People

How we built a Rebel culture after the company acquisition.

Building the Rebel Culture
The sugar and the spice behind our Employee Spotlight initiative and a little bit of background into our company acquisition process.

Hi Rebel,

For the past few months, we kept receiving positive feedback and questions about our initiatives, how we got to the ideas, what went well, and what did not.

Inspired by your feedback and our firm belief that, as a community, we can achieve more, we want to start a series of articles under the #RebelsBehindTheCurtains hashtag. It’s our way of sharing the sugar and the spice behind our initiatives with you. We are committed to including the bitter as well.

First in line, Employee Spotlight.

How we got to the idea

Two years ago, our CEO acquired the Services Division of our ex-mother company and turned it into RebelDot.

Although all of us worked together before, trying to adjust and create a new culture was a roller-coaster. It was a process of adjusting the new startup setting to a mid-sized company background. Imagine that!

Like every new beginning, it took us some time to learn how to work together in the new formula. Some of the colleagues decided to pursue a new challenge in other companies, while other new talented people joined us.

So here we were in a new context, a mix of old and new employees, trying to build a company together. But how do you do this, while also going through a transition process and a continuously shifting back and forth between the old and new?

We knew a lot about our professional experience but not so much about who we are as people: our passions, our struggles, and what makes us vibe.

We were a bunch of people bonded by history, in front of a clean canvas with new colours and brushes to paint.

Once we have identified the need within the company, we took it with us in the HR and Employer Brand annual planning meeting. For a couple of hours, we sat and brainstormed ideas on how to get people to connect more actively and at a deeper level.

After some interesting discussions, we came up with the Employee Spotlight idea. Such a simple idea that turned out to be so powerful.

We feel you, Chandler! 😀

via GIPHY

The purpose

We were looking for a simple idea to make our colleagues feel (and actually be) seen, heard and understood. Something to help us get to know each other. Suitable for introverts and extroverts, for wild-hearted and introspective people at the same time.

The plan

Once we came up with the idea, we have decided to give it a try and see how it goes. We embraced the same lean mentality we apply to build digital products: build, learn, measure, build learn, measure.

The plan was simple: every Monday, at 12 A.M, we will have one colleague in the Spotlight. That person was responsible for sending a description and a few photos.

We have also created a template for the ones that had difficulties in figuring out what topics they should address.

How it went

Oh boooy! We were so nervous when we announced the initiative, in anticipation of resistance, and we asked our colleague, Ioana, to be the first Rebel in the Spotlight.

Gladly, our colleagues were curious to know more about the people they work with, so the Slack post received lots of reactions.

Spotlight_RebelDot

The post had a snowball effect. Our colleagues were feeling comfortable with sharing more and more about themselves.

What we found out

Our Rebels are super exciting and creative people, so reading their descriptions was and still is so much fun.

We will share with you some interesting facts.

via GIPHY

Rebels are afraid of:

Pigeons on the wire;

Spiders with irregular body shape;

Heights;

Public speaking;

Snakes.

Rebels are passionate about:

Cooking;

Basketball;

Volleyball;

Cycling;

Judo;

Eating jelly beans;

Eating chocolate;

Crafting;

Working around the house.

Oh, are you ready for some juicy ones?🤤

via GIPHY

  • Most of our Rebels are from Bistrita, Baia Mare and Zalau.
  • Alexandra won Miss Universe Romania.
  • Alex had a sabbatical year.
  • Bogdan won a folk festival.
  • Vali has a vertical jump capacity higher than most NBA players.
  • Luciana has a delicious cheesecake recipe published on Adi Hadean’s website.
  • Tudi went alone in Korea at 16 years old.
  • Eli is an MTB champion.
  • Sergiu is a judo champion.
  • Petruta met President Klaus Iohannis in a funny circumstance.
  • Alexandru and his team won the 1st place at a francophone theatre festival in Sardinia.

Simply put, impressive and exciting people. ❤

What we have learned on the way

Sugar, spice and everything nice?

Along the way, we realized that the engagement decreased, so we updated the way we posted the description by introducing, in the beginning, an intriguing question or affirmation about the Rebel in Spotlight. By making people curious to find the answer, they were more eager to read the description and get to know the story behind the answer.

We also put it on hold for a short period of time, when we had other initiatives ongoing, to reduce noise.

Why do we recommend implementing Employee Spotlight into your company?

  • Quick, hustle-free opportunity to help your employees get to know each other.
  • It offers the employees the opportunity to reflect on themselves
  • It helps them identify common passion with the people they work with
  • It allows you, as a company, to understand your people more and create initiatives that are suitable for their wellbeing.

That’s it, folks!

How about you? Would this practice suit your company’s culture? How would you make it more fun?

P.S: Stay tuned for the next article in the series of #RebelsBehindTheCurtains

 

RebelDot Team

🚀You already know we love building digital products, but did you know that we built our own startup? Read the story of how we build a contact tracing and visitors management system, here.

🧐 Curious to know more about how we take care of our employees during COVID-19? We wrote an article to share everything about the RebelDot internal initiatives during these tougher than usual times.

Petruta Tuliga

Petruta Tuliga

If you want to build a strong culture inside the company there are 3 simple things you have to do: listen, listen and again listen to your employees. Their needs, worries and hopes are the ones that will impact the way they work.

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