"It's like asking a fish about the sea, it doesn't know it exists," reflects Alfredo R. Cebrián, CEO and co-founder of Cuatroochenta, in Proof of Concept, the documentary about Cuatroochenta's trajectory that the company published earlier this year and that gives a first-hand account of its first ten years: "We don't realize where we are." Or how a company that started as a developer of mobile applications is now a specialist in digital cloud solutions and cybersecurity to improve the performance of companies and institutions; with more than 10 million people using its products and software services through 1,200 customers in 21 countries.
And so, it becomes normal to lose perspective. Also of what is the feeling of the team itself and how to keep it cohesive. But it seems that this is the way, because according to the anonymous survey conducted by Great Place to Work® to the people who work at Cuatroochenta, 91% "would say that this is an excellent place to work", results that have turned Cuatroochenta, for the third consecutive year, into a Great Place to Work® company.
The challenge of extending the corporate culture to a hybrid work model
If 2020 was the year marked by the pandemic and telecommuting, the great challenge of 2021 has been to take Cuatroochenta's corporate culture to a hybrid work model between on-site and telecommuting, with a team that already totals more than 260 people distributed in offices in Spain (Castelló -headquarters-, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and Burgos), Latin America (Panama, Bogota and Santo Domingo) and, the most recent one, the United States (Raleigh-Durham). In addition, the possibility of working remotely enables all the company's employees to work from any location, regardless of the headquarters (having teams in countries such as Germany, Romania or even nomadic around the world). And this is not the only determining factor: The multidisciplinary nature of the team also has an influence, with 60% of the staff working as developers, in addition to roles in Business Analysis, Administration and Finance, Human Resources and Communication and Marketing; and the average age, which is 35 years old.
So, is it possible to bring company culture to the entire team? The Great Place to Work® results from 2021 show that it is, with a percentage increase in all values: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.
Cuatroochenta also surpasses its Trust Index (overall satisfaction level) with 88%; 2 points above the previous year's survey and 4 points above the index of the Best Workplaces 2021 recognized in the ranking.
Active listening: transparency and trust
One of the main keys to get the whole team to move in the same direction and feel Cuatroochenta's DNA as their own has been active listening and transparency. After all, the internal actions carried out by a company end up having a positive impact on the team. This is only possible by listening and knowing their interests, motivations and needs. The goal: to be able to develop actions and plans that help their well-being in the company.
«We take it for granted that the team expects certain things from the company, and we are not always right. It is important to facilitate spaces for people to express what they need and, from there, to act.»
Active listening and participation on the part of the team has helped to carry out actions such as training plans adapted to the professional development of each person, the incorporation of a Trainer to the team or the development of a Flexible Compensation Plan, with health insurance and restaurant vouchers, day care, transportation and training. There are also actions that make daily life easier and help to connect people, such as the optimization of the production environment and the digitalization of all internal processes (integrated environment, intranet, project manager, employee portal, workday registration, internal security, etc.). These benefits are in addition to those already enjoyed by the entire team, such as the flexible working day, which facilitates the reconciliation of work and personal life, the option of teleworking, a salary scale with progressive increases and variable remuneration.
"A transparent company is a reliable company". And if a company wants to be reliable for its customers, it is very important that it is also reliable for the team that shapes it. A transparency that needs to be invoked every single day making the team participate in the decisions and feeding internal channels with which to make communication fluid, clean and close (intranet, newsletter, questionnaires to know their opinions and preferences, internal communication chat, communiqués...). Without forgetting one of the most important actions that Cuatroochenta carries out twice a year: the status.
Cuatroochenta's general status is a biannual meeting in which the whole team participates and where the management presents the general state of the company, its evolution with respect to the previous status and objectives to be achieved, and which has become one of the best examples of the company's main values: transparency and trust. A commitment that Cuatroochenta has been promoting since its birth, more than a decade ago. During the hardest period of the pandemic and the lockdown, it was held in an online format, connecting with the team from the headquarters, and from this year it is held in a hybrid format –face-to-face and online- ensuring the involvement of the entire team.
Trust in management
One of the highlights of the results was trust in the company's management team. Ninety-four percent of survey respondents believe that management "runs the business honestly and ethically; they represent the company's values and do what they say they will do”.
Beyond the hybrid work model, technical or non-technical profiles, age or decentralization, the key for a company to be a place where 90% of the people who work there say "I want to continue working here for a long time" is to have a clear, congruent story that involves the team.