Is it possible to keep everyone informed about the current events in a growing company? Rastislav Cisár, the COO of QBSW, says internal communication is the key to making sure everyone knows what’s happening.

How do you make sure that employees are happy in your company?

Employee expectations and demands keep growing, partially due to a long-lasting lack of IT specialists on the market and a high demand for them, that we believe is reaching its peak. Complete satisfaction of each employee is a goal that’s hard to achieve with the number of employees we have. However, we still put much effort into keeping employee satisfaction on the highest possible level.

During regular interviews, we emphasise open discussion and listening to the other party. With a growing number of employees and branches, other forms of internal communication are becoming increasingly important. This means, for example, questionnaires and polls with the possibility of rating but also actively influencing the benefits and upcoming events.

The best way to find out what pleased or upset our colleagues is to go out for a beer or kofola with them. Luckily, our relationships are friendly, so people still want to spend time together.

With more than 180 employees, how do you ensure everyone knows what’s happening in the company?

Maintaining efficient and effective communication in a growing company is an extensive topic that keeps us busy. We don’t underestimate it, as we know that internal communication is crucial for the proper and flexible operation of the whole company. It has multiple aspects, and we try to improve all of them.

We are currently innovating our onboarding training by creating an entirely new system based on e-learning. We inform our colleagues about the general topics in carefully prepared newsletters. For special events, we always design eye-catching mailings and microsites with interesting content. We are definitely above average in this area, which we can see on numerous positive reactions and read rate often exceeding 90 %. It is certainly very helpful that we have a very competent and technically skilled creative team.

Project communication is a different topic. The mix of communication means and processes is more complicated and shaped by years of internal best practices that we also continuously modernise. Recently, we have been benefiting from the possibilities of instant but well-structured communication through the commercial app #slack. Our company knowledge base with an extensive amount of information is our internal Wiki, and we communicate about tasks through well ‑managed processes in the Jira tool.

How is the growing number of employees affecting employee care?

As we grow, we are, of course, expanding the scope and structure of our employee care. On the one hand, this gives us the possibility to offer more varied activities or start activities that need a larger number of participants. For example, cultural events such as theatre or musicals have been very popular among employees recently.

On the other hand, it is practically impossible to pick the dates and the content of shared activities in a way that everyone would be happy. Considering the number of people, diversity of expectations and the distance between branches, we put a great deal of effort into the preparation of big companywide events. We prepare them together, democratically. I think that with careful planning and quality communication, we are managing very well.

Do you have any benefits that differentiate you from other IT companies?

We do not copy benefits, and we do not even directly compare them. Naturally, some of them are the same as those of other companies. However, the most important thing for us is the added value for our people and whether the benefits fit our conditions.

We don’t just comfortably choose from premade benefit packages from external suppliers. Although this costs us a lot of time and energy, we believe that the benefits we create based on our own needs are more valuable. Mostly, we try to provide benefits that people are not able to buy or organise on their own.

For example, for the year 2019, we created the complex Q-challenge fitness program. After the initial educational introduction with lectures on ergonomics at work, healthy diet and exercise, the program continued with group training. Those who were interested could track their progress thanks to measurements of body composition, strength and stamina. It might sound like nothing special, but the difference is that we prepared an attractive and convincing in-house communication, ensured the realisation in our building and set up an accommodating organisation and timing. Thanks to this, the initial interest was huge, and many people persisted in regular exercise. After several months, around a fifth of employees still regularly works out, which exceeded all of our expectations.

Are the ways mentioned above efficient in keeping the employees in your company?

Although we invest a lot of our energy and resources into employee care and benefits, they have always been and always will be only a minor, but important, part of their motivation.

As for the long-term satisfaction and loyalty of employees, I believe that friendly communication, pleasant work atmosphere, good company culture and individual approach is more important. However, for every professional, interesting and meaningful work in good conditions is above all this.

We try to keep an eye on all of these things and continually improve them. I think that the growing number of satisfied long ‑term employees is proof that we are managing to achieve this.