The connection between an employee and the company is a relationship.

Rebel & Bird is growing, so it is cracking and has doubled the number of employees during the year. Josefine Granding Larsson, COO at Rebel & Bird, talks about how she works with the company's work culture; “Sustainability x 3” and how important it is to maintain this in the rapid growth.

Start by describing the work culture at Rebel & Bird.

We usually talk about “Sustainability x 3” when we talk about our work culture.

Sustainability for the outside world is exactly how we, as a workplace, view our imprint. It's something we have with us in everything we do. When we order organic food, buy fairtrade coffee, choose organic fabrics for our furniture, that we sort in the office, and so on. Also, we donate money to charity each month, a fixed sum for each employee, so the more we grow, the more we can also contribute. Rebel & Bird wants to change the world positively.

Sustainability for our customers. The way we work should be sustainable for our customers. It is about our methodology, our way of looking at our deliveries and that we should always be value-creating.

Sustainability for the employee. Freedom and flexibility are essential. We do not want any overtime. Since we do not expect everyone to work after working hours, it means that when needed, people line up without problems.

We have a culture where every employee has freedom under responsibility (even though it is a cliché). Flexibility is a cornerstone, and you should be able to control your job yourself, as long as it works for your team and your project. We trust that everyone who works here can do it and is responsible enough to shoulder it.

What are the challenges of being as flexible as a workplace?

The biggest challenge is when people do not take the responsibility they have been given. Our basic attitude is to trust all our employees and trust that they take the responsibility they receive from us as a company. When that doesn't happen, it may take time for us to discover it. I often get asked, "but how dare you feel that way?". The answer is simple: this is a risk we are willing to take because we want Rebel & Bird to be a company where we trust our employees.

What is your goal with the work culture?

That everyone should enjoy themselves, do a good job, and thus contribute to the culture. Culture is something we create together. I think the relationship between an employee and an employer should be seen as a relationship. As an employer, we have a great responsibility, it is people who work here, not robots. If an employee quits with us because they want something we cannot offer, it is not difficult for the person to leave, then we are happy to have a new job that suits them better.

Just as in all circumstances, the relationship is something that both parties must work on, if it does not work for one party, it does not work for anyone. Therefore, it is crucial that the employee also understands it. You should not sit at your desk and be annoyed at something for months and never tell. Everyone has their own responsibility. The relationship is between two parties, where both must put energy in it.

Rebel & Bird is a constantly changing organism. It is something we create together, and everyone should be involved and influence.

How do you maintain the work culture in a rapid growth phase?

Of course, that's a challenge. For Rebel & Bird, close leadership is essential, and as we grow as fast as we do, it would be impossible for me to have as close a relationship with every single employee as we want. Therefor why we now have team managers. We have set some key pillars in the leadership so that all team managers lead in the same way. Of course, we retain freedom, even for our team managers. They have frames to relate to, but how they act within the framework is up to them. These frameworks are, among other things, the main pillars I mentioned earlier. Everyone should lead according to the words Accessibility, Clarity, Security, and Privacy at Rebel & Bird. Of course, we have talked a lot about what these words mean and how I mean they are set frames. There we do not compromise.

Another thing we are proud of is that we have employee interviews every month. Meeting his manager for a development interview once a year gives no relation.

For us, the RACI model has worked well

When we keep the high growth rate we do, there is a lot to keep in mind to make every employee feel welcome. Within the management group, we have started using a model, the "RACI model". It functions as a map that quickly shows everyone who works with leadership what they have for their mandate and responsibilities. It ensures that nothing falls between the chairs. The braces beyond the waistband simply. We test it on ourselves every day now and we are satisfied so far.

It's all in the details.

Another essential thing for Rebel & Bird is always to think "is this Rebel & Bird?" It is a question we ask ourselves in every recruitment, every time we do something fun together, every time we will buy interiors for the office and of course in our projects. For example, it is Rebel & Bird to care about what our employees like to eat, not just what they are allergic to. Food preferences instead of a special diet. Our front doors had ugly screws, and when we moved in 3D we printed out the covers for them, so it is instead black covers with an R and a B. It is very much Rebel & Bird to care about the details.

Four points that are important to you who are responsible for the culture, according to Josefine.

• You must get an extremely clear mandate from your manager. There should be no question marks about what you are mandated to decide or not.

• Don't drop the compass for why you're doing this. For me that is super important, I reflect every week on whyI took this particular job. What drives me? What type of company do we want to be? Focus is very important, especially in a fast environment.

• Not to underestimate how important communication is. Our biggest challenge in management has been that we have a small management group (C-level) and a larger one (C-level, directors, and managers), and it is easy just to drive on and forget that even the larger management group should join.

• Delegate! A significant challenge for me personally has been delegating responsibilities since I have not been the manager of managers before.

This week you can follow Josefine and her everyday life on Rebel & Bird's Instagram.