Life at Spring: Culture as the foundation of actions

Aleksi Pesonen

Spring is founded on the belief that rigid practices and formal structures do not yield the best results. The core idea has been to combine an uncompromising level of quality in management consulting with a relaxed and appreciative work environment. Our pleasant but ambitious and forward-thinking culture has become the foundation of our operations, an asset we systematically maintain and develop.

It is critical in expert work to foster an environment where one can take responsibility for one’s work without unnecessary hierarchy and bureaucracy or fear of failure. A good team creates a psychologically safe environment that encourages creative thinking, learning, and efficiency – precisely what is required in our demanding line of work. Both individuals and the organization itself benefit from self-organization and responsibility, as well as adequate support when needed, to learn and develop quickly over time.

Long-term development brings culture to everyday life

Culture should not be allowed to merely happen on its own; like all other aspects of business, it requires equal care and leadership. Spring has worked hard to create a long-term corporate culture. Specific key corporate culture principles, such as closeness to people and a lack of hierarchy, have carried Spring’s culture. From the beginning, one of our company’s most important goals has been to learn and develop its culture and employees. It is essential to recognize that corporate culture is not a static space that can only be determined when a company is founded, but that it will take shape over time and live as the company grows. Fostering and sustaining a positive corporate culture is not always an easy task. Just like in any sports team, organizations face bad days and adversity. This is when the strength of their culture is truly tested. However, if organizations can respond to adversity in accordance with the culture and with the necessary attention, they can help strengthen culture in the long run. In the end, small everyday decisions shape how a corporate culture develops.

We developed the Spring Cultural Handbook over the past year as a tool that verbalizes, reinforces, and communicates our corporate culture. Throughout the project, the Spring community has developed a shared vision of what we want to achieve, what is important to us, and what kind of expectations we have for ourselves and each other. In retrospect, the process itself was an excellent factor in strengthening corporate culture. Numerous conversations with Spring colleagues have shaped the content, and the perspectives of various people materialized into a tool to guide our actions while reminding us of the values and principles to which we are committed.

Culture as part of the recruitment process

Certain stereotypes often characterize recruitment processes, such as the unnecessary confrontation between the employer and the applicant or a lack of communication and transparency. These can also quickly demolish the foundation of corporate culture before the first day of work, or at the very least highlight its true nature in an organization. Spring has attempted to improve the recruitment process by gathering feedback with each round of recruitment and critically reflecting on what we do. We have not found any magic recipe for this, but paying attention to the small details, doing the basics carefully, and genuinely conveying one’s own culture to the applicant. This bouquet of actions has led to good experiences and successful recruitments. Therefore, cultural aspects are a significant factor guiding us in the recruitment process and related decision-making.

Our primary goal in recruitment is to provide a pleasant applicant experience. Applicants meet many of our team members and get to know our culture to get the most genuine picture of our operations. Our process is designed to be relaxed and appreciate the applicant – the way we want our work environment to be. An example of this is the “callback guarantee” for applicants who were not selected for the interview. We justify our decision to them and give them ideas for developing their application. Some might think of this as a waste of resources when we spend several days reaching out to all applicants. Still, as mentioned, ultimately, the little choices of everyday life determine what corporate culture is made of, and that’s why we want to act accordingly also in the recruitment process.

People & Culture
Aleksi Pesonen