Recurring meetings, events and rituals
We have a few standard rituals that you should be aware of, although most can be found on the calendar as well.
Every Monday morning we gather at 10am with the whole team and discuss news, feedback and decisions that have been made. The meeting has an open agenda as a trello board to which every team member can add items beforehand. Then we go through the three categories:
- News: Announcements without discussion.
- Feedback: Items which you’d like feedback on … after a quick intro each person gets the chance to comment briefly.
- Decisions: Decisions that have been made … if somebody in the room vehemently disagrees, it is up to them to find a better solution.
This format is inspired by Dark Horse. Credit, where credit is due. 🙏
Each bigger project team usually comes together each morning to sync regarding tasks completing the day before and what’s upcoming for the day.
Show & tell
With many projects running in parallel chances are that you’re not aware of what everyone else in the company is working on. Therefore we do a round of “show & tell” in irregular intervals in which we move from desk to desk and each person talks about their current tasks for 5mins. The goal is to do this every two weeks.
Present & listen
Every month we have a presentation from one of our project teams to the rest of the company. This meeting usually takes one hour and has several goals:
- Practice giving each other constructive feedback
- Practice giving presentations and talking about your work
- Gain valuable insights from your colleagues on your work
It has the following structure:
- A team presents the project they are currently working on with 15 slides max, focused on: goals, progress, challenges and achievements.
- After the presentation each member of the audience gives a short feedback statement on what the saw.
- The team gets the chance to respond.
- A discussion unfolds.
Every first Friday of the month after work we do something as a team that doesn’t need a whole lot of planning: Go out for drinks, watch a movie, go to a meet-up, could be anything. Having it on the first Friday each month has the added benefit that new people (usually starting on the 1st) can get to know the team in a casual environment.
Note: This is entirely voluntary and there will be no pressure to join. Some people need their evenings for family or themselves and that’s completely fine.
We’re starting to do bi-weekly 1on1 feedback talks with each employee to have a continuous conversations about roles, challenges and growth. This prevents holding grudges, facilitates a culture of open feedback and means challenging situations can be resolved quickly. This is already happening among the developers, next up are designers and everyone else.
Horribly long German word, I know, but there’s really no good translation. Every six months we sit with each employee and talk about the bigger topics, more in-depth than the 1on1s allow: role, salary, professional development. These meetings used to have a review part as well, but we’re replacing those with the 1on1s, meaning the MGs are meant for looking ahead.
Every two months we open our office doors in the evening and invite friends, former coworkers, clients and everyone else in our network to have a drink and a chat. Usually around 60 people show up and the office is a bit of a mess afterwards. 🙃
Announcements are made on Medium and Facebook (example here).
Harry is running a company book club, in which we read novels as well as non-fiction, sometimes related to our work. Usually around five people from inside and outside the company show up for a lively discussions. Announcements are made on Medium and Facebook (example here).
Four times a year we do something fun with the whole team, getting outside the office together. Among the activities we did or plan to do: kart racing, escape room adventures, painting, woodworking, cooking, … you get the idea.