The recent business developments around Pipedrive showed how rewarding share options can be. The company reached unicorn status, which became extremely rewarding for its longtime employees – who also happened to be the shareholders.
Imagine sharing the company’s success, as it grows bigger and its shares become more valuable.
Is this big payday just a fairytale? How do share options work? What is the main benefit of it?
Talking about unicorns, the most successful Lithuanian start-up Vinted gladly agreed to explain how the share options function in real life. They have rather good insights on the matter, as Vinted’s employees have the opportunity to enjoy this motivational benefit.
Let’s imagine that you have a new employee. How would you explain step-by-step how Vinted’s share options work? As simply put as possible.
Share options give employees an opportunity to buy company shares in the future for the pre-determined and heavily discounted price. This right (to purchase company shares) is earned gradually over the period an employee is working at Vinted.
Each option grant of our employees is reviewed on an annual basis and additional options are awarded for achieving certain milestones.
As the company grows and matures, we expect the worth of the company to increase as well. The idea is for employees to participate on the growth journey together. Hopefully, at the end, the share price will be considerably higher than the predetermined price. This will then allow our participants to buy low and sell high.
Company’s growth does not happen overnight – the share option is a long term investment. How much could the Vinted be worth at the moment and how has that changed over time?
You are right, the growth does not happen overnight. That is why many equity compensation plans are long-term, four years and longer, to give employees an incentive to stay in a company for many years.
However, the terms of the equity compensation plans might not be as important as company culture. In order to be able to grow the company, it is important to promote collaboration and ownership mentality.
When people with an ownership mindset come together to co-create and work, amazing results can be achieved. For example, last year Vinted became a unicorn with 1B EUR valuation, which was celebrated by all employees and investors.
In the future, we believe that our teams will grow the company value even more.
As we mentioned time, please explain what vesting means?
Vesting means that options become available to you over time, so you have to work in the company for a certain period in order to exercise earned options.
All option programs are designed with the future in mind – companies want to incentivize employees to stay longer and focus on long-term goals.
At Vinted standard vesting schedule is four years – 25% of share options are earned on the first anniversary of the grant date, and the remaining balance is earned monthly in three years.
Owning shares may come with plenty of financial benefits. Where is the catch?
With options, high risk comes with high reward. When the predetermined share price is higher than the market price, then your options are worthless.
Vinted has been around for 10 years and is now an established player in the industry. We are in a sweet spot where there is still a lot of room for growth but, we are no longer a start up, trying to prove our product.
How the share options are taxed?
Taxation varies across countries, however, the truth is that more and more countries try to broaden employee financial participation, therefore, different incentives are being introduced.
For example, the Parliament of Lithuania approved the changes regarding share option taxation this year. The new incentive states that income calculated at the option exercise moment (when shares are purchased for a discounted price) is a non-taxable income if the option is held for at least 3 years. The sale of shares is still a taxable transaction, which means that income received from selling the shares is subject to taxation.
One thing is attracting talent, but the other thing is keeping them. Do you see that the share-based compensation package pays off in the long term?
Equity compensation in many cases is expected to lower retention and grow employee loyalty.
At Vinted we have employees who celebrate their 9th working anniversaries, which might prove the point.
However, the truth is, that overall satisfaction of employees and their loyalty depends on other things as well – working environment, colleagues, and most importantly – company culture. We promote an ownership mentality which helps us to keep engagement and attract the right talent.
Share options are an extension of our culture and offer a generous way to reward our employees for their contributions to company growth.
Does it all come down to money or is there another angle of the benefit?
Financial benefit is only one side of share options. For example, Vinted introduced “options for all” to strengthen our culture and show our employees that we treat them as co-owners of the business.
We believe that our teams feel responsible for the company’s success and our collective mission to make second-hand fashion first choice worldwide. Eventually, their effort will be rewarded by having an opportunity to become shareholders and selling shares to benefit financially.
Anna Golubchenko, Lead Tech Recruiter in Bolt pointed out that people often value having a team of highly skilled people around them: “In Bolt, whether it’s engineering or marketing, you will meet colleagues from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Booking.com, TransferWise, Bloomberg and much more.”
