Happiness management: how to care and develop a home-office team from 30+ cities

Quality-lab values

Many companies try to take care of their employees. Someone even thinks that they have succeeded in this, but in reality it is not so simple. How do companies evaluate their HR brand and choose an employer to their liking? Probably, authoritative resources like hh.ru make up employer ratings for this purpose. Let's find out how to get into his TOP and what does the management of happiness have to do with it.
Posted by: Anastasia Yuzvik
Happiness Manager at Quality Lab

Why did we remember this? Because in 2018, we took 14th place in this rating in the field of “IT and the Internet”, entering the top three Moscow employers in the field of QA / IT with the number of employees from 100 to 500. It seems to us that this is an excellent reason to figure out - how we came to this and share our values ​​in work.
Quality-lab values

Core values

We have 138 people working remotely from different cities and countries. The standard 40 working hours per week can be flexibly adjusted for yourself, although you need to take into account the specifics of the activity. If, for example, testers can do part of the work at night, then the marketing and sales department is unlikely to succeed - you need to communicate with customers during “working hours”.

Does the system work? If we take into account the peculiarities of the organization of work of distributed test teams and create a comfortable working atmosphere in a distributed team, motivating for situational leadership, then how it works.

Our main principle is trust. We do not stand behind us and are not supporters of total control, but we do not suffer from naivety either. Therefore, to monitor labor costs and the emotional climate in the team, we have developed and are actively developing our own soft HRM system - “Time-Tracker”. Thanks to its functionality, employees daily record what tasks they performed during the day and how much time it took. The whole procedure takes no more than a minute.

Quality-lab time-tracker

Time-Tracker is a tool for transparently and easily collecting information about activities on external and internal projects, as well as an excellent way to diagnose problems if something went wrong and the results are very different from the planned ones. Also, this is a convenient platform for communication on work schedule issues - here we request time off, arrange sick leave and business trips, arrange a vacation.

Pleasantness: sick leave is paid at 100%, and without sick leave you can take up to 5 days off a year.

Do you consider us too wasteful and negligent? Years of practice in managing remote teams have helped us understand the importance of creating a secure atmosphere that makes our employees happier, focuses on work and ultimately improves productivity.

What else is needed for productivity? We believe that you need to give the beginner everything you need. When a new employee comes to us, we provide him with working equipment from the equipment bank, which is constantly updated. Is this a reason for pride? No, it is rather a “must have” and our guarantee that a person will work efficiently, because we have provided it to everyone.

Why and how do new employees come to us? In addition to the traditional search, there are two more options:

The appearance of a newcomer to the life of the team is a joyful process for us. We always provide a comfortable dive, while not creating discomfort to the customer and threats to the entire project. How? For this, we clearly defined for ourselves what are the features of the training of beginner testers and what should be taken into account.

Quality-lab newbe

Keeping in mind the base, we do not forget that you can use interesting methods of immersing and training trainees in distributed teams. Their benefit is that our jones not only learn to work with the applied field, studying in an interesting form the features of research testing and the product. Sometimes, in less than two weeks, we get a “universal soldier” ready to go on real “combat” missions and help the main project team with testing releases and hot fixes.

And also our basic values ​​cannot be imagined without a comradely and sincere atmosphere, well, and more gifts. And this is also a must have. Even if you take gifts for DR employees. It's one thing to send a certificate or a standard corporate gift for everyone. It’s completely different, to find out what the colleague wants to do, to pretend that you forgot about him, and then: “Vasya, the courier will come to you in 30 minutes to sign the documents”. And there’s a cool replacement for the birthday headphones that broke a couple of days ago.

Gifts for general holidays are of course more standard - if you can call a standard mini-game with achievements for tester guys on February 23 and a radio podcast with poems and songs for beautiful ladies on March 8.

Next level

As soon as the employee felt comfortable and safe (among his own), it is time to move on to the next level. We put in this concept any options for professional development. People have different attitudes to the need for continuous learning, but we believe that this is a blessing and bring it to the masses.

Each employee has his IPR (individual development plan), drawn up taking into account the desire to learn new skills and their need for work. What does this plan consist of?

Block 1. Free training

Do you know a joke? The financial director asks the general: "What will happen if we invest in the training of employees, and then they leave us?" And the general replied: “And what will happen if we do not invest, and they remain?”

We believe that investing in employee training always pays off. Therefore, various specialists are constantly taking specialized courses on pumping the skills needed in the work. For trusted Jedi, we hire personal coaches to help them develop in areas where people feel their weaknesses and want to overcome them. There is no exception here and passing QA certifications, such as ISTQB - LC not only helps to prepare for the exam, but also pays for it. The training system actively uses the capabilities of our “First Online Institute of Testers (POINT)” and an online library that employees can freely use.

Block 2. Learning English

Almost any employee of our company, in one way or another, this language is necessary in the work. But this does not mean that we all study in one program. Why, if testers have their own vocabulary, marketers have their own, and to conclude an international transaction, you need a level of native speaker. Therefore, the teacher works with someone individually, with someone in groups, and before responsible negotiations we run “battle” scenarios so that the wording and “strong Russian accent” do not confuse foreign colleagues.

