Atmosfera Chief Executive Director Yury Ermantraut speaks exclusively to Gambling Insider about management styles, improving as a boss, empowering employees and much more.
How does Atmosfera approach management generally - is your strategy very different to other companies?
In my opinion, the modern management style should be hybrid and combine features such as team partnership, democracy, coaching and readiness to set tasks directly. Why do I think it is important?
Team partnership: The “people first” principle works here. We need harmony in the relationship between top management and employees.
Democracy: The ability to make directive decisions and when everyone can contribute. The system of motivation in Atmosfera is also based on the team's overall success so everyone has the opportunity to show themselves.
Coaching: For the previous two styles to work effectively, and to neutralise their potentially negative scenario, it is important to invest personally in each team member, revealing their best skills and pointing out areas that are worth working on harder.
Directive style: During unexpected tasks that have to be done ASAP, and in other controversial situations, it is important to remain a leader, be ready to make decisions and the team should be ready to execute them right away. The correct combination of the first three styles helps to adequately perceive the need of instant directive decisions.
Such a hybrid management style in Atmosfera shows its effectiveness already, gives results in the long term, but is extremely labour-intensive at the implementation stage.
In your eyes, what makes something a dream company to work for?
Of course each company is individual, so the best answer to this question should be provided by the entire Atmosfera team. The characteristic closest to me is the opportunity to create a demanded product in a dynamically developing and very competitive industry and, importantly, to create this product according to the work principles that we talked about above in the first question.
What makes a boss better?
The question I'm asking myself is; Are you a good boss or a great one? Expand this question to "What are the basic principles of your life?"
Work is as important as family and personal space. All these principles of being a good person were written and known hundreds of years ago. The hardest thing people face is to follow them. Respect other people's opinions, be able to hear people, value their time, always learn to understand the position of your opponent, colleague, family member, etc.
Being a good person is not only hard work but a great feeling of joy.
By implementing all the ideas described above, you will be on the way to improving your boss skills.
How do you empower employees?
An individual approach is very important. We practise individual interviews with colleagues for their present professional and personal satisfaction. We take care of the mental health of our employees and also give them the opportunity to make decisions independently to be as involved as possible in what everyone is doing.
I am always open to constructiveness regarding the development of the company and each employee separately. For each employee, we make an individual development plan so that everyone understands their growth and progress, common expectations. We often hold regular team parties, from impromptu gatherings after working hours to formal events.
We form our own individual path and we’re driven by such strong competition. Using the experience and practices of the market - as well as our personal view - we form our own style and way of development
How do your live games stand out against the competition?
We put a lot of emphasis on our modern studios as a part of the product. Atmosfera’s product design is very clean and pleasant. In addition, you will definitely remember our games presenters. Plus, with a new game release in November, we plan to add a feature to the product which gives players the ability to choose a theme for the game. We are also working on new types of bets for already released games, such as Live Roulette.
Do live casino companies such as yourself aspire to Evolution currently, as one of the dominant forces in gaming?
Of course we understand the role of huge companies such as Evolution or Playtech in the world of gambling. We form our own individual path and we’re driven by such strong competition. Using the experience and practices of the market - as well as our personal view - we form our own style and way of development. We are sometimes aggressive in promoting ourselves, somewhere overly polite, accurate in communications, but bold in product decisions.
Time will tell, stay tuned with us. Have fun with whatever you do!