Elisabeth Seepa, Recruitment Specialist in Veriff brought out that their company’s outlook to become one of the next tech unicorns is highly attractive for many job-seekers.
Marika Salkola, Senior People Operations Manager in Supermetrics added that having a good product plays an important role: people want to work on something meaningful and see thousands of others benefitting from their work.
Jihan Ahmed, Employer Brand Global Lead in TransferWise added that ownership and trust are among the things people value the most.
What are the main employer branding activities?
If there’s one sure thing we learned about employer branding channels, it’s that there is no one go-to channel or activity.
Jihan from TransferWise emphasised that their company prefers a very targeted approach with their employer brand and picks an individual mix of channels for each specific target audience.
On the bright side, there’s a wide selection of potential channels to use. 💁
Here’s a list of channels that the people we talked to mentioned:
Social media ads
Let’s take a closer look at each.
How to use your website as an employer branding channel
Most people applying to a job in your company also check out your website.
So having a high-quality home page is already an indicator of your company and its product.
On top of this, all the companies mentioned in this article have a dedicated Careers landing page with information about the company and available job offers.
TransferWise Careers page
The Careers page is the best place for listing all the employer awards, reasons to work in your company, and for sharing positive reviews from your current and past team members.
Elisabeth from Veriff added: “The importance of a website for employer branding is very significant, which means that one key consideration should be how to optimize your career page. Often, the career page is a candidate’s first step to familiarizing themselves with an organization and its values. If a company brand is not portrayed correctly through its career site, it could lose potential top talent and not attract the right candidates.”
How to use social media for employer branding
You can use all the main social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn – for employer branding purposes.
If you have time to create beautiful images of cool company events and office life moments, you can set up a special Instagram account. Here are links to the team Instagram accounts of Scoro, Veriff and Transferwise.
Scoro team’s Instagram account
LinkedIn is a channel that most companies are already using for finding and recruiting top talent. You can also boost your brand awareness by sharing positive news about your company.
For example, Bolt recently shared a LinkedIn post about being the 3rd fastest-growing company in Europe. Pretty impressive, huh?
Bolt LinkedIn post
Want a less traditional approach? Here’s Jihan from Transferwise:
“Rather than TransferWise saying it’s great to work here, we wanted to create authentic content that our candidates can relate to. That’s why we’re really proud of our employee vlogs.”
If you plan to grow your company across multiple markets and have a team of 1,000+ people one day, you should create a Glassdoor account sooner rather than later.
According to Elisabeth from Veriff, 50% of the current employees checked Veriff’s Glassdoor before they made their decision to start to work at the company.
Veriff’s Glassdoor page
Tip: If you’re just getting started on Glassdoor, ask your existing team members to write reviews, so that your account has a strong kick-off.
What to do with negative reviews? – Embrace them, learn from them, and make sure to keep them away in the future by hiring the right people and taking good care of them.
Should you organise employer branding events?
Employer branding events can be highly efficient if you know whom exactly you want to attract.
For example, Anna from Bolt shared a hiring event they did in Moscow to attract software engineers. It was a coding contest and Bolt received 2000+ first challenge submissions – a huge number! To reach so many people, they used Facebook ads, articles and interviews with Bolt’s Engineering team members, Telegram channels and direct email marketing, and collaborated with Work in Estonia.
Bolt hiring event even had a custom website
TransferWise also organises regular hackathons to attract IT talent. See the Facebook event here.
It’s an event where students, hackathon enthusiasts, and TransferWise employees come together for two intense days of collaboration to turn big ideas into a working product. TransferWise mentors and talented participants will share their ideas and knowledge with one another to build something groundbreaking in FinTech.
TransferWise organises hackathons
In addition to helping the Estonian tech ecosystem grow, TransferWise will also attract early attention from talented young people.
Should you start organising hiring events?
It depends. If you’re looking to hire a large number of talented people working in highly competitive fields, having an in-person meeting ground might be a good idea.
However, if your company’s only looking to hire 10-20 people this year, organising a huge hiring event might be too big of an effort.
