SOUTH GEEKS PLAYBOOK

The South Geeks’ team playbook describes our values and the attitudes that represent us.

We welcome feedback as it’s a work in progress we are adjusting every day.

Mission

To connect the highest qualified IT professionals from Latin America with partners that have the most life-enhancing, interesting, and challenging projects.

Vision

We want to be recognized as the company that builds long-term relationships between our partners and IT professionals, due to our focus on generating continuous professional growth on both sides of these connections.

Values

For a long time, our society believed that hiring professionals with solid technical knowledge was enough.

Nowadays, things are changing. We realize that technical knowledge is important, but not enough to differentiate us from others.

We believe that the best professionals are the ones who know how to adapt to constant change and, most importantly, those who know how to relate to and coordinate with others in order to generate results.

Our goal is to be different, due to our high technical skills but also because we are trustworthy and highly-regarded people to work with. 

We think that our main job is to build trust every day in our professional relationships, and we believe that the best way to achieve this is by being aligned with our values:

Commitment  

In our daily work, we are constantly making implicit or explicit promises, and our public image is mainly based on whether or not we keep those promises.

Even if we think not keeping a specific promise has no impact, it does. It always does. It might not have direct consequences, but it forms others’ perceptions of us, and it might close a door in the future.

People have expectations in terms of our tasks and actions, and very often, they make promises to others based on those expectations.

So our promises have an impact not only on our public image, but also on the public image of those who make promises based on ours.

Showing commitment in critical moments by keeping promises or going the extra mile to achieve an important result is the key to high visibility and recognition.

The best way of getting recommended for great opportunities is to take care of others’ image and help them shine because of our work.

We measure commitment by our ability to detect when it’s time to make some extra effort, to put in more hours, or to have the proper rest time to guarantee that our job is done to the highest standard possible.

Commitment comes with motivation. This motivation shouldn’t be imposed from outside; it should come from connecting to the value that we can bring to the project, and by seeing it reflected in the results.

How do we measure commitment?

  • Keeping our promises by finishing tasks within the time expected. 
  • Notifying of any changes: We know that there are situations that can’t be predicted and deadlines that can’t be achieved every time. The damage caused by these kinds of broken promises can be mitigated by the way we communicate this change.

The sooner we notify someone of a delay, the smaller the damage because we give our counterparts time to reorganize things and change their expectations. 

It’s important to provide a new date when we are letting someone know we are not going to be able to achieve a deadline, and also to make sure to keep this new promise, so others don’t lose trust in us.           

  • Making an extra effort at key moments.  Working extra hours if necessary, in order to help the team during moments of high visibility. Those are the moments where we can be seen, and doing so may open many doors for us.
  • Being punctual to meetings. This shows the team that we care about them and about the subject of the meeting.
  • Notifying the chair when realizing that attending an accepted meeting won’t be possible. This shows everyone invited to the meeting that you are respectful of their time and that you honor your word.

Excellence

Technical knowledge is an important element of our work, but as we know, things change very fast.

We believe that what makes people experts in their roles is the ability to adapt to different programming languages or frameworks depending on the situation, rather than simply going with their favorite, or one they have more experience with.

Our love for technology means we are always looking for the best solution to each situation and staying updated with the latest releases.

Our effectiveness is due to the way we relate to the information that is available based on our experience, and how we evaluate the pros and cons of making decisions.

How do we measure excellence?

  • Having a high level of technical skill relating to the tasks associated with the role.
  • Always using the best working practices in order to guarantee scalability, reuse of code, facilitate processes, etc.
  • Looking for the best solution. Making sure to achieve the expected requirements and being willing to generate extraordinary results by suggesting things that could add extra value.

Effective Communication

We can have a lot of experience and a lot of technical skills, but if we cannot communicate properly, we won’t be able to achieve our goals and none of those skills will matter.

Quality of your communication = Quality of your results

Members of a team are like parts of a system; they need to communicate with each other in order to coordinate actions. If one piece breaks that connection, the whole system is affected and the goals are not achieved. 

