February 10 is a special date for me - it is my birthday. This day is also particularly significant for Macopedia - we started our (r)evolution exactly one year ago. We went from a completely flat organization to a structured one overnight. It consists of only 3 levels - the board of directors, technology leaders and their team members. The structure is flat, however, it gives shape to the entire company while maintaining agility and individuality.
One year on, we know that although making the decision to initiate changes was difficult, it was a good step. Otherwise, it would be difficult to handle remote work during the pandemic or to continue the company's growth. The numbers speak for themselves - our eNPS score we regularly measure has increased by 24 points in a year, and the number of people in the team by 48%.
What do team members think about this change?
I appreciate the regular 1:1 and the recap of the year with the leader. It's cool to get feedback from the team and to help set a direction for growth. These are the improvements that I found to be the most noticeable.
Michał, Frontend Developer
From my perspective, the biggest change is that I have a leader with whom I communicate frequently. Kuba regularly comes to the Krakow office and we go cycling together after work.
Paweł, Magento Developer
The changes that have taken place at Maco over the past year have been extremely helpful in our day-to-day work. Back in the day, you had to find out who you needed to reach first in order to get something done. Unfortunately, it generated a lot of communication noise and could be troublesome for many people. Now I don't have to wonder who responds to my daily requests and that's great! :)
Michał, Frontend Developer
How did we bring structure to the team?
It's better to learn from others' lessons and mistakes than from your own, so we've put together some tips that might be useful if you and your team are also facing such a challenge.
First, check where you stand
The first step we took toward change was to review very specifically where we were as a team. We started with Gallup's 12 Questions and in-depth interviews with team members. This provided us with very specific insight into what needs to be improved in our organization. We quickly took appropriate action to move forward and make real changes.
Second, don't delay
The longer we considered our current situation, the clearer we saw that the change was coming too late. Some of the problems we faced at that time could have been avoided if our structure met organizational needs. We realized then how much we needed to streamline communication and remove decision-making bottlenecks in the company.
Third, talk to your team
Following some initial deliberations about what goals our structure should serve and what shape it could take, we started meeting with the team. During the meetings, possible options for structuring our organization were presented, and the purpose was to get feedback on the presented models. Each person working at Macopedia could attend such a meeting and discuss what opportunities and risks they saw in particular solutions. It was also a space to share concerns about the new model of cooperation. Together, we determined how to conduct the process of selecting leaders and chose the model of structure that suited most of us.
Fourth, plan and communicate clearly what is going to happen
When implementing the changes, it was essential for us to plan and communicate the process transparently. We made sure that all team members knew the next steps of the plan. The most important elements were not only discussed during company-wide meetings, but also referred to in email summaries. This way, each person could always see what stage we were at and what was going to happen next. It was particularly important during the leadership recruitment that followed the consultation cycle. The internal leadership recruitment required candidates to prepare an assignment and, in addition, each candidate was anonymously evaluated by members of their team. We wanted to make sure that the team's opinion was relevant and that the leaders selected were people actually trusted by the individuals they would be leading. Transparent communication allowed us to explain the evaluation of candidates in detail and increased understanding of the overall process among team members.
Fifth, ensure an induction period for new leaders
In the internal recruitment we selected leaders of all technology teams, and those who did not become leaders received detailed feedback. The recruitment results were announced during the company's Celebration Day meeting. The new leaders started working intensively with the CEO, CTO and HR to best prepare for their roles. Each leader took the lead of the technology team after an individually tailored induction process. New duties and responsibility for the team were introduced gradually. Leaders were supported with workshops on communication, holding 1:1 meetings, recruitment and Management 3.0 approach, which we are gradually implementing in our daily work.
Sixth, remember to ask for feedback
Implementing the structure and leaders has shown us how much we can do together as a team. It has given us the courage to constantly look for new improvements and to strive for transparency. Difficult issues are no longer swept under the rug and we place special emphasis on collecting feedback from team members. Giving feedback is not easy and requires a lot of trust. We look for as many opportunities to talk as possible, this shortens the feedback cycle and allows us to more quickly identify areas that need support and respond accordingly. To this end, leaders meet with their team members once every two weeks in a 1:1. Moreover, each person at Maco can share their feedback on an ongoing basis through the Officevibe platform, which allows us to track metrics such as engagement and satisfaction. Regardless of position or seniority, the path to a conversation with the CTO or CEO is never closed, and leaders meet weekly to coordinate company-wide topics and share knowledge, feedback, and best practices.
If you want to talk about our experience implementing the structure - ask away. We are recruiting all the time so if you would like to join our team, check out the opportunities on our career page and read about our Maco onboarding.