Value of Gaslight Culture: We're Better Together
“We’re Better Together” is a fitting place to start our blog series on the Gaslight core values because it is what all of our other values are built upon. That feeling of togetherness is what enables our small mighty teams to do great things week in and week out. We even came together to contribute to this post. We asked Gaslighters what “We’re Better Together” means to them and throughout the article I’ll be sharing some of the responses from our great devs and designers.
“We’re Better Together” means that we can accomplish more together than we could ever dream of apart. Together we are smarter, better problem solvers, better friends, better decision makers and overall elevated.
I suppose I should mention that I’m actually a remote employee of Gaslight. And you might think that’s kind of ironic given the subject matter and you definitely wouldn’t be wrong about that. However, I think it gives me a unique perspective on what togetherness really means. Walking into the office and seeing everybody every day is not something that I can take for granted.
“We’re Better Together” means much more than physically being in the same location. It means I have a team that makes me better overall. It makes me a better teammate, a better developer, and a better person so that I can do better work for the client. It also means that I have the same effect on my coworkers.
Being together is more than just being in the same room. It’s knowing that you’re on the same page. When we come together and share ideas we’re able to work smarter and better than we could alone. We become more creative problem-solvers and best of all we build meaningful relationships. All of that extends much farther than just the walls of Gaslight, though. We invite and encourage all of the people that we work with (yes, even clients!) to enter into that shared physical, mental and emotional space with us. In fact, we believe that the only way to succeed is if they do. But it’s our job as software developers or product designers to make sure that we can get to that place of togetherness. Our job doesn’t really start until we’ve found that common ground with the people that we work with, not just coworkers, but clients especially. Without knowing that we have that shared understanding we can’t truly be certain that we are doing the right thing. It’s not just our job to deliver valuable features or products, it’s our job to deliver the most valuable thing that we possibly can. It’s also important to note that sometimes the most valuable thing isn’t code or pixels at all. Having a conversation can be just as impactful to client-team health, happiness and success as delivering features. Those hard conversations can only be effective when everyone knows that we’re all in this together and we have each other’s best interests at heart. Having such a relationship is what motivates us to do the right thing even if it’s not easy. Knowing that we’re part of something just a little bit bigger than ourselves is what gives us the courage and the willpower to go the extra step. It’s that connection to others that drives all of us to better outcomes in our work, and in our personal lives.
We’re better together when we work with our clients and stakeholders constantly to ensure that we’re always on the same page and working on the most valuable things. “We’re Better Together” is fundamental to all of our other core values. Building trust, delivering real value, empathizing with the client and growing sustainably all suffer when we don’t communicate and collaborate.
Being together means that we are a team. We come together to support each other and to solve hard problems. Being together gives us the opportunity to share ideas, get feedback and level up. Having “We’re better together” on the wall reminds us that no matter what it is you’re going through there will always be somebody to help you make the best decision that you can to achieve the best possible outcome. We’re here for each other whether that means talking about family, sitting down to write code, critiquing user flows, or helping our clients change the world. All of us are lucky enough to have found those that are close to us so it makes sense to use that to our advantage, both by seeking help and by extending a helpful hand whenever we can.
“We’re Better Together” means being willing to help someone when they are stuck, working as a team when things get tough, and being there for someone when they are having a bad day.
We don’t come together because we have to, we come together because we want to. Not just because we’re a fun loving group of nerds, but because we care about each other enough to share in each others’ struggles and successes. It’s undeniable that as people with thoughts and feelings sometimes we’re going to need some emotional support and sometimes we just need to be validated in our hard work. There’s no reason to try to cover that up! Group work and activities give us the opportunity to support and be supported by our team. These things are baked into our everyday life at Gaslight from sitting down and pairing on writing code, to all team stand-ups, to Friday lunches where we can all come together to share a meal and talk about what’s going on. We would not be the same without these things. As a culture, it’s not enough to just be mindful of others. Those people around you need to be a meaningful part of your decision-making process. It’s where you should pull your inspiration from and debate your ideas. Sharing what you think and know and what you hope to achieve is only going to embolden the people around you to conquer bigger and tougher challenges.
The sum is greater than the parts! Through teamwork, we improve the quality, consistency, and longevity of our work while increasing the knowledge, motivation, and morale of our team members. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!”
When we come together we can accomplish anything. I encourage all of you out there to share your work, thoughts, and feelings with your co-workers and your community and invite all of them to do the same with you. Ask for help whenever possible. Extend help to others whenever possible. Exposing yourself to new opportunities to learn, build and share great things with those around you can help you to become better and go farther than you ever thought possible. By promoting togetherness you can build a culture of support that goes far beyond just being productive.