“We work at delivering great places to work”
A few steps from the City Hall of Stockholm, we enter an old building, we find a hall full of greenery softly enlightened and accompanied by a light perfume and a barely perceptible music. We do not enter a Swedish design shop but at Tenant & Partner’s offices. Created in 1992, this firm is specialized in development, construction and legal management of professional premises. It aims to participate to its client success by offering their teams workplaces where they can develop, socialize and perform. “Together we create an inspiring and meaningful work life », here is the vision of the company, but how do they manage to gather its 70 employees around it?
So that we can understand how it is to work at T&P, Conny who welcomes us, starts by showing us around their own premises. Such a beautiful showcase of what they do! Then he explains us quickly one of the principles that inspires their managers: The Self-Determination Theory. This theory rehabilitates the intrinsic motivation of individuals and affirms that choices and actions are mainly guided by the psychological needs of human beings. The SDT identifies 3 key needs to motivation:
Having understood this, Tenant&Partner organized itself in small teams from 7 to 10 people with a manager. Team are mixed, they include jurists, designers, engineers, consultants… They work together to meet the needs of their clients. In order to ensure that all conditions are gathered to motivate and inspire its employees T&P implemented recently a new tool developed by a Swedish start up : &Frankly. This application allows managers to “sound out » their team at any given moment. They do not need to wait for bi-montly, or weekly meeting they have to receive feedback. On a fun interface the employees can answer any type of questions, about how they feel, how they work… Results are immediately received by the manager as a graph. This allows him to be permanently on the same page with his team.
In the same state of mind, in order that objectives match to employee’s expectations and needs, T&P decided to withdraw traditional way of setting objectives: no more quantitative annual targets!
Since January 2017, the teams are experimenting the Objectives & Key Results method. OKR is already used by companies such as Google, Twitter or LinkedIn. Let’s discover this method thanks to T&P! The company has a main mission: offering great places to work to their clients. To achieve it, it has set 4 objectives: Do good for employees, do good for Company, do good for Clients, do good for Society. Every 3 months, employees choose their own goals by setting their personal Key Results. These KR must be measurable and linked with one or several of the 4 objectives of the company. A Key Result refers to the way an employee thinks he we’ll achieve his personal goals. OKRs are public and each employee during the 3 months’ period must try to meet the company’s objectives through its personal results. These results will be evaluated on a scale that is specific to the company. A bad result won’t lead to sanctions but will help to redefine better Key Results for the following period. It’s important to understand that OKRs are not seen as an evaluation of the employee but more of how they contributed to reach the objectives of the company. This method allows companies to increase transparency and to motivate and inspire employees. Still in his early days at Tenant&Partner, this method is not yet approved unanimously by the employees that are losing some landmarks and don’t always see the point in setting themselves their own goals.
Finally, since many years the company uses and broadcast to its customers the Activity Based Working. Set of methods that consists in organizing work in a more pleasant and productive way, in summary: working better, together. The ABW paradigm is based on three pillars : Workplace, Technology, Behaviors. Thus, shared and comfortable workspaces provided with the right information and communication technology and filled with life by engaged employees will enable the company to thrive. An Australian study published in 2015 asserts that the ABW paradigm increases employee productivity by 16%. This represents the equivalent of 6.4 hours per week per employee.
Thanks to Conny, for meeting us only two hours after receiving our demand. We will retain from our visit at T&P, a warm welcoming in splendid premises and a strong volontee of progression in the way team are managed. To achieve this, they try and learn from the theories and methods that they consider to be the best for their collaborators. That would be great that a future team of The Baroudeurs could see how their practices evolve.