What are Stack Overflow and GitHub?
Stack Overflow is the largest online community for developers to learn, share their programming knowledge, and build their careers.
It is also a great channel for attracting top technical talent.
By having your team members actively contributing to the forums or by advertising your job offers through these platforms, you can build brand awareness inside the developer community.
We took a sneak peek to job offers in Stack Overflow and guess whose job openings first popped up? – TransferWise and Bolt!
Stack Overflow job offers are a good way to attract developers
Should you set up a referral bonus?
There’s also one critical channel that can only be built up over time and with considerable effort: word of mouth.
As Marika from SuperMetrics put it:
“For us, the power of word of mouth has increased a lot over time. This means that marketing is no longer the guardian of the brand. Rather, the employer brand is in the hands of your employees and candidates. Research shows that 92% of candidates trust the recommendations from people they know.“
Having a job referred by a friend you trust is a strong seal of approval.
And referral bonus is a great way to boost the word of mouth among your employees. Both Bolt, Veriff and SuperMetrics have a referral bonus system.
Usually, the referred candidates have to work for the company for more than a couple of months before referrers receive their fee. According to a survey, 71% of companies paid their employee referral bonus in full after an employment period between 45 days and six months.
So once again, what are the best employer branding channels?
There are no universal employer branding channels, each type of role needs its own approach. We recommend that you start by defining your employer branding strategy and goals, and only then select the best channels.
❗Also, here’s a very important note from Anna from Bolt:
“None of the channels above will work unless you take care of your candidate experience during the interviews, thus make sure that even if you are not proceeding with an offer they will still be recommending your company to their friends.”
Make sure your employer branding is in the DNA of your company, not just a facade you show to the outside world.
How to get started with employer branding in your company?
Ok, this thing called “employer branding” sounds pretty amazing: people considering your company a cool place to work at, more talented job applicants coming in…
So how to get started?
Here’s the advice from our favorite employer branding experts! 👇
Jihan Ahmed, Employer Brand Global Lead in TransferWise
Start by taking a laser-focused look at a specific target audience you want to attract.
List all the possible reasons they aren’t applying to your jobs and why you’re struggling to hire the right people e.g. they just don’t know about your brand, they don’t want to relocate, people are applying, but they don’t have the skill set you need.
Then think about how you can change perceptions through your employer brand.
If someone hasn’t heard of your brand, you need to be out there, telling people what you do. If people don’t want to relocate, your messaging needs to talk about the positive impact of relocating. If you’re attracting the wrong skill set, be explicit in your messaging about what you’re looking for.
Start with the strategy. Who is the target audience that you want to reach?
Who are the potential candidates you want to hire, what’s their skill set, where are they located? Which channels can be used to reach them? What kind of content are they interested in?
What is your brand’s unique story that makes you stand out? Interview your employees about why they love working at your company and what made them in the first place. Always be authentic in your employer branding!
Mai Kand, People Operations Specialist/Recruiter in Scoro
The first and the most important thing is to understand why you are special – what makes working in your company better than elsewhere? Once you know that, start spreading the word.
First, define the message: It is important to first define your employer branding messages and goals.
Create an authentic message and tone of voice for your brand, so the employees and also candidates know exactly what to expect from working in the company. Make a plan and define the channels to promote your employer brand.
Don’t forget to nurture your culture: Employer brand is a reflection of your culture, and so building a positive culture is the root of a strong employer brand.
Don’t copy other brands, but still look around and check what other companies are doing.
Start with the basics: Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Wikipedia (sounds weird I know).
There is no need in buying a special offer from LinkedIn for a company page from the very beginning, just keep it simple with basic information and posting updates, articles or photos of your achievements, good news or daily life.
Do not forget to invite your employees to join the company on LinkedIn and let them share and like the content from the company page.
The same with Glassdoor: fill the initial information, connect to your ATS for automated job posts, and invite your team to leave reviews, feedback about interviews and compensation. There will be not only positive reviews, listen to those carefully, take into consideration common points and remember that all companies on different stages of growth have received bad staff. It’s inevitable, and a good way to improve interviews and internal processes.
