With so much trust, you can do anything
Work satisfaction pays off and is directly visible on the bottom line. That’s why even small and recently founded companies benefit from measuring well-being at work. At Virsabi, a company that works with virtual and augmented reality, the well-being assessment confirmed the company’s sense of its own strengths and serves as a guide for future efforts.
The battle for attracting talent in the IT industry is fierce, and for small companies and start-ups it can be hard to compete on traditional things like salary and the prospect of moving up the career ladder.
When Michael Harboe founded Virsabi that works with virtual and augmented reality, it was with the desire to build a company culture so strong and inclusive that it would be a competitive edge in itself. Five years later, the company has 25 employees and has recently completed its first well-being assessment.
Foundation for results
Virsabi scores above average on motivation and well-being.
“At first I thought this was from some happy-go-lucky sales department and not a company with critical IT developers. Because 15 points above the average is really a lot. When we deep dive into the underlying factors, we see that especially trust makes the difference. Trust in nearest leader is 16 points above the national average, and trust in the colleagues is ten points above. With so much trust in each other, this company is resilient to almost anything – it’s a foundation for getting things moving,” he says.
The high score on the two points also warms founder Michael Harboe.
“My dream is to create a workplace where people thrive and develop themselves. As a leader, I try to be present, show respect for the individual skills of each employee, and create a framework for good cooperation in the team. This assessment confirms our sense that these things work on a daily basis,” he says.
The numbers reflect recognition, relation, trust and more from nearest leader.
Dialogue eases change
When Virsabi as a small company decided to perform a well-being assessment it was obviously not only to confirm that works in unity. The result of the assessment will now be used as a conversation starter for how to strengthen the culture even more.
“A well-being assessment is a snapshot, and if you only use it as a digital tool to take the current temperature, it can lull you to sleep. You must follow it up with dialogue because it is in the dialogue, we move things. The well-being assessment gives the employees and management a common language about which factors make up work satisfaction and well-being. It improves the dialogue and makes changes easier,” Erik Poulsen says.
Works well in scale-ups
Being able to initiate and accept changes can be even more important in small or new companies than in
the more established ones. This is one of the reasons Erik Poulsen believes that well-being assessments are just as suitable for companies the size of Virsabi as for large enterprises.
At the same time, the snapshot from the assessment can be used as documentation towards a board of directors or investors.
“If the management refers to a board of directors, it is important to be able to document that the employees are dedicated thrive,” says Erik Poulsen.
This is especially important as research show that it pays of for the company to have employees with a high job satisfaction.
“If you improve well-being at work with 10 points, you raise your profit with eight percent. Academic research pinpoints quite simply that well-being at work pays off,” he says.
For this reason, it pays off for Virsabi to set in with an effort on the points with the lowest scores.
“We can see that some of our employees are challenged on work-life-balance. Not to the extent that they are about to get stressed but enough to stick out on the scorecard. This assessment means that we can talk about it and figure out how to handle it with each individual,” Michael Harboe says.
More sofas than desks
As most other companies, Virsabi also has to figure out how to handle the future situation of hybrid work from home or office. During COVID-19, most employees primarily worked from home, and a lot of them still do. Despite this the employees have scored the social cohesion to be very strong.
“It’s quite amazing that they can score this high on social cohesion when they are not in the office. For all companies, coherence and the retention of the company DNA is one of the big challenges of working from home. Perhaps Virsabi is the example that there are other ways to create this cohesion,” Erik Poulsen says.
Virsabi has done a lot to keep social cohesion high using digital channels even with employees working from home. And Michael Harboe has no expectations about people returning to working from the office on a daily basis.
“My ambition is to have more sofas than desks. We are going to create a clubhouse where the employees have the rooms and settings they need to be creative and flexible when they are working together on a project, and where they show up because they want to. Where they do all the practical work does not matter. Not to me, not to productivity, and apparently not for our well-being,” he says.
Social cohesion stood its ground facing the tough challenges of working from home during covid-19.
Well-being at work determined by seven factors
Well-being at work is different from person to person. Yet, research show that seven factors in particular have an impact on the well-being. The seven factors are:
Read more about the seven factors and test yourself at www.gais.dk