We have eliminated complicated formulas and calculations based on time-consuming and inefficient end-of-year assessments, and instead give room for immediate, maximally effective feedback.

How exactly does open communication work for you?

It is one of the pillars we are trying to build on. We believe that a free environment with open communication can move the company forward. As I mentioned, we motivate employees and managers for immediate feedback. We strengthen the position of the team leader and consider the dialogue between him/her and the team members to be the key. We also want to give each employee more space and open up opportunities for their own ideas and solutions when performing tasks. I also consider it very important to work with external consultants to measure satisfaction in the field of corporate culture and to identify any fluctuations as soon as possible.

This period has shaken the labor market as well. What is the situation for you?

In the IT world, there are still very few quality people. It is true that this shortcoming can be solved by personnel leasing or “nearshoring”, but it is not satisfactory for companies of our type. We are a company that is built on highly specialized experts, we have very specific projects, which is why it is so important for us to invest in our people and know how to keep them. That is why we try to set up the environment so that we keep people and create the conditions in which they will want to stay and they will enjoy their work in the long run.

You currently have several open positions for which you are looking for candidates. What people are you interested in?

We are looking for leaders for managerial positions who know how to create the right team, create a good atmosphere, can communicate openly, they are action-packed. We are not looking for strong individuals, the priority is team players. Equally important is expertise, of course, depending on the level of the position. We place particular emphasis on the so-called soft skills and managerial skills. I consider communication to be the basis of everything. We need leaders to be open, to be able to communicate very transparently and also to be able to listen actively. We are looking for people who are charismatic, are a personality you want to follow naturally, are purposeful, responsible and have results. In the positions of specialists, in addition to expertise, proactivity is important for us, the willingness to constantly work on ourselves, to learn and to move forward.


Forbes article preview: We want to employ the best, reward them well and leave them freedom
Ján Grujbár, COO of Aliter Technologies, says that every change is positive in the long term.