If your applicants and future candidates start to research your company, what is the first thing that comes up in Google search? – Think about thefirst potential touchpoints.
Risto is an insurance innovator and investor, he has been in the insurance business for over two decades. He started with working in an insurance company and went on to build 5 insurtech startups from there. Among them IIZI, the biggest and most innovative insurance broker in Baltic Countries. Cloud-based software platform for insurance agents, brokers and insurers called Insly. And the most recent one – a true innovation, world first insurance marketplace on blockchain Black Insurance.
Risto is a true veteran in the insurance industry, but this is not what I want to focus on today. Risto has built many successful teams and there is something that shines through in every company that he has been running – the atmosphere is genuinely great.
We go into a bit more depth about Risto’s story building these companies and how on earth people love working there so much that they stay. For decades. In the end it will all make sense.
Tell me your story – how did you get into insurance and how did you manage to build not one but many successful companies in the industry?
I started in insurance somewhere back in 2000, when I opened an internet sales platform in Estonia where consumers had the option of comparing insurance prices and also buying policies. We were one of the first to offer online sales in Estonia for insurance products. The company was then called e-kindlustus, which has now become quite a famous brand in Estonia, called IIZI.
Within a few years I managed to create the biggest insurance broker in the Baltic States. We invested heavily into technology and digitalised all insurance sales and administration processes. At one point I understood that it is rather difficult to scale an insurance business globally. I had a profitable company that had become a dominant player in the Baltic states, but growing out of that geographical area was almost like Mission Impossible for me, because as we all know, insurance is still quite a local business.
I came to the obvious conclusion, that the general level and usage of technology in the insurance industry was very weak, especially on a global scale, compared to what we have achieved here in the Baltic states. So an idea was born. We need to pivot using our experiences through the IIZI platform, to create a solution that would solve the same issues for broker companies in other regions. That is how Insly was born, from a clear need to deliver global insuretech solutions to a vastly under-developed segment.
Since 2014, our customer base has steadily increased and we are now serving over 700 customers globally through our SaaS technology, to enable businesses of all sizes to sell and administer insurance policies. Insly serves not only insurance brokers but also MGA’s and insurance companies, meaning that our goal is to deliver a product that in universal, both in needed features and functionality.
So that’s what currently takes up the bulk of my time, working closely with the management team and Board to solve this universal need. In addition to Insly, I have also made some investments and I am continuously advising on several other insurtech projects.
Tell me more about how you’ve built great teams. Nowadays the average time people spend in one company is 2 years. You have team members that are in Insly that started working with you already in IIZI. What makes people stay and want to give their all?
I think it’s a combination of several things. One important part of course is becoming an expert in a certain vertical and in order for us to keep our best people you don’t necessarily need to be the best in the world but you need to be the best in that vertical.
So if you have a developer or manager that has spent the last 7 years building insurance technology then his comparative strength in that field is much stronger than if he’d go to let’s say Pipedrive or Transferwise or Bolt. And that person would feel so much stronger doing something in that specific field because that’s where his competence is. That is probably one element to explain why people might choose to remain in a specific segment. In the IT start-up world, it’s becoming more and more important for technical personnel to have some inherent business know-how of the segment they work in, which adds significant value to any project. This is why we provide regular training sessions about the insurance industry to our staff, so that the technical side of our team can relate to the business value we are actually creating for our customers.
The other element of course is – I try to really keep an open management style. Everyone is quite free to do whatever they want in our organisation, at least in that the key people who contribute to the success of the company have clearly enough flexibility in deciding what they do and how they do it. That is a very important part of making people happy nowadays. If people feel happy with their work and happy with their colleagues, that’s probably everything you need to keep people motivated.
One thing I sometimes struggle with is that I have some people on my teams, whose first job anywhere was at IIZI or Insly. They can sometimes have the feeling – “I am really happy here, it’s really cool but I’ve never worked anywhere else before, so maybe I need to try out something else as well. Do I really want to work all my life in one organisation?” And these conversations are difficult to have because it is a logical feeling. Luckily we haven’t yet lost any of these people, But I feel that I am running out of arguments in these kinds of discussions.
