Life at Mobal

Five communication hacks driving our growth

Two years into our journey, it's healthy to stop for one moment and reflect on what has been driving our growth. One of our core drivers is the way we communicate internally and our strong culture of listening. I want to share a few actions that have worked well for us.

1. An active Slack culture

As we all know, the pandemic has changed our work environment and brought a lot of work to our homes. One successful thing we've done is focusing on an active Slack culture. On a practical level, this usually means having a solid Slack channel structure. In addition to the work-related channels, some of our favorites are:

#Mobal-kudos - Spontaneous thank you notes, let's get emotional!

#Mobal-sports/art - For non-work-related activities.

#Learning - Channel for sharing learnings company-wide. #Anonymous feedback channel - Being able to share thoughts anonymously to improve internal communications and culture.
#crazyideas - Should we do GMB for space stations!?

2. Do we need a meeting to solve this? (Asynchronous communication)

We have realized that the classic mistake is booking 60min or 30min meetings for something that can be solved in 15 minutes or, even better, through Slack. Instead, like one of our friends at Smartly said, "always ask yourself if you can solve this through Slack". In this way, we can solve problems in a lean way with asynchronous communication. Similarly, we make sure that our meetings are scheduled smartly and not scattered around - in this way, team members can block off time to work on things that require deep thinking.

3. Values

People might yawn when they hear about the company's core values, but our values are our fundamentals. A practical example of when this can be applied is through recruitment and when reflecting on potential candidates' value match. Through structured and open company-wide discussions, we've realized we're all a bunch of curious, caring, and courageous people - and these are values that we look for when growing our team. From the start, I've felt that my responsibility is to be an excellent listener (even if I am quite talkative). Therefore, I have focused on building a company-wide culture of listening which is one of the main hacks that have brought us success so far.

4. English company-wide communication and documentation

Perhaps a no-brainer in most firms, but as a small Finnish company with a global vision, this is crucial for an inclusive culture. We knew that we were building a scalable international company from the founding days and therefore one united language is crucial. Because of this, we've documented everything internally in English. Company-wide calls are all in English, but team-level calls are in any preferred language, and when unsure, we always turn to English. In this way, we can help solve the country-wide problem of recruiting international talent to the company as we grow.

5. Shared Vision

This might sound abstract, but it's not: A shared vision makes our teams and the company as a whole more powerful. When making complex decisions we always refer back to our vision as a company, which for us is to be the global leader in location marketing. Making sure that everyone in the team knows and shares the same vision for the future ensures that we are all working in the same direction.

Finally, in my view, there's no silver bullet for what a firm's internal and external communications should look like. Instead, it's about having the right processes in place to facilitate continuous improvement, solid feedback loops, and open culture within the team. We also work hard to encourage and cultivate a culture that pursues personal growth alongside business growth. I firmly believe that a business that listens to and cares about the personal development of its employees has the recipe for multiple levels of success.

Jakob Wikström


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