At TechSPARK, September is officially Talent Month. In partnership with our friends at Huboo Technologies, the award-winning order fulfilment service for eCommerce sellers, we’ll be bringing you features and events on all things tech talent in the South West.

Thanks to Lee Berry, Head of Product at Huboo for this piece on how Huboo cultivated their company culture!

Company culture is a complex topic and, in my opinion, it’s the most important ‘thing’ about a workplace, and yet it’s almost impossible to pin down and explain. Now I have got my excuses in early I will attempt to do just that in this blog about the culture at Huboo. To start with, I believe there are 2 discreet components to a great culture:

  1. Metaphysical
  2. Physical

On a metaphysical level, the Huboo culture is its intangible atmosphere or company personality. It’s the terrible jokes we tell or the likelihood of a random nerf war breaking out. It’s the day-to-day interactions between the people that work here. It’s the intangible glue that binds us to the soul of the company that’s almost impossible to define. The closest I can get to explaining this is the constant feedback I get from people that visit here even for a few hours which centres around Huboo feeling like a pleasant fun place to be that is full of great people.

Many companies have an unhealthy emphasis on processes and procedures; these heavily restrict freedom, creativity and the ability to “do the right thing.” Almost none of these companies started this way but became like this as they grew. They became reliant on these things, and when chaos or unpredictability occurred, they added more processes and tools to add ‘control’.

Done well, this can make a company become efficient and work properly, however, it can also cause the average talent level of their staff to drop, and for their teams to become “Stepford like”, losing the ability to have creativity and passion.

Huboo employs people who are self-disciplined and can embrace the chaos, control it, and leverage unpredictability to produce great results. Huboo is full of people who care passionately about their work and our customers, who want to fix issues without being told to, and who have an inherent ability to always do the right thing.

On a Physical level, it becomes slightly easier to define; the Huboo company culture is formed around common goals, values, and expectations. Whilst we have cool stuff like a working bar, climbing wall, fully functional kitchen, rooftop balcony, and games consoles, we don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is what company culture is — it’s NOT just these material items. If the underlying culture is rotten, all you will get is an unused working bar, climbing wall, fully functional kitchen, rooftop balcony, and games consoles.

Leaders at Huboo encourage people to have fun at work — we are all here for 7, 8 or 9 hours a day so if we can’t or don’t have fun it’s going to suck. We encourage openness to learn from mistakes and give everyone the freedom to allow personal creativity in how they deliver their work.

We have weekly full team huddles where we update staff, share knowledge, and callout excellence as well as mistakes, by handing out zero value awards; The Panda of Prowess for an individual, Winne Huboo (a toy Winnie the pooh) for a team, and a toy New York taxi for anyone that wants to tell their own best mistake story.

Commitment to the cause is a huge part of the culture at Huboo as everyone pulls together to get the job done. Recently when a team decided to work late to reach one of their commitments, people from other teams stayed with them to help. This is the level of camaraderie and commitment that has evolved at Huboo.

People at Huboo have the courage to do what is right and to say when things are not as they should be. However, this is always done with respect as well as care and this courage means that everyone holds themselves and others to a high moral/ethical level.

We vigorously pursue hiring different types of people; I have had interviews at numerous companies where they have said “we only hire a certain type of person.” This attitude prevents challenge, inhibits change, which in turn prevents companies improving.

We actively encourage the bringing together people with different backgrounds with views that maybe differ from ours, listening to them and using our hypothesis friendly culture to constantly change and improve — that’s how excellence and a great culture happens!

We constantly strive to make Huboo a great place to work. Right now we think it’s a really good place to work but we want to do more to make it great — like agile development, we always look to continuously improve where we work and our culture.

Personally speaking, I have never worked anywhere that I have felt so at home, valued, and most importantly I have never worked with the sheer volume of other great people. We are building something great here, come and talk to us to find out more — maybe Huboo is the place where you will feel the most at home too (although the jokes are still very bad!)

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.