Of course there are some frustrations as well; it’s not like Insly is the place of ultimate happiness without any problems. We face the same challenges as any other organisation that wants to make a significant impact. When team motivation is maybe 6 out of 7 instead of a perfect 10, then this type of issue tends to resurface.
When motivation is high, then we usually don’t have these kinds of discussions. Usually people need to feel they are developing themselves, and have respect in the workplace. If you manage those two things, then even in the ever-changing landscape of IT, I find that it’s possible to keep staff highly motivated, who have worked for 10-years in the same company.
It is quite the result when 6 or 7 out of 10 is the motivation level in the unhappy times.
It could be that these numbers are high, but I believe that with the team members who have been working here for a very long time, it’s logical that the general happiness and job satisfaction is very high because otherwise, with current employment market conditions, they would’ve already left a long time ago. I believe that our top people are really happy with where they are right now, but of course my view is a bit limited.
Insly has been voted the best workplace in Estonia 2x already. What makes the work atmosphere so great at Insly. You mentioned freedom before but what else that comes to mind?
I think the most important thing is that the environment needs to be good. When you come to work you need to feel that you are welcome here, everyone is friendly with you, including the management. You know what the company is doing – you have clear information about the company’s results, and why we are doing the things that we are doing is shared with every employee.
The basic question of “Why?” needs to be addressed very seriously. On a company level and on the individual level. And if for some reason the “Why?” becomes unclear then you very quickly see that motivation in key personnel goes down because they don’t understand anymore what the heck we are doing here: Why we are focusing on this product and why that specific customer and so on and so forth.
If you solve the why, then I’d say 80% is done. Why + reasonable and common sense management. These are the two very important pillars for employee happiness.
Then you have some auxiliary things that may not seem so important individually, but they also help to ensure a positive working environment. Having some fresh fruit in the office, or subsidising health activities like gym memberships, general dental care, or even having a dedicated place for relaxation like we have a massage chair in the playroom. These things tend to add-up and contribute to creating an overall positive and productive environment.
These types of benefits have become standard practice and a lot of IT companies have these perks, but at the end of the day I believe they contribute to 20% of the overall happiness within the team. For Insly, it is a challenge to compete in terms of benefits, with companies that are swimming in money, but we try to keep it to a reasonable level, and focus 80% on common sense communication from the management about why we are doing things.
What have been your biggest challenges in building companies and teams?
Probably the most difficult time for me has been when the company has plateaued. It is not really going down and it’s not really growing fast enough as well. I have had these moments in almost all the companies that I’ve been running.
You might spend a year or one and a half years when you feel like you’re a little bit stuck. In the startup level you grow maybe only 20-30% per year. Your product is a little bit outdated – the tech is no longer state of the art, things are breaking down. Everyone is looking at the numbers – it’s not a rocket ship anymore, product is full of bugs and it’s kind of crap.
The trick is how to find motivation out of this kind of situation? People want to work at a successful company with the best technologies, and when you lose all these things it becomes very difficult to keep the team motivated. You can throw money at it, you can do backflips or whatever, but it doesn’t really help.
For example during the previous economic crash of 2008, we needed to cut salaries 30% and that was an easier process for me. You know that there is a crisis, you need to act and you can make some direct decisions. But when you are on a plateau and not going in either direction, it’s not so bad that you’ve got to jump in and pivot or create some sort of a revolution, but finding the direction is the biggest challenge. In cases where you can identify the bottleneck, then it’s a natural process which usually leads to growth. The worst case is when things are not very good and not very bad, so you’re not sure in which direction to turn, which is the most difficult period for me.
You need to push yourself to make some decisions to come out of it, because the pain is not otherwise strong enough to force action.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt from your team? How do you solve challenges in Insly?
Hmm, I don’t know. I learn something every day. I think probably most of the solutions are probably coming out of the team. It’s not like I am the one who has all the smart ideas. You have challenges in the company. Sometimes they come from me and sometimes from the team. I don’t even know what the ratio is, but I would say probably 80-20. So 80% of challenges that we need to do are coming from the team and they are also responsible for finding the solutions. So then I have the luxury of only being the facilitator.
