Actionable ways to develop culture.
2. February 2022
Building an International Company Culture: Gregor’s Culture Carrier Experience
Personio is one of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS companies in Europe, but no matter how much we grow, we always place a strong focus on maintaining our company culture. One of the ways we do this is through our Culture Carrier program, which allows employees to move to another office location and work abroad for a few months. For Gregor Malta, Senior Account Executive in our Munich office, temporarily moving to Madrid was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.
How does Personio’s Culture Carrier program work?
Personio is currently experiencing some serious hypergrowth. When I started in 2018 we were only 60 people, and now we’re over 1,100! And now with five offices spread across Europe, we have to put extra focus on maintaining the culture that makes Personio a special place to work. Each office is, of course, influenced by the city it’s in, so each one develops a unique little subculture. It’s still Personio, just with a different twist in each place.
The Culture Carrier program is all about meeting people from across the business and sharing the Personio culture from one office to another. In my case, it was about bringing our culture from the Munich office to Madrid, and bringing bits of that office’s subculture back to Munich with me. For me, the most important part of the program is to get to know people, share stories and experiences, and to have the opportunity to really bond with each other.
What was your Culture Carrier experience like?
When I arrived in Madrid in early June, Personio had already taken care of all the logistics for me, including setting up an apartment close to the office. As my Culture Carrier experience was during the pandemic, restrictions were still in place. But we had an expansive health and safety plan in place, so I was able to work from the office most days.
I actually knew some people in the Madrid office before arriving. I had met a couple of people during onboarding in Munich a few years ago and we’ve been friends since! Meeting everyone else who works there was also a great experience. Plus, there were even some Personios visiting from other offices just for fun, as part of our flexible 50/50 home/office working framework, PersonioFlex! So it was really cool to get to be in Madrid with old friends and make a few new ones, too.
On the weekends I tried to enjoy Madrid as much as possible. In fact, I arrived on a Friday and by Saturday I was already socializing with colleagues in the sunshine! Madrid has everything on offer: food and drink, cultural activities, and just a beautiful city. I loved it so much that I persuaded other colleagues and friends to come visit while I was there!
What is your favorite memory as a Culture Carrier?
It was only my first or second week when the management team had their offsite at the Madrid office. The whole team was there! We had paella and got to spend some quality time together. I got to know so many new people as well as catch up with old friends and colleagues. Plus, it was super warm and the views were amazing!
What was your biggest learning from the Culture Carrier program?
I noticed how our ways of working and even ways of seeing things differ from country to country. And from my time in Spain, I really learned the value of enjoying myself, living in the moment, and taking time to celebrate successes along the way. I’ve tried to take this attitude back to Munich with me.
What advice do you have for the next group of Culture Carriers?
I’d recommend going to the office as much as possible and absorbing it. Literally, shake every hand (or bump every elbow) and get to know as many people in the office as possible. You never know how those relationships might impact your life!
My other piece of advice is to enjoy the city and the people. Let your colleagues show you around to the most iconic places and their hidden favorites. And embrace the unique situation – that you can go for a business trip and really live there for three to six months is a special opportunity.
Personally, I’m so thankful for everyone that helped me have this amazing experience. I enjoyed it so much and will never forget the time that I had. It may only have been a few months, but it will always be one of the best experiences I have ever had!
The goal of the Culture Carrier program is to help us continue building and improving a culture where talented, driven people enjoy coming to work. If Personio sounds like the kind of place you’d like to be, then let us know! We’re hiring in Sales, Customer Experience, Product, Engineering, and more. Apply today!
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