When we decided to start Refokus, the most important ingredient we wanted to take special care of was culture.
Culture is more than sharing your values on your website, having a cool office, or holding regular team bonding activities. Culture is what we do, what we celebrate, and what we stand for. Culture defines how we work, our quality standards, how we treat ourselves and others, and ultimately who we are as a company.
We are building the company of our dreams, one that reflects our values and how we see work. But most importantly, we’re building a company where people are empowered to do amazing work, that makes them feel part of a team they can be proud of, and where they can show up to work with a smile. As a fully remote company we understand that most of our time at work is going to be work, so the work has to be rewarding by itself.
Here are a few (not all) things we do in building our amazing culture:
Our values define who we are, and what we want to be.
We surprise and delight people every step of the way. We care about details. Most importantly, we are committed to always making things better, and better, and better.
We are open, transparent, honest, respectful, and grateful. We welcome feedback so we can become better, and we give feedback to help others.
We are responsible. We know what we do, and if we don’t, we figure it out. We are collaborative because we know that we’re helping ourselves if we’re helping our teammates.
Culture is all about people. When we hire someone, we know we’re investing in our culture. So we look for people who, besides being really talented, have similar values and drive. As such, we’re hiring people who are:
We like people who care about others and who put the needs of the team before their own. We like people who are collaborative because they know that they’re stronger together.
Being collaborative is also about speaking up, giving feedback, and being humble enough to accept feedback. We look for people who understand that getting better is a shared responsibility.
We hire smart people. That doesn’t mean we’re looking for people with high IQs (although that’s great). We mean smart in a way that they can understand stuff really quickly, or pick up something they little know about amazingly fast.
As a Webflow agency, we embrace low/no-code mainly because we want to reduce repetitive tasks and focus on things that require human intelligence and creativity.
As a fully-remote company we use flexible schedules. We don’t track every hour and treat our employees like they’re in an assembly line. We operate on trust instead. By empowering our people to take ownership of their work, be responsible for it and when that work is done, they can do even more amazing things.
To successfully pull this off, we hire people who can manage their schedule, and who get things done because they are disciplined and focused. We also like people who are competitive, in the sense where they never give up when faced with a problem and always find a way to figure it out. Moreover, they take this job as an opportunity to make amazing work, grow, and learn.
Strategy at Refokus doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it based on the leadership team’s divine inspiration. We carefully listen to everyone, including those who use a different approach. That way everyone feels comfortable in sharing their feedback without fear, and in turn be able to take part in co-creating this company. We regularly do anonymous feedback sessions, brainstorming activities, one-on-one meetings, and even team retrospectives, so we’re always getting honest and valuable ideas and feedback. Then we incorporate those ideas and feedback into our company vision and business strategy when we build our quarterly OKRs (Objective Key Results), allowing us to focus on our priorities and ensuring that Refokus is moving in the right direction in terms of what the team needs and wants.
After building all of these, we gather the team for a quarterly kick-off event to share how we did last quarter, and go over what we’ve learned from them and how it’s shaping the company's future. It’s all about making Refokus stronger together!
“It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” ― Steve Jobs
We developed an environment to allow our people to be great, to make mistakes, to get challenged, and to keep leveling up their skills. This goes beyond having an education budget (which we also do). You get better by doing work that challenges you, by stepping out of your comfort zone, and by having the support and trust from your team and leadership.
“Find, develop, and support good people, and they in turn will find, develop, and own good ideas.” ― Ed Catmull
When we hire someone we commit to trusting that person. We believe in that person's skills, sense of responsibility, and commitment. Thanks to this trust, we can empower people to do the amazing stuff we do. Trust is essential to a healthy work environment and it allows us to be a fully remote company—one that works with flexible hours, operates on trust and outcomes instead of tracking time, and ultimately empowers our team to make key decisions, fail in a safe environment, and get better every day.
“A team is not a group of people who work together. It is a group of people who trust each other.” — Simon Sinek
People in leadership roles care about their team. Our goal as leaders is to make sure everyone in the team is given the tools, trust, and support they need to do the best work of their careers.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” — Sheryl Sandberg
Our biggest impact on culture is what we do, and how that is perceived by our team. We created our culture based on our values, and demonstrating those values daily is essential for culture building. People in leadership roles or those that have been around for a while are the ones who have to live that culture. If we don’t, we can’t expect anyone else to do it either. We walk the talk!