Singular: The role of agility and company culture

By Gambling Insider

The below is a joint article written by Sanata Chargazia (pictured left), the Head of the HR department, and Elena Mihajloska (pictured right), Head of the Marketing department, at Singular.
 
The coronavirus pandemic has completely reshaped the nature of work, and obviously, it had a tremendous impact on the company’s internal and external processes. From all the upheaval that the pandemic has created, companies and teams were mostly affected by the deprivation of social rapport and the lack of face-to-to-face communication. In times like these, a word we use very lightly, company culture, has had a key role in addressing challenges and coping with the indirect effects of the pandemic.

Singular’s organizational culture always stood on active communication and transparency, which was heavily challenged by remote work. An open and friendly environment where the employees have always been able to voice their opinions was always the main trigger of Singular’s innovative and creative mindset.

Notably, it did not take us a long time to understand that it was not just a temporary change of working environment but a drastic change in the business process, and it was becoming a new normal.

The past 12 months and more have highlighted the two aspects that make up Singular’s company culture. These, relevant at all times, have become crucial during unprecedented times.

AGILE BEYOND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Since its inception, Singular has been a software company with a focus on tech and innovation. Agile development processes have always been an integral part of our company culture and way of working. Nevertheless, last year put everyone to a test.

How agile are we when the truly unexpected happens?

The fact that Singular has been exercising less bureaucratic business processes and agile framework for years gave us the possibility of a discrete and less painful transition to a new and forcefully formed working environment. A decentralized decision-making process and a flat organizational structure guaranteed fast and effective actions that kept our product quality at its best and tailored the process to the client’s needs.

COMMUNICATION WITH PURPOSE

From what we have seen, there could not have been over communication during this period. We made all possible and relevant channels accessible for all employees - for intensive formal and informal communication. But we did our best not to translate communication into ad-hoc messages and all-day-long conference calls.

In order to maintain team productivity and motivation, and therefore, quality of products and services, we used a number of communication platforms: Slack for conversations per topic and quick responses, confluence as a centralized hub for elaborated documentation, Google Meets, and Zoom for video calls for meetings, Skype for communication with external stakeholders.

These were tools that we used long before the pandemic and were nothing novel. The true difference was in the purpose we used these tools for.

Having online events like Town Hall meetings or Q&A sessions in a systematic way gave employees the feeling that they are part of a community with shared goals and vision. Everyone had the chance to ask questions, participate in the decision-making process, and share their perspective. Moreover, this added towards better understanding of the long-term goals, raised attention to any challenges that each member might be facing and act proactively.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It might sound surprising, but when managing effectively and using every tool at its disposal, even during pandemics and remote work organizational culture and employee morale will not suffer. Nowadays, our employees have more effective communication and information than ever; they get more feedback than ever, we vouched for transparency, employee perspective-taking, and openness more than ever.

The main lesson learned is that flexible organizational processes, decentralized management, and open communication are the key factors for maintaining effectiveness and quality during dramatic changes. This way, motivation stays high, bottlenecks eliminated, clarity guaranteed. All of which results in timely and quality delivery of products and services.
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