We value teamwork and creativity.
Everyone has a voice.
Join our family.
Sentences like these usually sound really enticing – until you read the exact same statements on the fourth, fifth and sixth Career-Page. It is difficult to write about corporate culture and company values without appearing inauthentic. Of course, every good company tries to create a pleasant and cooperative atmosphere for their team. However, recruiting new candidates on these values alone often seems rehearsed, meaningless. It lacks the personal touch.
To avoid this pitfall, let me take a moment to introduce myself.
My name is Jonny, I am the Marketing and Content Manager at Lana Labs – and one of our few native Berliners. I’ve been wearing that hat for over a year now (that of the Marketing Manager, I’ve been a Berliner for a while longer). When I joined Lana Labs in January 2018, the team consisted of just nine people, and that includes our three founders Karina, Thomas and Rami. Twelve months later we have grown to three times that size.
However, Lana Labs is slowly reaching a size where it’s important to decide what kind of company we want to be. Of course, we are a start-up in the IT industry. We deal with the automated analysis of process data. But what values do we want to represent? What culture do we want to live?
The best way to a perfect corporate culture
These headlines are always catchy. Forbes are well aware of this and have compiled a roadmap with 15 points on the subject of company culture. Many of these are obvious. Cooperation, communication, vision – concepts like these are of course also important to us. However, it is not enough for us to carry these terms on our banner and then simply assume that everything is going in the right direction. As the article itself points out, corporate culture must be lived.
A culture is more than just catchphrases, values are more than just words. I would therefore like to take a second stab at describing the work at Lana Labs and break up a few of the buzzwords as well.
Lana Labs – Welcome among the penguins
We are diverse, colorful, open
In modern companies it’s a standard practice in employer branding: “Our team comprises people of all kinds, skin colors, age groups, genders and sexualities“. And that is great!
It’s no different at Lana Labs either – only we can do it with just 28 people. Our team consists of 12 nationalities, comes from (almost) every corner of the world. Besides German and English we also speak Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Dutch and Turkish. The age range from the youngest students to long-term veterans covers a good four decades. We represent different parts of the LGBTQ+ spectrum and are proud to have in Karina a woman in the position of Managing Director.
And in the future we will only become more diverse, more colorful and more open.
We work together
Cooperation is of course a basic component of every functioning company. However, we want to go one step further here. It is not just about supporting each other, offering help and building each other up. We also recognize that each person is an individual. Cooperation therefore also includes treating each other with consideration. Some prefer to be addressed via the team chat rather than personally in order to not disturb concentration. Others like to work from home, whether it is because of a child or an expected furniture delivery or simply because they can work better in the comfort of their own place.
Our cooperation is based on trust and understanding.
We have flat hierarchies
I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little anecdote from a previous job. Says the Chairman of the Board: “Of course we have flat hierarchies. I can talk to my department manager just as easily as I can with my subdivision manager.” (Yes, that actually happened.)
The problem here is clear. Hierarchies are always perceived subjectively and are oftentimes distorted. At Lana Labs, we try to communicate at eye level wherever possible. Of course, there is a difference in the responsibilities of a trainee compared to the founders of the company. The important thing is that everyone is listened to, contributes, and participates.
Welcome to the waddle
No, we don’t call ourselves “family.” Instead, we have been inspired by the animal kingdom. For us, the penguin is not only a mascot, but also a symbol for us as people. A group of penguins – scientifically called “a waddle of penguins”, by the way – always sticks together. They climb mountains together and dive into the cold depths of the sea. And they don’t care about hierarchies.