How we are building a People First culture at UTRUST
At a time when the importance of a company’s culture is greatly debated, we set out to define our own. We quickly understood how hard it can be to even define the word. Try Googling it and you will find several different definitions that will probably lead you to the same conclusion:
- culture is a set of values that is collectively assembled and shared by a Team. These values are defined by the Team and can change if/when the Team changes.
So, UTRUST was built by four founders with this amazing idea of creating an online payment revolution. From that day onwards, our team has grown fast, so has our product. We are no longer four people, but nearly forty. How did we set the right values to build the right team and how did our values grow along the way?
We started by defining what we wanted for our company. You’d probably think something like:
- you want to be a big name in the crypto market;
- you want to grow and make money;
- you want to revolutionize payment systems;
- you want to have a product that makes a difference.
And of course, we want all of that. Our founders knew that in order to achieve that we needed to empower our people to be the happiest and most accomplished. If we don’t have the right people, with a positive mindset and drive to make it work… we will not succeed. This is what Nuno Correia, Filipe Castro, Artur Goulão and Roberto Machado believe in since the very beginning of our company history.
We know our most valuable asset is our people. People first is literally at the foundation of UTRUST. For the past year, all of the company values we embrace were built on top of that.
We are Remote First
We believe that no matter where we are in the World, we can work as a team and change the World together.
However, it hasn’t always been easy to accurately implement this value. Not long ago we held company meetings after work hours in some timezones, requiring us to record them. We had fallen into the “remote-friendly” pitfall, after all, most of us are still learning how to work in a remote team.
We couldn’t fall behind, and so we decided that all team meetings would instead be live video conferences to allow everyone to be in the same position. This, for us, is remote first policy.
We have learning sessions
Every fortnight we set a learning outlet where our people get the chance to expand their knowledge in different work areas. Someone from the team or a group of team workers, share their expertise on a specific subject matter — it can be anything ranging from blockchain to sales. This is the moment to discuss and learn about the most relevant current affairs and topics with higher priority level. It is also the place for people to discover new work interests and connections to drive their development even further.
And also All-hands sessions
Interspersed with the learning sessions, we hold all-hands sessions where we discuss some important team achievements as well as company and product values. This is not a status report, but a moment to announce and discuss corporate and team related accomplishments, values and share our company vision.
We go Crazy at Wednesday’s lunch
Every week on Wednesday, the team comes together at a local restaurant no one tried before to share a new culinary experience. It’s valuable time spent together at a different kind of table, bounding over interests and topics going beyond work. Love for food is something we all share, and we can easily fill some of the places we go to. In the end, like proper foodies, we always end up rating our experience to build our own database of favourite restaurants… Because we might just run out of new options one day.
We do annual retreats
Twice a year we bring the whole team together. We meet up somewhere far from the offices and together we define new company strategies, game plans and, of course, team development related topics. We build the team spirit with activities such as canyoning and social moments like theme dinners and guitar nights. We’re adding initiatives to learn more about each other’s cultural backgrounds and engage in different native experiences. From a team developer perspective, these are main events when it comes to growing and strengthening the connection between people that make UTRUST such a diverse and unified team.
We support Conferences & Meetups
We care about learning and sharing knowledge, and so each team member has an annual budget allocated for conferences, courses and organizing meetups all around the World. We believe that insights and know-how help people become a better version of themselves, and we’re happy to provide them with the resources needed for their valued development.
After a few months with this amazing team, I realized there’s one thing we can do to improve our culture — and that is to always keep asking ourselves: How can we be even better? How can we keep our people happy? How can we make them feel valued? How can we make sure our people are our first ambassadors? We can only find the right answers if we don’t stop searching for them.
Everyone is different and team dynamics can be quite challenging — but that’s why I love my job so much. People are the most valuable asset at UTRUST, and we’re committed to creating an environment that encourages individuals to bring their best to group, to their work as a team. That’s my goal. That’s what I’ll always strive for 😍