In some cases of course the challenge can come from me and the solution from the team or the solution can also come from me. But of course it is always better when the solution comes from the team, because if it comes from me it is much harder to get the team behind it. I suppose that is also in-line with our general management style of facilitating personal and team ownership of delivering results.
I think the best way how to implement ideas is if the solution comes from the team and the management comes behind it as a supportive element. Then you have the best solution and things can really move fast. As simple as that.
At the end of the day these are all really basic and simple things but the trick is how to implement it. How to make sure that these simple and very intuitive things are actually happening in the organisation. That is where things can actually get stuck, but fortunately we have been lucky.
When a company grows bigger than 5 people it becomes really hard to maintain a shared understanding of common sense and productivity starts lacking. My biggest frustration is actually how slowly things are moving sometimes. You need to be extremely patient, but on the other hand you want to move fast.
This is something that we are dealing with on a constant basis, is how to move fast in an organisation with over 70 people in several countries, so there are plenty of challenges still left to overcome.
What is your future vision with Insly?
First of all, it all started with software. We are offering software to insurance market players. But our vision is to become the hub or marketplace that connects all insurance market participants.
On one side there are insurance companies and on the other side there are brokers. If all of these players are using Insly software to manage their business, then we can also connect them and create a marketplace that enables the transactions between our customers. Then we become a much more important player and we can help our customers much more than just solving their efficiency pains.
We can also solve a critical business line by providing insurance companies access to a vast distribution network for their products, and giving brokers access to needed insurance products.
Building the Insly marketplace on top of our software is the bigger vision and we are making small steps towards that already.
Risto’s management skills are something we can all learn from. Quite often great business ideas get stuck because people cannot find ways how to work together efficiently. Insly and IIZI are true examples of a workplace where people feel happy entering and we should thrive to promote this culture.
P.S. Insly is hiring! Check if you’re a match on MeetFrank.
The happiness and health of your team directly affects productivity. Luckily we are no longer in an era where workers are seen as slaves. Your team is your most important asset and many companies are doing all they can to make sure their talent is well looked after.
Stress is directly linked to your health and this is crucial especially in Estonian climate. As soon as the summer months are over, the sickness season begins. As the sick pay compensation starts from the third day of being off a huge part of the workforce keeps coming in sick, infect their team and as a result stay sicker for longer. This issue is worse even in situations with single parents.
People also get sicker much easily when they are under stress, don’t have time to look after themselves or don’t keep a healthy diet and regular exercise. Companies are getting to an understanding that investing in the health & wellness of their team increases productivity and actually saves them capital.
We’ve compiled a list of the creme de la creme of companies in Estonia that put their talent’s wellness at the top of their agenda. Let’s take a look at how we picked these companies first. When a company adds themselves to MeetFrank, they pick the things that are most important to them. To you, the talented, it looks like this:
And here let me we give you an overview of different benefits and perks on offer by companies in Estonia to keep their team’s health and wellness on point, resulting in a happier work life.
On top of the obvious benefits of health checks such as improving your overall health it can also help boost loyalty and morale at work. They benefit both the employee and employer greatly. When we feel appreciated at work we tend to also put more effort in.
Regular health checks are very important but sadly Estonians go to the doctors too late and underlying health issues get discovered in the late stages. By creating a culture where health checks are the norm we drastically increase the overall health at the workplace and of the population overall.
Regular health checks may give you enough of a push or advice to change some of your lifestyle choices for improving your health – such as quitting smoking or changing your diet. Determining factors that can develop into a health issue at an early stage can improve your overall health & wellness by quite a lot.
Benefits to team:
Access to info on their health
Reduced risks to their health
Improvement in performance
Better mental health
Benefits to companies:
Reduced sickness absence
Higher overall happiness of staff
Reduced turnover of staff
Improvement in productivity
Improved morale and loyalty amongst employees – taking extra steps for the health of the team improves overall work satisfaction
Here are some of the companies in Estonia that offer health checks on MeetFrank:
Check their profiles in the links to find out what they do and how they take care of their teams.
