Hybrid Collaboration at Glovo
At Glovo we have made a commitment to sustain our strong Culture, regardless of the location.
Over the past few years, the way we work has drastically changed and we got used to engaging in hybrid settings, while balancing working from home vs. the office. In the meantime, Glovo has grown to a company of ~ 4000 employees in 25 countries. Both the new ways of working and our rapid global growth asks us to embrace a blended workplace to stay connected to reality. It’s certainly not a one-size fits all, because adapting to local realities is crucial for successful implementation. However, we have made a commitment to sustain our strong Culture, regardless of the location.
A recent publication in Harvard Business Review presents an interesting point of view on the opportunities and challenges that come with hybrid collaboration. It suggests allocating them into different categories; the 5 C’s. So, let’s take a look at those and see how Glovo commits to them.
Sustaining a positive culture and strong organization is important to current and future employees. We believe that our culture is our secret sauce of which a big part is cooked when people collaborate at our offices. The heartbeat of our Culture is created by our personal relationships at work and in hybrid settings. That’s why it’s so important to proactively and intentionally nurture these personal connections to keep our culture strong. By coming together for our Global Stand Up, we make sure that everyone stays connected to the business, culture and to each other. We host many events, such as All-Hands and Culture Days in which leaders and employees share knowledge and experiences. Moreover, it’s about the close communities we are building across global, regional and local teams, complemented by Employee Resource Groups to create a sense of belonging for everyone!
“The heartbeat of our Culture is created by our personal relationships at work and in hybrid settings”
Transparent, fair and frequent communication is key to engaging in successful Hybrid Collaboration. At Glovo, Leaders are expected to clearly share their expectations with the team about which days the team meets at the office, which meetings are face-to-face and which meetings are done in a hybrid setting. In the case of exceptions that need to be made on a team, the leader is open and transparent about the underlying rationale, in order to ensure openness and fairness across the team. All of this is covered in our new Hybrid Collaboration Playbook, that helps Leaders to set the right example; offering tips & tricks on planning & logistics and people engagement. Moreover, it offers clear guidance to make effective team agreements.
“The Leader is open and transparent about the underlying rationale, in order to ensure openness and fairness across the team”
All collaborative work involves coordination. Working in a hybrid setting presents significantly more coordination challenges than collaborating in person. For that reason, we recently set up an initiative to reinforce our hybrid ways of working. Over 150 Leaders shared their ideas which resulted into a practical playbook for them and their teams. By sharing these ideas we were able to create a clear overview of which setting works best with every meeting. For example, performance reviews should be done in person but an operational review meeting can be done hybridly. Setting clear guidelines will help our employees to get the most out of working in the office and working from home, while being focused on productivity and personal health.
“Working in a hybrid setting presents significantly more coordination challenges than collaborating in-person”
Both individual and collective creativity benefit from social interactions and spontaneous interactions. Brainstorming works best when people are in one room without too many constraints on time and formats. We believe that when we are in the office, creativity naturally flows while having fluid conversations, sidebars and unexpected interactions that otherwise wouldn’t happen. When collaborating virtually, we use online tools like Miro boards and Slido to stimulate creative thinking but also to ensure opportunities for all team members to contribute equally.
“We believe that when we are in the office, creativity naturally flows while having fluid conversations, sidebars and unexpected interactions“
Being connected is about much more than just technological communication. It’s about building and sustaining professional networks and mentoring relationships that are essential to advance in the workplace. Research (1) shows that women and other historically excluded groups can face barriers building those professional networks due to human’s natural habit to create in-groups and out-groups. To mitigate this, we are committed to create accessible spaces and opportunities for meaningful Knowledge sharing (e.g. Global Stand Up and Culture Days), Community building (e.g. ERGs and Ambassador Program) and Career development (e.g. LeaderSHE).
“Being connected is about building and sustaining professional networks and mentoring relationships”