Two-way trust, total transparency
Pride. Joy. Trust. These are the three perspectives that Great Place to Work believes companies should nurture in their employees. Yet whilst we at Teleopti agree all three are indeed vital employee attitudes for a company to support, the one that has been a real red thread throughout Teleopti’s 25+ years of operations is trust. Teleopti sees trust as a two-way path. Of course, employees need to trust their company and management, but it also must come with management trusting employees. I remember from my early years at Teleopti, our founder, Nils, often said “Our values will help you to do the right thing, even if you are out there on your own.” And it has helped!
Trusting our employees
Teleopti management is guided by the mentality of, ‘trusted until proven otherwise,’ where we have faith in our team’s actions and behavior, which will only change if given real cause to do so. Even then, mistakes are ok, mistakes are a must, mistakes are seeds for improvement. This outlook filters into our recruitment process as we really look at the personality of the people we interview, finding the right type of person, someone we can trust to care and strive for the business. This often means that we focus less on experience and more on potential and attitude and so far we’ve had a team of great Teleoptimists. Such a recruiting focus goes back to the beginning of the company as I myself applied to Teleopti just out of university, without the ‘required’ experience, but our founders saw my potential and drive. Straight away I was given responsibility, and it’s the same with young colleagues today. At Teleopti you don’t carry a senior colleague’s briefcase or sit in meetings taking notes for years before you are trusted to do real work. We trust our colleagues from day 1.
Trust has similarly helped us to grow from our Swedish roots into an international company with 17 offices worldwide. We’ve had to have trust in each other while working far apart, trusting in each other’s regional market decisions.
Employees trusting management
Of course, as GPTW says, employees need to trust management. We try to build this by having as much transparency as possible, both in our financial figures and being open about the focus that our management meetings have. Every company meeting (held once a month) discusses our status in terms of new deals, revenue and departmental achievement and is recorded and shared to make sure all information is being passed out to everyone. Equally, a transparent intranet is an area we are trying to improve. We’re working to nurture an open intranet, where as much information is shared as possible to keep everyone up to date, no matter their location.
On top of nurturing trust in management we aim to lessen the idea of ‘top-level’ management in general. Instead our style is that all can collaborate on an equal level and speak to everyone in the company, no matter what the organization chart may show.
Overall, I don’t believe we’d be a Great Place to Work without two-way trust or a sense of equality and transparency. I think that trust has to be continually supported, from both sides. An environment of total trust means you can be who you are knowing you’ll be supported always. After all, it’s better to act and fail than to be too scared to try at all. As I said, mistakes are seeds for improvement.
Olle Düring is CEO at Teleopti and has worked with Teleopti and Workforce Management (WFM) for over 20 years. Teleopti WFM software helps companies improve their customer service, employee satisfaction and profitability through automated forecasting and scheduling with cutting-edge features to empower employees. Teleopti has been named a Great Place to Work 5 years in a row, using the survey to listen to the organization and ensure a great place to work.