Freedom and trust – the key to corporate culture in the QCI Group
“We have a high trust culture,” says Cristina Pérez, Culture and Organizational Development Coordinator within the QCI group, a business cluster dedicated to the construction industry.
“This means that we work with confidence at all times. We’re not beneath anyone. All of our staff know our goals. We know what needs to be worked on and that creates a culture of responsibility,” she says.
If one person fails to achieve something, it affects everyone else
The successful Guatemalan business meets weekly to discuss their weekly goals.
“We only have one condition here: that you commit to your goals. There’s independence, if one person fails to achieve something it affects everyone else. It has an impact on the whole team. So everyone commits to a ‘punishment’ which could be something like, ‘if I don’t succeed in this, I’m going to run 10 km! ’.
“We’re a pretty happy company. The following week we review our performance of the previous week and discuss what we will do for the upcoming week.”
“The company trusts that we will achieve results. This makes us feel happy as nobody asks you to account for all your time. Obviously there are people who don’t fit in because they are used to being told what to do all the time. There isn’t much hierarchy but there is plenty of communication.”
Leaders more than bosses
“We don’t work with fixed hours. Our employees don’t record when they arrive or when they leave the office. This way, each one of them can be working different hours. If you have something personal to do during working hours, just go and do it”, Cristina says.
“We have bosses but they work more as leaders. People come to us from others companies and tell us, ‘other companies don’t work like this! But for us it’s something completely normal. Lots of people tell us that they want to work here :).”
How to maintain a strong corporate culture
“We try to maintain our good organizational culture and once a week we review our values. Last week we reviewed our rules and ethics, for example. This creates a dialog in which we can all participate and learn new insights by listening to others. This way our company culture becomes stronger.”
The company only hires about 5% of applicants, and only those who fit in.
“In the recruitment process we ask them questions to get to know them and to find out if they are really coming to work on something they are passionate about. We want them to have the same values that we have here.”
“If you’re going to work on processes you have to like routine so it doesn’t stress you out. We don’t rely on degrees or titles. We look for people who enjoy providing great customer service! Our employees are doing what they are passionate about, and this is what characterizes us.”
Continuous cultural improvement
“We’ve hung a Celpax device near the door through which employees leave for the day to continue to improve our culture. Our employees press green or red to tell us how their day has been. We always share the results so that all our employees are up to date with how we are feeling in the office, and once a month we review the data in the board meeting.”
Freedom and Trust
“What I like most about working here is the freedom and trust that they give to everyone,” says Cristina in a proud and happy manner. The fact that there are no defined working hours is very useful. I have a daughter and a family and I can leave at any time without having to give an explanation. If I am sick I can just work from home.”
“Since we’ve begun the working environment feedback system, I’ve noticed that people have begun to open up more. Some people will look for you and tell you why they pushed a certain button on the Celpax, ‘… I wasn’t happy how X turned out or I couldn’t achieve Y.’”
“Before, many days could have passed without anyone ever knowing. Now, we learn about this stuff.”
What a great day. I feel like pressing the green button!
“There is more awareness now; we evaluate our workday every day,” says Cristina. “You leave thinking, ‘What a lovely day! I feel like pressing the green button!’ Of course, it’s gratifying to press the button and then see that so many co-workers have left the office pressing the green button as well.”
“Going to work in a culture like ours requires an open mind. I came from the banking sector where I had a boss behind my back every day. Here YOU are responsible. You have to loosen up and learn to work unsupervised.”
It’s good to make mistakes
“It was hard getting used to this mindset. Do I do this or do I do that? Our bosses don’t tell us what to do; they just ask a question, ‘Well, what do you think you should do?’ I wasn’t used to thinking for myself.”
“I notice that those who arrive need a month to get used to it. The company lets them make their own mistakes. It’s good to make mistakes! This is how you learn. Sometimes it’s hard, but you make your own decisions”, Cristina concludes.
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