Building Strong Community Ties Through The We > I Value

Building Strong Community Ties Through The We > I Value

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March 17th, 2022

Collaboration is in our DNA. It guides our workspace design, the way we put together lean, flat teams, and how we think about the best talent. The toughest problems won’t be solved alone, so we take pride in working together. (It’s also why we always give back to our communities and each other.)

The We > I Value is one of the five Core Values that steer our day-to-day life, work, and aspirations at Symphony. The cornerstone of our initiatives resides in this correlation of the group and individual development, and how we come together to deliver work that matters. We sat down with Karlo Bem, HR Manager at Symphony Novi Sad, to go deep into the ways in which we implement this Value, and how it guides us in our daily lives at Symphony. 

The Three Levels of Development: Individual, Community, Company

“Every aspect concerning our community and teamwork falls under the We > I Value. From the numerous career development initiatives, cross-hub collaborations to community activities such as team buildings, charity and family events, sports competitions, and so on. It all comes from our people and our dedication to listening and acknowledging their needs while constantly finding better ways to improve their experience and sense of community.” - Karlo started.  

He shared his perspective of this Value by breaking it down into three separate streams - individual, community, and company; molded by the community and HR partnership and the growth of the Novi Sad engineering hub. 

“Our community is the core that moves us in our actions and goals, but we must not undermine the individual. From the selection process and onboarding, to fully becoming a part of the team and organization, we carefully track the profile, motivation, future aspirations, and wishes of each individual in order to successfully integrate them into the collective Symphony spirit. It is all about achieving balance and dedicating the right activities to satisfy the needs of all three - the individual, community, and company.” - he emphasized. 

It is natural to identify with your team first and then slowly adapt to the community as a whole. It is a process supported by a number of activities aimed at connecting the teams and community while building the We, and Karlo shared some of the mentioned initiatives with us. 

One crucial segment of supporting our community rooted in this Value is cross-hub collaboration. Karlo sees immeasurable value in interacting with the teams across all hubs. It helps strengthen the communication stream while shaping the support processes better. Cross-hub teams are an integral part of our company which is why this collaboration is highly encouraged in Symphony. By working together on the spot, cross-hub teammates get to know each other better and get a grip on the project itself, from many different angles. Collaboration among colleagues in different hubs is also valuable because, in addition to sharing best practices and experiences to achieve results, we build diversity and learn from each other for a mutual cause of strengthening community ties.

When it comes to career development, it encompasses expertise and personal development. Everyone is involved in this process, stakeholders from engineering and delivery to support teams in reaching their career goals. “As a company, we nourish individual progress in the context of the whole team, and that is key in creating an inspiring work environment.” - he added. 

It is important to mention the HR workshops streamed towards strengthening all the layers of the We > I Value in practice. These workshops are open for everyone, with topics from a talent development perspective such as assertiveness, team readiness, and communication skills, and the community can choose which ones to attend. Karlo stressed the significance of the Team Readiness Facilitation workshops aimed at evaluating the structure and strengths of the teams, and ways to improve their collaboration and output. These workshops gave real value to the teams, and it is important to have them regularly in order to track progress. 

In each engineering hub, team quality time is greatly encouraged, from having dinner, spending a weekend together, game night, escape room, and many more fun gatherings. During last year, inspired by our community and led by the We > I Value, we introduced an initiative that brought the team building concept to the next level. Every team member was allocated a budget that could be used for traveling or other joint activities aimed at bonding with the team. “Our community truly felt the impact of this initiative, and so far, we’ve seen some amazing adventures they had together with their team. Besides traveling, they found many different fun ways to spend a few days together. It was a huge step up in the community activities domain and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from our people.” - Karlo emphasized.  

Synergy, Adaptability, and Trust Guiding our Future Growth

As one of the first members of the Novi Sad community, Karlo has been through many phases of growth. Together with his team, he shaped the mechanisms of embracing all the changes while maintaining the community spirit imprinted in our We > I Value. 

“The Novi Sad community has been built on a foundation of mutual trust. For this reason, we nourish the proactive approach, where our community members initiate, give ideas, and spark action among their peers to gather and not only share knowledge but give recognition and participate in charitable, sports, family events, and other community-centered activities. In this way, we truly live the We > I Value, and this model will only expand and adapt as our company evolves. ” - Karlo concluded. 

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