Company babysitter, family-friendly corporate culture, mentoring professional leadership and team building – Interview
We interviewed Márton Révai, Chief Operating Officer at INNObyte, to find out, amongst others, how INNObyte manages to maintain a healthy work-life balance, the meaning of a mentoring professional leadership, and what events and initiatives the company organised to keep the team together during a time of pandemic. Our new series aims to introduce our colleagues who work day in and day out to ensure that INNObyte provides a high standard of service to its clients as quickly as possible.
What areas are you responsible for at the company?
My responsibilities are quite complex: as for my job position, I’ve been working as the Chief Operating Officer since January, which means that, in addition to office management and communications, my work also covers finances and controlling. As the Chief Operating Officer, an important part of my job is to lead the admin team consisting of our communications, HR, administration and finance departments.
In terms of corporate culture, what sets INNObyte apart from other IT companies?
Our company stands out from the rest through its familiar atmosphere and family-friendly approach. The latter one extends far beyond the ability to work from home, although it undoubtedly helps maintain the delicate balance between work and life.
Could you tell us how one can strike a balance between family life and work life, and why it’s important for the company?
INNObyte puts great emphasis on this matter as promoting physical and mental health and a peaceful family life is critical for both the employee and the employer. We at the company try to maintain this balance in various ways. A unique and popular form of support is that we provide a company babysitter whose services can be employed by our staff free of charge. This is very helpful for those with a family. Unfortunately, last year was an exception due to the pandemic, but once or twice a year we organise events for kids around children’s day and, of course, we’re always visited by the company Santa Claus in December. For one day each year, people can bring in their children to show them what they do at work. When this happens, some of our enthusiastic colleagues give assignments to the kids and playfully introduce them to what their mom or dad does all day long on their laptop. The kids’ groups in Pécs and Budapest have already met in the online space as well. In addition, we are fully committed to allowing our staff to work from home, and the company had offered this option even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Our experience is that a flexible schedule can help maintain that balance.
During this time of pandemic, what events and initiatives have you organised to keep the team together?
We arrange All Staff Meetings every one or two months where we discuss current projects as well as events and measures that have an impact on the company. This is essentially how the leaders tried to keep the team together at company level, but profit group leaders also had their fair share of responsibilities as they had to motivate and maintain the unity of their smaller teams on a day-to-day basis. In retrospect, I believe we were able to successfully overcome this unprecedented obstacle, but we’re really looking forward to live events now. The first proper meetup was held just recently in a vineyard in Baj, and it was incredibly refreshing to meet and talk to each other in person once again and to discuss more than just work-related matters. Otherwise, we organise team building events once a year, we meet around Christmas for a dinner and a party, and smaller organisational units attend various events aimed at organisational development, with well-deserved leisure activities on the side.
All Staff Project Inventory meetings are held in person in both Budapest and Pécs, and ultimately end in us going out for a beer or pizza. This would be difficult to organise in the online space. Also, we used to have guest speakers, including developers, technology experts, writers and linguists (e.g. to speak about the peculiarities of Hungarian grammar in connection with the Vanda project). Our internal presentations mostly involve one of our colleagues sharing his or her knowledge with us and helping us dive deeper into professional matters. Hopefully, we will soon be able to organise such events once again.
At INNObyte, you keep referring to mentoring professional leadership. What exactly does this mean?
The best way to demonstrate this would be through my example. Fortunately, I have superiors who apply this principle very well. They give me plenty of autonomy in my work, but at the same time they’re right there behind me to warn me or to signal to me when something in my work isn’t going the way it should. Also, we employ a method called AAR (Action After Review, a phrase used by the U.S. Army) in which we retrospectively discuss and analyse a given task or process after it’s completed. This is a great tool for avoiding mistakes in the future.
How have you benefited from working for an IT company?
I’ve developed a lot in terms of using and applying various technological solutions. I’ve learnt about countless pieces of software I had never even heard of before. A significant benefit is that you can automate or digitise things I wouldn’t have thought possible. This has also affected my private life as it has opened my eyes to a number of solutions that help me save time. For example, I used to be wary of online shopping and paying my bills online, or doing any financial planning or managing savings in the online space. Since I started working here, I’ve come to trust these applications more, and I’ve learnt about a number of programs and software applications that make my life so much easier, even in my private matters.