Do you trust your managers? And what about your employees? We at Mad Devs know that trust is the basis for productive collaboration. That’s why we do whatever is possible to build trust between all the team members.
One of the ways to do it is to talk. We work mostly remotely, so effective communication is what we focus on. In one MEP, it was suggested to introduce AMA sessions.
Employees know better what improvements are needed to make the working environment more comfortable. That’s why we at Mad Devs have implemented the Mad Devs Enhancement Proposals (MEP) system. MEPs are used to enable employees to make decisions within the company. The entire process looks like this:
An employee has an idea about how it is possible to improve the environment in the company
The employee fills in a special form in Confluence (an MEP form)
The proposal is discussed, commented on, and adjusted if needed
Then, it is submitted for approval to the Mad Council (Mad Devs’ top management)
The idea is accepted, and the company management starts working on its implementation, or the idea is not accepted, the resolution is sent to the employee, and the MEP is closed.
An MEP is not our invention. Similar decision-making processes have been used efficiently in such communities as Debian, Ruby, and Python. Now, we use it in our company, and we should say that it works. Many suggestions of our employees have already become a reality, and some valid offers are being discussed now.
Here are some MEPs that have already been implemented:
Every two weeks, a physical therapist visits our offices to provide treatment to everybody who needs it. Our employees apply for the sessions in advance via a special form and make a schedule to prevent mess.
Every day, our employees can choose dishes from two different places. Every day, other places are selected to order food. It allows us to diversify the diet of our employees and take proper care of our vegetarians.
We do our best to promote healthy habits. So, when our employees suggested building a bicycle parking place, we agreed immediately. Now, our specialists can leave their bicycles outside comfortably and safely in a specially equipped parking place.
We promote self-education and professional development. That's why we have willingly supported an idea to provide our employees with an opportunity to make themselves acquainted with the most recent materials related to work and not only. We always purchase the most interesting books to store them in our offices. Our employees can either read the books directly in the office or take them home. The only condition is to return the books that they have read because their colleagues might also want to benefit from them.
AMA stands for “Ask me Anything”. The idea is not ours; we borrowed it from Reddit. In May 2009, a subreddit called r/IAmA was founded. There, users could ask any questions, and a host would reply to them. Soon, this subreddit became so popular that this practice was borrowed by many companies.
At some point, we thought it would be good to implement something similar in our company. We believed it would allow our employees to communicate more openly with the company management. There were suggestions to introduce an option to ask questions anonymously, but it was rejected. The practice was introduced with an aim to promote transparency and foster the ability of our team members to talk openly about what worries and interests them.
AMA sessions take place at Mad Devs every two weeks. Within the sessions, employees can ask the company founders whatever questions they have, whether those are questions about professional growth perspectives or IT development. We recommend that our team members submit their questions in advance to avoid wasting time, but spontaneous questions are welcomed, too. Here, you can see the screen of the most recent AMA session (it took place on 07/27/2021).
These sessions are recorded and made available for those team members who could not attend the sessions.
We believe that AMA sessions are a great way to build trust, listen to the employees, and understand their needs and expectations.