Opening conversations every time is necessary in order to avoid misunderstandings and help everyone to build trust, so that they can ask for help, talk about mistakes, and learn from them.

Being able to begin a conversation that we consider hard to have is one of the best ways of showing our commitment to solving problems and getting the best results.

How do we measure effective communication?

  • Being respectful and open to diversity. Talking to others with respect and being open to diversity of any kind: skin color, cultural, gender, sexual, etc.
  • Being a good listener. Each of us has a different perspective on things. To have the humility to recognize that what we see is not the only truth, enables us to be open to other points of view and to learn from them. It is the joining together of all that diversity that creates innovation and extraordinary results.
  • Asking for help. Taking some time to share any doubts and ask for help saves a lot of time later, helps us to learn faster, and avoids misunderstandings or the need to redo work.
  • Offering help to others. Sometimes we feel that our job is to finish our assignment, but it is actually to achieve the goal we have as a team. This means we should try to offer our help whenever we see we might be able to help resolve an issue that affects the team.
  • Talking about mistakes openly. As humans, we make mistakes, so there is nothing wrong with talking about them. Those are the best situations for learning and making the team more effective. The sooner we talk about it, the smaller the damage, and everyone can learn from it.
  • Being open to receiving and giving feedback. This is essential for boosting the team’s results and helping each member to grow.
    Being willing to give feedback to others is the best way of being committed to helping the team grow, and especially to help the person involved become the best version of themselves.
    It’s important to remember, though, that our feedback is just an opinion; not the objective truth. It’s a description of how we see a given person according to our standards, so we need to remember to communicate our thoughts with humility.
    The best way to take away subjectivity is to talk about facts that can be observed and measured by the person who is receiving this information, so he or she knows what went wrong and what actions can be taken in order to change the current situation.
  • Increase the connection between the members of the team. Since we are working remotely, our interactions can become a bit impersonal, and this could lead to a lack of communication or trust. Turning your camera on can help a lot in gaining closeness and humanizing that connection.

Integrity

Having cohesion between what we think, say and do, is one of the basics for building trust.

The short-term benefit of being dishonest is very likely to become long-term prejudice.

If we are tempted to lose our integrity, it is because we don’t trust that we can achieve what we want, being coherent and true to ourselves.

We think that this pillar is the most difficult one to rebuild. One small action could end up in the end of the business relationship.

Putting our trust in jeopardy is a very high risk for such a small reward. We believe that all our biggest benefits come from potentiating our personal value and beneficiating others.

How do we measure integrity?

  • Taking good care of the resources and company information that we manage.
  • Making sure that the number of hours that we work is the same as the number of hours we report.
  • Being honest about our actions at all times.

Summary

So, tu sum it up, this is how we build trust:

As human beings, these columns are always shaking and sometimes crumbling. We can’t assure that we’ll have all four of them 100% solid. But our commitment comes from being aware that our trust is built like this, and trying to repair any damaged columns as quickly as possible.

Also, for each of our partners or collaborators, the level of importance assigned to each column might be different.

Some of them could prioritize Commitment and Excellence over Effective Communication, others could say that if there is Commitment and Effective Communication, the lack of Excellence can be fixed, etc.

Part of building trust with others is to know what is important for the other person, and focus on not breaking down something that would be very difficult to rebuild.

Building and rebuilding this trust is our daily work, and at South Geeks we accompany our collaborators and partners in developing the necessary skills to achieve their best:

  • We measure these values with formal feedback. Our partners provide specific feedback according to each value, so our Geeks can know where they are strong and where there is still some room to grow. 
  • We have 1-1 meetings where we accompany every team member in their growing path, with coaching conversations and the provision of some tools for improving soft skills.
  • We help our partners to reach their maximum potential.  We are committed to showing them how our South Geeks perceive their daily work with them, in order to help them expand their awareness of their strengths and opportunities to grow.

These values are our formula for success. They’re our shared DNA that makes us proud to belong and motivates us to work every day.