Steps to Make Work at Cloudriven More Meaningful

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LingonberryThis is the second and last part of Jukka’s blog post about meaningful work. The first part was released two weeks ago.

Doctor’s Orders

As we tend to do at Cloudriven, we analyzed what kind of results we’d achieved in spring and what kind of actions were taken to reach the results. Based on the analysis, we decided what we’re going to focus on this fall and made some changes to our management system:

a) we gave the employees more autonomy, so they can now decide on their own what strategically relevant actions they take on a weekly basis
b) we separated actions and results
c) we decided to reward employees for doing strategically relevant actions with the chance to influence Cloudriven’s operations and to get opportunities for professional development

When you’re given the freedom to choose from different actions that are critical to the ability to create value for the customers, you can channel your time and skills better for actions that you’re good at and you have motivation to perform. If our presumption of somewhat rational decision-making concerning the use of time will be true, the logical conclusion is that the productivity of our work will increase compared to the previous season.

We also thought about how we could build our team spirit even further. We decided to give each of us the chance to weekly nominate a colleague who has done an excellent job. This is how we try to channel respectful and guiding feedback to each other. It was also amazing to hear that our customers wanted to join us too. A couple of weeks ago I filmed a video in which one of our customers tells spontaneously how a mobile app developed by Cloudriven has had a positive impact on their organization’s customer interactions. We do our work to deliver success for our customers and the best feedback we can get is a sincere Thank You from a customer.

In addition, we supposed that we all want to learn new things and develop ourselves. That is why we revised the way our actions are rewarded. During the fall, every team member can teach their special skills to others; these mini-courses will be provided as a reward for good performance. The final course listing is still in the making, but the selection seems to match at least a small folk high school. Of course we also offer smaller and a bit bigger rewards that develop our skills and welfare, and offer possibilities to influence our own work.

Even the Bears Don’t Always Wrestle – Occasionally They Eat Lingonberries

If everything mentioned above would run solely on manual labor, Cloudriven would have a chronic need to hire more people to management. However, we decided to let the bears hunt for the lingonberries (N.B. this Finnish saying was made popular by Kummeli, a popular comedy group originally from Tampere), so that we can instead focus on work that adds value to our customers. That is why we use our Habit Engine to manage our weekly tasks and work. We made some changes to the configurations of Habit based on the changes implemented in our management system:

a) we present critical actions and results in the same view to be able to examine what is the connection between actions and results
b) we only give rewards for actions, because we believe that results obey actions
c) we unified the target points of different worker roles, so that the work efforts would be comparable
d) we register all the sales activities in our own Virta CRM and push the data to Habit through the generic Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration
e) we welcome video feedback from our customers about our successes and possible weak spots and discuss about the feedback

Yet refining the system didn’t lead us to give up our weekly team meetings. On the contrary, we strengthened our management through the Habit Engine; now we can analyze our performance weekly and make fast but advised decisions. The changes didn’t affect the time we spend on weekly meetings, but it increased the productivity of the meetings, as we can now use our time more on relevant topics.

When it comes to attendance, the most significant change is that Janne is mapping out possible partners in New York and can’t attend the meetings in person. Despite the fact that he’s not physically here, he’s still present. His work efforts can be tracked in Habit and communication is easy with Office 365 services, like Lync, Outlook, SharePoint, and our social Virta CRM.