Even though Estonia has a pretty good functioning national health care system, if you need to see a specialist fast, it makes more sense to go private. There are enough private clinics to get seen fast, however it can get pricey – on average a private doctors’ consultation can cost you starting from 50€ per visit.
An Estonian startup Viveo Health is tackling this! They connect you to a network of doctors and clinics. You can get seen virtually within minutes, get referrals to specialists and get e-prescriptions pretty much instantly. Their network includes a medical staff of over 5000 professionals. The payments are handled by your employer. Currently there are 1000 people who have joined their service and in Estonia, you have this extra love if you work at Proekspert 🙂
Companies offering private health care or extra compensation
The right diet is crucial for your health and wellness. In fact, diet related diseases have reached the top causes of death, surpassing lung cancer.
Of the 56.9 million deaths worldwide in 2016, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15.2 million deaths in 2016. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years according to WHO
When healthy eating is promoted collectively, it is much easier to keep in track. Discussing healthy food options and diets in the kitchen with your team while snacking on some fresh fruit and nuts available can go a long way.
These companies offer fresh fruit & veg in the office
Remote work is one of the most requested perks our talent in Estonia has requested on MeetFrank. Furthermore, there’s plenty of data that shows the positives of remote work far outweigh the negatives. Remote work has been researched quite a bit and it is one of the perks that works great for keeping stress levels down.
Personally I know the immense benefits – of course depends on your type of responsibilities however taking a few days to work from the peace and quiet of your own home without spending time on commuting can really make the team more productive. In addition to this it adds a sense of trust to your team.
Here are companies offering remote work in Estonia on MeetFrank:
Healthy food and health checks are a great way to improve the overall health and the team morale. However, you also got to keep you body healthy with some exercise. Sports events are also great for team building.
Team sports events benefit the workplace by:
Here are some companies getting their team to be more active by offering SportID or gym membership:
Not all perks fit into strict frames. Health trends change quite a bit but some stuff is well tested and adopted. Think of what else may affect you at work? Sitting by a computer all day hurts your back and posture, the lighting and screen hurts your eyes. Here’s some more extra steps that employers are taking to keep their team healthy.
Testlio – on top of attending to almost every health benefit we brought out in this write-up, they have scheduled a mindfulness course in the office + 1 month paid sabbatical if you’ve been on the team for 5 years.
COMODULE do planking in the office and have a no-mess orange juicer!
Helmes goes all out with a sleeping capsule, table tennis, pool table, sauna, stretching track… Not bad at all.
Insly has a ping-pong room on top of many other perks. But also worth a mention that Insly has also won an award for a work-friendly environment many years in a row in Estonia. I must mention that I had the pleasure of working with some of Insly’s team and share an office with them some time back and they do indeed deserve the award 🙂
At Katana MRP by default your birthday is a day off – take time to celebrate moving to the next level!
Love cats? Turnit has an office furball called Maša.
Omniva and Swedbank have their own health track on site and Creative Mobile does Kouksundo in the office in the mornings.
Cash On Go will give extra paid 7-days winter vacation for employees who have been in a team for 2 years.
Guardtime has weekly yoga sessions and sauna to use at any time.
With all these perks and healthy lifestyle promoting activities many of the companies offer, there’s really little excuse to get healthy 🙂
Sometimes at work conflicts arise. There’s been a lot of talk in the Estonian media lately about pressuring people into resigning. This has been brought into the public eye but it’s is not just an issue in the government.
Constructive dismissal and bullying in the workplace is a serious issue. There’s a lot more we can do to prevent this.
First of all make sure that you have the authority to terminate someone’s contract.
Here are a few reasons for firing people that are generally considered bulls*#%:
Spilling coffee on your keyboard
Consistently saying “pacific” instead of “specific”
Using comic sans
Releasing figures to your team in internal communication
Staying home to look after your sick kids
Not liking someone
Difference in political views
When agreeing to a contract between employee and employer make sure that both understand what is required and expected of each other.
