Hi, I’m Thomas Verhoeven, and I started working for ACA IT-Solutions on the 2nd of March 2020. It’s my first job! As a junior...
How we cultivate a positive company culture at ACAStijn Schutyser
A positive company culture and a stimulating work environment is becoming more and more important to employees. Employee happiness increasingly ranks as one of the top reasons why people stay with a certain company and is, of course, very much linked to a company’s culture. In this blog post, I’d like to take a look at our own culture here at ACA and how we keep it unique, interesting and positive.
The culture at ACA
So, what’s the culture at ACA like? Well, our ‘About us’ section on our website sums it up pretty neatly:
ACA IT-Solutions is committed to creating a professional & motivating workspace. A place where teamwork, openness to new ideas, information sharing and peer recognition are important values. We believe that our open and transparent culture enables us to attract people that have a great sense of excellence and professional pride in their job. We work hard everyday, but we have fun while doing it.
That said, I think it’s far more powerful to let some of my colleagues do the talking and give you an idea what the culture at ACA is like.
“For me, the drive of team members to deliver high-quality work and thinking alongside with the customer is something that is very apparent at ACA. ACA cares about its customers, but also its employees: spacious offices, ergonomic desks and lots of attention for a fun factor, such as the ACA weekend and the shared Teslas.”
– Joren Vos, Mobile Solution Engineer
“At ACA, you’re surrounded by colleagues that look out for each other, listen to others’ ideas without prejudice, communicate honestly and openly, are passionate about finding the right solution and find it important that everyone feels truly appreciated.”
– Hanne Palmans, Recruitment Specialist
“Everyone here shows their appreciation for each other regularly. Just yesterday, someone came in just to thank me for an opportunity he would not have had if he wasn’t part of our team. As CEO, getting such a heartfelt ‘Thank you!’ really warms my heart.”
– Ronny Ruyters, CEO
How we keep and maintain our culture
We’re lucky to have such a great company culture at ACA. But it didn’t become so great just through sheer luck. So how did we create such a culture, and perhaps more importantly, how do we maintain it? Well, we’ve got full support of the entire organization to guard our culture. And that shows itself in a couple of ways.
Shared responsibility and optimized recruitment process
First of all, we have an open culture that promotes 360 degrees of feedback, giving the feeling of equality, openness and transparency for everyone. Everyone’s opinion is worth the same and no one should feel like they can’t say something because of their position within the company, regardless of seniority. We all share a collective responsibility towards the organization, but we don’t lose sight of individual contributions!
Secondly, during our recruitment process, we try to find candidates that prove to be a real match with our culture. In the first interview with a candidate, we explain what ACA stands for and check whether the candidate supports and respects our norms and values. Technical skills are of course valued, but the will to be a successful team player with a sharp eye for quality is very important to us and the day-to-day life in the office. It’s great that the entire ACA team recognizes this importance and bands together to protect the culture that connects us!
Getting together during the ACA weekend and internal meetings
Speaking of banding together, once a year the entire ACA team goes on a 2-day vacation for fun team activities. We’ve been to Porto, Bratislava, Germany and many other places, and this year we’ll be going to Vlieland (The Netherlands). While these ACA weekends are certainly a ton of fun every time, they’re also important for getting to know each other better and building better relationships with colleagues. Those relationships are vital in keeping a strong, friendly and open culture!
Additionally, we have about 4 moments per year which we call ‘internal meetings’. In these internal meetings, all ACA team members get together in one of the offices and give or listen to presentations, share knowledge, eat and drink together and have fun! Not to mention our excursions, trips to amusement parks, New Year’s party, …
Showing gratitude and acknowledgement
Lastly, we think it’s important to be able to show gratitude and thank each other, even for seemingly small things. People in our team have always done this, but it has really taken off since we started using Bonusly. Bonusly has helped us in fostering our recognition-rich company culture. We first tried it for 3 months, and after a poll in which a whopping 100% of participants told us they loved working with Bonusly, we decided to continue using it! A few numbers:
- Every month, 81% of team members get at least one bonus point from another colleague.
- These are the top 3 of most used hashtags that accompany given bonuses:
Not coincidentally, those are some of our company values and it’s great to see that our team really takes them to heart!
I feel lucky to be working for ACA, not just because I think my role is interesting and fits me well, but also because the company culture here is so great. This didn’t happen by accident though: there were conscious efforts made to make the culture here as open, honest, warm and friendly as possible. Everything, from our feeling of shared responsibility to our team activities and recruitment process, helps promote this positive company culture. But we don’t stop there. We keep working throughout the year to maintain our culture and improve wherever we can through open feedback and listening to employees.
Building a positive culture is ultimately unique to each organization, so I can’t tell you exactly what you need to do. However, by portraying ourselves as a real-life example, I hope I’ve given you a nudge in the right direction.
Remember: building your company culture is one of the most important endeavors for any business, and a positive company culture is often the key to hiring and retaining a highly engaged and productive team.
Text can only convey so much. As Deborah Cater, British travel and food blogger said: “You have to taste a culture to understand it.” So why not taste our culture for yourself and see what we’re all about? Contact us and we’ll arrange a visit!