Wirepas is leading the way in 5G technology to enable IoT solutions, and we are growing fast. A key value we have is diversity and we have hired a very diverse workforce: our 70-person organisation includes 16 nationalities. We like to have the best talent at work and we operate remotely in many countries. We have developed our culture, leadership and teamwork with determination.
The old and the new have to learn what we are like
Before the SmoothTeam simulations, we had recruited around 20% new people and wanted the team to get to know each other and integrate. When you have experts and new faces together and on the other hand some meet daily while others are mainly remote, some get to know each other easier and faster than others. Daily communication is very much about talking about the content of the work, so there is less getting to know each other. Now we wanted to focus on who we each are and what our working styles are.
Belonging to the work community is important
We have talked, especially during the corona period, about the importance of belonging to the work community and the community it forms. This kind of team building helps with this: it gives me a sense of being heard and visible as a member of the team.
Collaboration is key
Cooperation between people is important to us. Our work requires us to work together – for example, our software products need to be tested and customer requirements taken into account – which in itself requires many different people to work together. So we work effectively as a team and people know each other. We used simulation for most of our teams at the same time.
SmoothTeam’s clear concept works especially well for experts
We are a fact-based expert organisation. SmoothTeam’s clear concept and proven clear methodology worked for us. SmoothTeam and its representatives were also uncomplicated in style, like-minded and had good expertise.
I also liked the fact that this concept allows you to do both local and remote implementation, because you never know if you will get everyone there or not. We did the simulations remotely, but if necessary, there was also someone on one of the teams remotely.
SmoothTeam was a compact concept and therefore time-efficient.
Our objectives were met: we learned new things about each other and the team
The experience was excellent and we learned new things. After the simulation, we had a joint discussion about the lessons learned, where the teams opened up to other teams. Each team first looked at their own team, what we are like and how we work on a day-to-day basis. Then the findings were shared with the other teams.
I would recommend that the same concept of team development be used for many teams in a company. This creates a common vocabulary and makes it easier to share what we are like across team boundaries.
In general, such lessons came across to many:
- It’s important to each work within their areas of strength and share responsibilities.
- Certain types of behaviour can be a burden on a colleague and when recognised, can be developed.
- Knowing each other helps to create patterns of collaboration and roles so that each person can work to their areas of strength.
- Agree on a team approach. Then there is no guesswork or strain and expectations of oneself are understood.
In addition, the teams came up with such specific observations and lessons learned:
- Teams where some work in the same office and others remotely, even from different countries and time zones, need to pay special attention that everyone feels equally part of the team.
- Developing the review process.
- Listening is the way to deal with conflicts in time – hence the common vision.
- Identifying one’s own empowerment and thus improving decision-making capacity within the team.
- Clarifying bilateral and team-wide communication.
- In addition, a lasting fun memory of the simulation was when we each updated our profile picture after the evening.
SmoothTeam helps to understand the behaviour of others in a practical way
It is essential that we know each other and our style. Let’s understand each other. There are an awful lot of ways to contribute to this understanding and there are many concepts and categorisations, some of which start from personality, others from behaviour. SmoothTeam focuses more on behaviour, which is a good practical level. Not everyone wants to start with personality traits, but let’s start with team practice, what kind of roles each person wants to take on and what each person’s strengths are.
Our culture is uncomplicated
At Wirepas, we have a catchphrase: Get shit done – it’s on our website, in our marketing and on our walls. We are output-oriented: we work together and get things done as well as possible. Teamwork is a key part of our culture: we want to make others better and we work in a low hierarchy, so everyone’s ideas are heard.
The best thing about being a human resources manager was the connection that team members found
For me, as an HR manager, the best part was seeing the smiling faces that came out of the cages after the simulation and hearing the drone and seeing how empowered the guys were.
I can highly recommend SmoothTeam to organisations with new people. It’s important to invest in team chemistry. SmoothTeam is a safe way to get started, for example for technical experts: it doesn’t dive too quickly into the deep end, for example personality analysis, but talks about everyone’s working styles and strengths in a straightforward way.
Head of People