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Knowledge Bank Workplace Innovation

Best practices and other information about Workplace Innovation and Smart Working

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  • Author: SME-network of Syntens
  • Publication date: 18 February 2014
  • Date added: 18 February 2014

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Rating: Voys Telecom

Voys Telecom

2013 - Voys Telecom in Groningen, The Netherlands  is a provider of business telephony, fax -services, national and international service numbers and local numbers in many countries. The company has 34 employees now. Voys believes telephony services could be delivered in a better way; you may expect more from your telecom provider: insight into your phone call behavior, tailor made advices and a solution that makes the company of the customer optimally accessible everywhere and always.

Workplace innovation
Voys is organized conform the 'Voysmodel', a social-business model. This model is characterized by roles instead of formal positions and the lack of executives and supervisors.

Formal positions define a number of tasks that belong to that one position. In addition in that concept, you only can perform one task at the same time. In contrast, the adoption of a role ensures that you can change in daily tasks continuously. At Voys people are encouraged to do that wherever possible. For all roles the competencies you need to fulfill them, are articulated.
At Voys there is much attention to social media and how  the technical resources can support the goals and values of the company and the employees. Employees decide themselves what equipment they want to work with.

To control employees, to keep them within frames or focus them on the desired output, managers are not required.  The following values are indicative for everyone’s behavior: honesty, transparency, service-oriented, developing together with the customer and personal growth for employees.

All employees are allowed to start a project. The methods, procedures and systems in starting and executing projects and HR processes are described in a Handbook. There is no reason at all why a manager should indicate these frameworks. Anyone can pick and modify these guidelines when requiring improvement.

New employees are adopted in an open process. Colleagues decide together whether someone fits. Also leaving the company is a transparent process, because the rule is that you do not work more than five years at Voys unless it still fits in your career mission. The staff have developed a method to take decisions about  the scaling, rewarding, performance and assessing of staff together. Each year the employee does a self-assessment; the self-made assessment document is the basis for the appraisal by colleagues. There is also a discussion about  the performance of each employee;  to prepare this, information is collected from colleagues. The result is a developmental or training plan. Thus  regularly there is an evaluation and given feedback, apart from the daily direct feedback from colleagues themselves while working.

Approach
At Voys one works with a pronounced mission and vision on organizing. The derived values also give direction to the daily work.
The mission is to change the telecom industry in a customer-friendly, needs-driven industry. The vision on organizing is described as 'Holacracy': working without formal positions, supervisors nor hierarchy and with the goals: personal growth, fun and adding  meaningful value.
Director and staff have crystallized this vision and core values in a manual, so anyone can manage him or herself and no further management or  control is needed.
Voys also pays much attention to other companies that show best practices in workplace innovation as examples, such as: Buurtzorg NL , Semco, Valve, Medium and Zappos.

Result
The company is among the fastest growing technology companies in Europe and even doubles every year in terms of sales. They are in the top three of the fastest growing companies in the Northern-Netherlands.

Reference
The company was named one of the 'Smartest companies in the Netherlands’ on the ‘Energy Day 2013’ organized by a SME-network of Syntens (a former state agency to support SME’s). The jury report can be found in the Annex.
See also the website of the company www.voys.nl which presents the vision and working methods in  in articles you can download.

Topics : Labour relations, Dynamic Management & Leadership, SME , Talent development
Sector: commercial services, Telecom
Source : Case