There’s a saying we love that goes like this “if you want to grow, follow principles, not rules”. We love it because it fundamentally speaks about freedom and trust. For us, trust is the Northern Star that has guided our culture from day one and continues to lead us today. It’s what helps us build great relationships, encourages our creativity, and enables us to enjoy our work.
This article will tell you everything about how we believe a culture of trust should look like and how we managed to build a work environment that puts trustful relationships at the center of software solutions. The end goal? To grow together inspired by principles, not by following a set of rules.
A culture of trust, a workplace of endless possibilities
A culture of trust is the prerequisite for any healthy, enjoyable work environment. But it is so much more than saying, “do it your way; you’re skilled”. For us, a culture of trust is layered with respect, empathy, acceptance, empowerment, and encouragement. It’s an equal partnership in which our goal is to make our engineers understand that Victory Square Partners belongs to them.
In our view, when trust exists, a few incredible things happen:
- exploration and creativity are possible, which leads to growth;
- fear is set aside, and it’s replaced with curiosity;
- blame is a foreign word, and understanding is a habit;
- small wins are possible every day, and big victories are more attainable;
- teams click together and smoothly talk through any blocker;
- novel solutions can be spotted, and nothing stops us from trying them.
With trust, the workplace is transformed from a place where one comes to earn a living into an environment where one can discover themselves. Our invitation to all our engineers is: come, learn with us, grow with us, make mistakes and win with us, we’re in this together.
Trust is what you do, not what you say
Saying “we trust you” is not enough. We seldom say that directly because it is implied in our actions and in the way things unfold in our work environment and on projects. To make sure we create all the premises for a workplace that has trust at the center, we follow a few principles:
1. Empower people through ownership
Victory Square Partners is team-centric. Every software project is led by an engineering team that has full ownership of coming up with the solution and implementing it. We believe micromanagement is the killer of motivation and creativity, blocking people on their tracks from discovering new ways of doing things.
2. Find strength in being vulnerable
We’ve learned that the real engineering experts are the ones who are not afraid to say “I don’t know”. This is the magical line that means a true challenge is on the horizon and that we’re preparing to sail away in search of exciting possibilities. Asking for help, recognizing gaps, being unsure or simply saying, “hey, I’m having a rough day, I need some time” are the beginning of finding new strength.
3. Create a safe space for experimentation
Historically, great inventions were possible because people didn’t lose trust even after countless failed experiments. In software development, a safe space for exploration is crucial for developing novel solutions.
Does daring sometimes come with risk? Yes.
Does risk involve failure? Sure.
Do we embrace failure? You bet.
Do we find blame? What for?
Trust means to let your people explore new paths, experiment with new tech stacks, and try unconventional approaches.
4. Offer a flexible working environment
Software development is, at its core, a creative business. Our engineering teams are not coders, they are solution finders that solve needs with digital products that yes, involve coding.
Once we all accept that software means creativity, it becomes apparent that a flexible work environment is necessary. For us, it has never been 9 to 5 (or 10 to 6 to be honest). Instead, it always was: work whenever you are creative, and work productively. Need to clear your mind? You don’t even have to explain. Go for it, and come back refreshed. Time off is the cornerstone of performance.
5. Champion our partners
A culture of trust would be less valuable to us if it didn’t amount to appreciation. When combined with encouragement, trust becomes a super-booster. We’re here to recognize and celebrate the wins our partners achieve everyday — clients, but our engineers too.
6. Essentially, build good relationships
Our belief has always been “build good relationships and the rest will follow”: clients, teams that click, successful projects. If we strive to maintain our good relationship, we also foster trust, with all its benefits. And we always put that first.
In trust we grow
A culture of trust ensures that people’s energy will be used widely and productively. We give our engineers the possibility to venture as far as they dare to and back them up in their search. At the opposite end, environments lacking trust are a black hole in which people’s energy is wasted on micro-management, fixed rules, and finger-pointing. So why choose that?
We’re looking to grow, and we trust every single one of our partners with this goal. In the end, the Victory is theirs.
If you’re looking for a workplace that cares and trusts you back, we’d love to hear from you. Help us grow; we’ll help you too.