It’s hard to imagine a world where the privacy of our data is absolute. Third-party providers have access to incredible amounts of information on end-users without their permission or consent. There are countless data breaches in every industry daily.
For us, it was always about making the mobile world a more secure place. We believe in a future where the control over privacy will be placed in consumers' hands, a mobile world where everyone will be able to secure their information flow and manage who has access to it.
Leading the fight for a secure mobile world is not an easy job. To build a great product, you need to work with exceptional people. Thus, we began asking ourselves how we can make a great workplace that attracts and retains outstanding talent?
Unlike most companies, we quickly realized that the benefit of a modern office, where you have relaxation areas, snacks, and regular team building events, is not what motivates people. It is just the “comfy” part of the deal. You do not inspire employees to reinvent tomorrow's mobile world with coffee and snacks, but by rewarding them based on their performance and giving them the freedom to do their job in the best possible way. At this stage, we knew we needed to come up with a new way of working.
After months of meetings and brainstorming sessions, tons of reading, and analyzing different work cultures and strategies, we came up with the Secure Group Management Model. We replaced the traditional work methods with agile work practices. Each individual within our company was given genuine autonomy over their daily processes. We shifted away from a command-and-control mentality towards a leadership style that empowers people and allows them to grow at their own pace. The new model practically turns employees into stakeholders and gives everyone professional freedom based on their experience.
People choose why, how, and who to work with for reasons unique to them. We want our employees to have a professional occupation that matters to them and understand what we are trying to achieve as a team. This is the only way we can innovate and grow.
We realized that if we want to continue to innovate and grow, we need to eliminate micromanagement approaches from our working habits and adopt a more strategic mindset. We began investing more resources in developing our company’s strategy and goals and choosing the course of action we should pursue to achieve them. By adopting and implementing strategic thinking in our day-to-day work, we could rearrange our efforts, define where it’s necessary to apply corrective measures in our processes and keep on track in achieving our goals.
Culture Code: The Secret of Teambuilding
Our most valuable assets are our employees. It’s of utmost importance to Secure Group when hiring new people to evaluate their cultural beliefs and values. Over the years, we realized that no matter how good of an expert someone is, it makes it hard to work together if they don’t match our Culture Code. We want to collaborate with smart, like-minded individuals who understand and respect this and reflect our values.
Our culture code is built on seven essential permission-to-play values. Permission-to-play means we expect minimal standards of behavior within our “free to create” environment.
Leading and Mentoring Instead of Commanding
We already mentioned that we wanted to move away from the command-and-control mentality. Our biggest challenge was to make managers coach and provide directions to employees. Therefore, we implemented the Servant Leadership style within our company, which is all about giving up control to your employees rather than seeking it, and acting as a mentor in the process.
With Servant Leadership, everyone is treated equally. Our employees gain a chance to learn, set, and accomplish goals with their manager's support.
A Clear and Transparent Path to Career Growth
We wanted to kindle higher motivation and work passion in employees while helping them understand what they need to focus on progress. To address the problem, we created two main career paths (the Individual Contributor path and the Manager path), that take into account the fact that employees have diverse backgrounds, levels of experience, and different, or sometimes unique, roles.
Not everyone wants to become a leader or has soft skills for the job. We wanted our career frameworks to reflect this and give employees a chance to advance and keep growing in their current roles. To remove the necessity for each employee to become a manager to grow, Secure Group can choose if they want to develop their professional skills as Individual Contributors or as Managers.
In addition to the two career paths our company offers, we developed performance frameworks, which provide a clear development path and a salary grid for each type of position within the Secure Group. This growth path transparency leads to a secure and trustworthy environment where innovation can thrive.
Transforming the Management Model
Organizations are still run as hierarchical command-and-control systems in a world of networked purpose-driven individuals. The ways that humans interact and information is displayed have dramatically changed. Companies' social dynamics have become messy, and power relationships tend to be unfair, which leads to time-wasting and poor work performance.
At Secure Group, we don’t want this environment, and we strive to improve it every day. For this transformation to work well, nothing less than a revolution in the way we work is needed, and we already started it.