How can you maintain a good atmosphere at the company when everybody is working from home? Why are Divante Culture Team activities more important than ever before? And How is it all connected with dogs, horses and… mustaches?
What is the Divante Culture Team?
I tell the stories of Divante employees on the Divante blog. Their stories are a great example of how our company values, Drive, Vibe, Next, and Teamwork, work in practice at Divante. Apart from that, at the beginning of 2020, the Culture Team was created to bring together people from different teams.
At Divante, many people identify themselves with these company values and express them in different ways. This is how the Culture Team was created. It was no longer an HR initiative, and it became a bottom-up project.
“During monthly meetings, we focus on a specific value. Together, we’re thinking about how we can promote it among our employees. This is important not just for those who have been working at Divante for a long time. Our activities also allow new employees to understand what Divante values are and how they manifest themselves. It is easier for them to understand the basics of our culture and to integrate within the company.” – Alicja Wójtowicz, Employer Branding Specialist at Divante.
The main goal of the Culture Team is to implement initiatives that support Divante values. The Team is also focused on creating a sense of belonging and community within the organization.
“We want to make people feel that, at Divante, they are not just numbers in Excel. They’re not just machines programmed to perform their tasks. They are people who have their feelings and beliefs, and want to do something good in their lives. They don’t only come to work to earn income for the organization but to do something valuable. We encourage people to go with their ideas, not to be afraid of them. In many companies, showing initiative is not so acceptable and even unwelcome sometimes. I have been working at Divante for only a few months, but I can see that it is different here.” – Marta Ciesielska, Project Manager at Divante.
Vibe in practice
The Culture Team began to act and put Divante values into practice so that they don’t just remain on a piece of paper in a presentation. The team divided the year into four quarters. In each of the quarters, a different value will be represented. Each month of the quarter, the Ambassador organizes specific events. Their role is to develop a theme for the event they would like to take up and gather people who will help with its organization.
At the time of writing this article, the team is working on the Vibe value. In October 2020, the Divante Culture Team managed to organize the “Jump to the Rescue” event supporting the local animal protection association, EKOSTRAŻ. Aleksandra Dziewulska was the Ambassador for this event.
“We decided to take care of the animals that have suffered greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this, a few people donated to shelters and foundations for animals. Small associations like this that are based on volunteer work don’t usually receive grants. Their situation is even more difficult. We know this organization from many events in Wrocław. They have helped a massive number of animals, both domestic and wild living in the city.” – Aleksandra Dziewulska, Deputy Head of Product Design and Senior UX Researcher at Divante.
At Divante, there are many people who love animals. Seeing a dog in the office, before the pandemic, was something that happened frequently. Gathering a few people who were willing to help with the event wasn’t a problem.
“We interviewed a representative of the association to find out their needs and to help Divante employees understand the goal of this event. Additionally, we prepared a nice poster because we have talented graphic artists who can help. The assumption was that if we reach a certain amount of money, the poster will be made available as stickers for employees.” – Aleksandra Dziewulska.
The goal of the event was to collect money. Every week, how many people had donated and how much had been raised was disclosed. After adding everything up, the organizers managed to donate about 1,500 PLN.
The Divante Culture Team goes on
This is only the beginning. More events are planned for every month in the future.
“As part of the Culture Team, we have just finished the event”Jump to the Rescue,” and another idea is “Movember.” We managed to get in touch with the movember.pl foundation. They will conduct health workshops for us in Polish and English. The action aims to increase awareness of men’s health.” – Alicja Wójtowicz.
In December, the Culture Team will support the “Szlachetna Paczka,” a nationwide social project whose primary goal is to provide material and mental help to families and people in difficult situations. The first three months of 2021 are reserved for Next and are connected with conferences, networking, and development. In March, Divante will plant a forest to equal the carbon footprint we produce. From April to June is for Teamwork. In May, there are plans to go to Tara, a foundation that takes care of retired horses.
“We want to go there together, as a company, and work hard. Paint the stables, throw hay, do a lot of physical work, and have a meal on the campfire. Of course, we are dependent on COVID with this. We hope that by then it will be possible to organize it.” – Aleksandra Dziewulska.
We need Drive, Vibe, Next, and Teamwork more than ever
Divante has been famous for its great atmosphere for years, even though the company is still growing. With 250 people on board, it still manages to keep its flat structure and start-up atmosphere. The Divante Culture Team wants to support and develop this atmosphere in order to maintain it.
In times of pandemic and remote working, unfortunately, this is not an easy task. Almost everyone works remotely in their homes far away from each other. There are no meetings at the Divante Cafe, no foosball, and no spending time together.
“We try to take various actions to counteract this. In our teams, we organize virtual breakfasts, coffees, and lunches. We try to find a time that is devoted to conversation and not just work. We tried initiatives like online board games and group tournaments to unite people online. The primary mission is to take care of our atmosphere and develop rules for remote work. This will allow everyone to manage their work at home over the next few months.” – Alicja Wójtowicz.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were locked in our homes, and everyone tried to organize their work by themselves. Among Divante employees, various systems of work appeared depending on the individual situation. The Divante Culture Team is working to combine these practices and gather a standard set of tips to help everyone find their way with remote work. It will stabilize the situation and help those who didn’t imagine themselves working remotely.
The Culture Team is an excellent example of conscious action to build a company culture. It supports Divante’s values in building the organization. The activity of the Divante Culture Team is more important today than ever before. We’re working remotely, and that situation will probably not change soon. We need a good atmosphere, we need to take care of each other, and we need the Drive, Vibe, Next, and Teamwork values that the Divante Culture Team actively supports.