How to allow freedom while encouraging participation

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November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

Every new client brings interesting HR challenges to the table. With each new case we are forced to think outside the box. We have to tailor our approach to find creative solutions for those challenges. In this sequel, we’d like to shine some light on our new clients and share their mission and biggest obstacles with you. After all – sharing is caring. Today, we’re introducing MisterGreen. Less than two months ago we started working with the Amsterdam based electrical car lease company. This is why they knocked on our door.

As awareness about global warming increases and younger generations lead climate protests worldwide, MisterGreen’s message tends to resonate with today’s increasingly conscious consumer. Our new client sets out to protect momma earth by promoting electric driving. Its mission is to replace fossil fuel cars with electric lease cars. So it can come as no surprise that the venture is growing rapidly. Our VIE People HR-consultants Lilyan Wolsink and Bonnie Luijten got involved to help MisterGreen scale fast while staying lean.
 

Holacracy over hierarchy

The two founders of MisterGreen decided they didn’t want to lead the company top-down. Instead, they chose a ‘holacratic’ structure. A structure in which power is distributed throughout the company. Holacracy is based on trust instead of control: so decisions had to be made with employees instead of about them. 

Ruling without rules

How do you allow freedom without becoming a lawless mess? That was the main question we had to answer. 

For example: unlike the usual 25 vacation days a year, employees of MisterGreen are allowed to take holidays when and however long they want. “But in practice it was hard to keep track of who was where, at what time”, Bonnie explains. “The founders were looking for ways to register holidays without impeding the freedom of its employees.” 

Similarly, there was no norm for salaries in place. “They wanted to have a flexible approach, allowing for space to reward good work, while also having a framework that justified salary decisions.”MisterGreen was in need of a framework of guidelines to make this new holacractic approach a success. That’s where we came in, says Bonnie. “When the two founders came to us their main question revolved around how they should implement this approach.”

Co-entrepreneur instead of employee

MisterGreen wants to truly involve employees in growing the company. Lilyan: “To underline a joined responsibility to take the company to the next level, employees are called ‘co-entrepreneurs’.But MisterGreen didn’t want employees to only be called co-entrepreneurs; ideally they would behave like co-entrepreneurs. “We are finding ways to stimulate a proactive attitude where the co-entrepreneurs take interest in what they can personally do to grow the company figures”, Bonnie says. 

MisterGreen continues to investigate different employee participation methods. Of course we will be right there with them to assist with the implementation. 



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