For the employee, a contract provides them with the security that they are working for a professional business that has clearly defined its obligations and agreement on all terms of employment. Among other things, it defines the salary and other perks the employee is entitled in exchange for their work.
For the employer, it gives the security that the employee is fully aware of their obligations and has agreed to comply with the stated terms. For the employer the contract should protect clients and intellectual property.
No employer wants anyone wandering off with the Rolodex, after all.
Put it in Writing
As a matter of principle a contract of employment should always be in writing. Oral agreements are difficult to prove in cases of doubt or if contested. That said, in Estonia at least oral contracts are still binding. Written contracts create clarity and security for both parties.
Don’t let it get that far
Before seeking to dismiss anyone, or digging into the fine print of firing, there are many steps you can take to actually avoid all of this.
Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential form of resolving workplace disputes between people. It involves an independent, impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups reach a solution to a workplace dispute that’s acceptable to everyone.
Mediators don’t judge or determine what happens next. Their task is to uncover underlying issues and help resolve the dispute. The aim is to restore and maintain the employment relationship. When both parties are willing, disputes can be mediated.
Recognise the issue
To be able to resolve anything you need to first recognise there is a problem. If a team member is underperforming, perhaps at first make sure if the goal is realistic. Do they have all the right tools to achieve it? Perhaps some extra training is required, or a performance improvement plan?
Try and understand the other party. Seeing things from their perspective doesn’t necessarily mean you need to agree with it however to be able to solve workplace conflicts you’re gonna have to be able to empathize with them.
We’re all human after all (Daft Punk noises) and sometimes mistakes happen.
Your team is an investment
Firing someone is in most cases financially a bad idea. You’ve invested time and money into finding the right person, throwing in the towel on a whim is just illogical. Rather than trying to find ways to legally get rid of them try and see if the situation can be resolved.
Ask yourself how can I be better? How can I help my team improve?
Unfair dismissal is a huge issue when it comes to jobs in estonia and of course all over the world. Don’t be that person.
Clickbait title aside, not every story is a happy one, this isn’t a Disney movie.
Here are legitimate reasons for dismissing an employee:
If an employee keeps underperforming and is not able to handle the tasks agreed in the contract due to lack of knowledge, inaptitude or inability to adjust to the role for an extended period of time, sometimes it is best for both parties to agree to part ways.
Gross misconduct is an act which is so serious that it justifies dismissal without notice, or pay in lieu of notice, for a first offence. They must be acts that destroy the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and employee, making the working relationship impossible to continue.
Despite warning, failing to comply with employer’s reasonable instructions to comply with his or her duties
Despite warning turning up to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Causing material damage to employer’s assets
The employer may terminate the employment contract due to a breach of duty by the employee or a reduction in his or her capacity for work, provided that the dismissal is preceded by a warning from the employer.
Prior notice is not required as a prerequisite for termination if the employee, due to the particular gravity of the breach or otherwise, cannot expect it from the employer in good faith.
Letting someone go should be the last possible option. People can improve and in most cases they want to. Just give them the means and a chance to do so. There are complex laws regulating how you can let someone go. And there should be.
Getting emotional and just throwing a resignation letter on the table to sign without prior notice or any kind of effort to resolve the situation is an unethical and low thing to do. In most cases it’s also illegal and considered constructive dismissal.
Take care of your team and your team will take care of you. Every relationship goes through ups and downs, it’s how you work through the issues and move forward towards the same end goal that counts.
What to do if you’re on the receiving end of this?
If you feel that you are being bullied out of your job I suggest you collect evidence on this. Disputes between employers and employees can be tricky to solve and prove. But you absolutely should not put up with this. As we spend most of our adult years at work, being happy at work is crucially important.
Constant stress and bullying from colleagues or your boss can lead to depression. It is very personal and sometimes difficult to speak up on this topic. It can knock your confidence down rather drastically and it is difficult to pick yourself up from that.
Talk to your HR department and record every instance, seek resolution to the issues. If the company is unwilling, contact your local employment ombudsman or seek legal help.