My arrival to Tampere wasn’t welcoming. It was snowing, windy and quite cold. I realized that I made a mistake leaving my gloves at home. Morning city didn’t make a slightest attempt to improve the situation. WiFi in the cafe I chose because of the sign “Free WiFi” was broken. Three random commuters I asked about the nearest coffee shop couldn’t help me. Nevertheless I didn’t allow those small troubles to spoil my mood and I was right. Several hours in Vincit are worth much more “suffering” than I got.
Vincit is one more IT contractor I visited on my tour. And it’s not yet another company at the same time!
Back to 2007 two fellows founded Vincit with an idea in mind to make a different company. A company with satisfied employees and satisfied customers. After 8 years it’s clear they’re moving into a right direction. Vincit won Great Place to Work in Finland award in 2014 and 2015 and it was in the list for 5 years in a row. There’s also 100% satisfaction guarantee. Vincit returns money to a customer if it’s not satisfied with the quality of service. No customer used this option for last few years.
I was warmly welcomed by Johanna and Pasi, Passionate Leaders, and Mikko, Passionate Management Director. You may be surprised by their titles so was I. In Vincit there’re no official titles. Everyone make up their own and get new set of business cards anytime if they decide to change it. Passionate prefix is not universal. When I asked where it came from all my interlocutors couldn’t remember its origins. Someone at the company put it first, others found it cool and replicated it. As any tribe Vincit has its rebels or so to name. For example, one guy decided to be Dispassionate Software Developer. Cool, right?
Interestingly enough, they have no issues in collaborating with traditional customers whose employees care too much of their titles. The situation is opposite. Strange titles bring insightful discussions during the first meetings with clients.
Salaries is one more remarkable aspect of Vincit. Finnish law prohibits to open employees’ salary without their permission. Every six months Vincit asks employees for the permission. About 80% have already said “yes”. According to the latest data Mikko expects more than 90% of salaries will be open. These approach releases pressure which exists in traditional organisations. Any time you can check what your salary is in comparison to others and ask for an increase.
Employees are encouraged to make investments with no upper limit. There are only two rules. First, an investment should improve lives of many employees. Second, the company should be ablt to afford it. After all, not everyone is Richard Branson.
No matter how exciting it sounds people find difficult to make such decisions. Yet they learn. Johanna told me that the number of initiatives launched by the employees increased significantly for last year or two.
During the interview one thing which impressed me was language the folks used. Our intentions and behaviour are reflected in and shaped by our words. Dream is an everyday word at Vincit. Mikko talked about dreams describing the purpose of the company. Johanna talked about dreams discussing hiring process. Pasi talked about dreams explaining how they form project teams. It is inspiring to hear the leaders of the company talking this way. It is even more inspiring to see the company lives this way.
In the nearest future you’ll hear more about Vincit and its culture. Follow me to stay tuned!
Pasi, thank you very much for spending half a day with me. What a day it was! Looking forward to meeting you any time in the future