Block 3. Promotion of employees at the conference as speakers

Everyone wants to shoot down two targets with one shot. We also try, sometimes quite successfully. The performance of our employee at a reputable event is advertising for us and pumping for a specialist. Therefore, we very carefully approach the process of preparing speakers, accompanying our guys at all stages.
First, we select experienced experts in each specific field of testing and project management. We learn who is interested in developing in public speaking. Then we look for conferences, select topics and send applications. Of course, we help prepare the presentation. And this is not only content, but the skills of self-presentation, rhetoric and interaction with the audience. In parallel, all organizational work is being done so that our employee does not have any questions on the spot. To consolidate the result, marketing materials for distribution at the event and live broadcasting help.

Quality-lab speakers

Why are we all doing this? Then, that we consider it right - people should want to develop and have such an opportunity. And to match this with the goals and values ​​of the business, you just need to build a strategy and plan for the development of team skills. The main thing is that everything happens by mutual agreement and with interest for the specialist.

What else motivates people to develop? That it is reflected in the salary. In our company, the level of earnings can be reviewed every three months. And new skills that allow you to work in new projects automatically bring revenue growth to both us and the employee.

Happiness management

Why did we decide to call this article such a big name? Because in some way we really manage this happiness. We even have “happiness managers” working and this is quite an official status.

Quality-lab speakers

A good leader always knows informal leaders. Those who are called the "soul of the collective." This is a person who always sincerely wants to know how you are doing. He will cheer up, help, advise, talk with the leader. It is not indifferent to the mood of each employee and the atmosphere in the team to be in order. So we thought - if there are such people anyway, then why not ask them to make this part of their work? Important and useful for the company and necessary for the team.

To evaluate the emotional level of employees remotely, we use the same “Time-Tracker” , in which emotional statuses are available. Yes, yes, in fact these are the same emoticons - peppy and funny or angry and tired. And you may not believe it, but those who press the “all ok” button every day are the main risk group.

A happiness manager is a person who helps you solve problems. And not only workers, but also personal ones. Talk with your boss if you cannot do this. Will tell you how to resolve the situation. He will advise what needs to be done and where to develop. But not only that - the manager of happiness will be there when you are on horseback. He will always praise you for the results achieved.

After all, everyone loves when they are praised. Therefore, in our monthly magazine appeared "Walk of Fame . " Heroes in it are selected by all employees who are not too lazy to fill out a small questionnaire at the end of the month. You can get here for any merit - for a cool start to the project, support and help to others, optimization of tasks, successful negotiations, simplification of the complex and taming of the obstinate. In general, for anything, if only it would benefit the company or the happiness of the team.

Quality-lab magazine

Life is work, but work is not all life

It is impossible to just work, you also need to relax. Or do what you love.

For example, run. Without exaggeration, we have a whole running club, headed personally by Gene. Dir aka Big Boss - Natalia Rukol.

Quality-lab running

Beginners go through a series of training webinars to learn how to run properly, what to wear and how to breathe. Then they are included in the club, optionally receiving even a training program and a personal trainer-kicker. So that everyone has motivation, we regularly hold challenges with gifts that are useful for running. And why not, if you can then look at the photos of satisfied people who ran their first or twenty first half marathons and marathons?

Natalya also actively participates in environmental campaigns for garbage collection and personally organizes cleanliness raids for Russian cities for all concerned employees.

Quality-lab garbage

In LK there are many people who came to the profession from completely different and non-core areas. As a rule, they regret that they did not know about testing before. It was this omission in the career guidance system of youth that Anya Paley decided to make up for. She took up educational activities and now on a voluntary basis conducts talks with schoolchildren about the profession of QA-engineer. Read more about her last experience working with school students at the PorIT conference here.

Quality-lab social

Remote work in the field of testing - these are additional features. Particularly mobile employees manage to change several cities of residence during the year, and not only Russian ones. The one whose physical capabilities are limited, for example: people with injuries and disabilities, remote work allows you to test, communicate, make money - without any restrictions. There are such employees in the LC, though few know about their limitations - they are so socially active.

Actively and absolutely free of charge, another LK employee works with our youth - our corporate English teacher - Tatyana Ryzhova. And no, she does not teach them foreign languages. Tatyana is a member of the Nizhny Novgorod Mountain Club NGO and helps students become tourists and "go to the mountains with their souls", organizing lectures, trainings and rallies for club members.

Quality-lab garbage

For those who like to stretch their brains while sitting in place, we have fan associations of intellectual games. For example, once a week lovers of the "mafia" gather. And chess fans hold whole tournaments.

All hobbies, personal interests, film premieres, interests and any topics (except religion and politics) can be discussed in a flood-box and thematic chats, where you will always find someone you like, the main thing is not to merge a lot of working time.

While living online, we do not forget about the benefits of offline meetings. After all, with a glass of tea the teams come together much more strongly than during any online quest. Therefore, we regularly gather in order to exchange experiences, go to our client’s favorite representatives, just talk about working and non-working topics. Or, for example, to run a marathon, clean up trash or climb Mount Elbrus.

We, of course, have a lot of work, and not everyone likes the constant race-development. But even ask our former employees: “What was it like for them to work with us?” .. and it will become clear why our employer rating grows every year.

We are always happy to see the professionals in our team, so if you need difficult tasks and a team of like-minded people to solve them, join us.

With you was "immodest" LC! Work passionately, relax, as the last time and do not forget about the people around!

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/462749/

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