Our Culture (unfiltered)
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Our Culture (unfiltered)

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TL;DR: We share how we felt wrong about making a simple statement about our culture and instead publish the unfiltered view of our entire team, plus our yearly company-wide retrospective with the plan to renew it every 12 months - Culture in flux.

Mission impossible: Putting culture into words

You wouldn’t believe it if we told you how many hours and iterations this page has seen before it went live. 😵 No matter how hard we tried to put our culture into words, we ended up feeling it is not really representing. But the worst part, since culture is always in flux, we felt this constant urge to keep updating it. 🤪

Long story short: In the end, we’ve decided to ask everybody how they would individually describe our culture every 12 months to give us and you a more authentic and unfiltered view into our culture vs Kununu reviews!

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Retrospective 2021

How would you describe our culture in one word?

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How would you describe our culture in one sentence?

HelloBetter is a warm and welcoming environment for curious and motivated people that want to change the world together.
HelloBetter is supportive, innovative and as I started working there I noticed that (also) everyone is also humorous.
Highly motivated team, rocking it together!
At HelloBetter, people authentically care more about the greater cause and creating an impactful product as a team, instead of pushing their ego or personal agenda, while also allowing each other space to hone creativity and growth on an individual level.
The HelloBetter culture can perhaps be described by the fact that we are a science-based, passionate and ambitious team, characterised by individuals who have their hearts in the right place, who respect and value each other, and a management team that has a knack for making good decisions.
It is amazing to see how everyone supports each other.
Well, the culture at HelloBetter feels like a constant pulsating Process of change, movement and dynamic. It feels like a very lively hub where the flue - which holds it all together - is a Vision bigger than any Ego, respect towards every human being and hard work.
I enjoy working at HelloBetter where you are well taken care of and grow personally
There is always a solution and support
HelloBetter you feel always welcome and can be your authentic self.
The best thing is seeing how much people really care about you feeling good at work. Even in the most stressful times, there always seems to be some extra time, hidden somewhere, just for making everyone as happy as possible :)
Our culture is characterized by openness, an eager to learn and appreciation
HelloBetter is a place where your ideas are heard.
At HelloBetter you have the chance to really make an impact.
work hard play hard
At HelloBetter, you can feel and see that everyone shares the mission to have an impact on people's lives by offering effective tools to improve their mental well-being and make the world a better place.
The culture is very open and everybody gets a chance to be part of it.
At HelloBetter, you can bring your whole self to work and everyone is really transparent about what is expected from you.
Very modern and great ideas not just for our patients but also for the employees as well.
HelloBetter is all about the people. We all value and appreciate each other which makes great teamwork possible.
It´s a place, where my and in general of anyone else´s ideas and thoughts matter.
It's never getting boring and there are always tons of things that have to be done
Being part of HelloBetter means being part of an inspired team with exceptional people and experiencing an open, transparent culture that is guided by passion and trust.
Everyone is truly working together in their own ways for one collective goal; always open to collaboration across teams and knowledge sharing with an easy-going attitude!
The energy within the company is incomparable. Everyone is very supportive of each other and our shared goal.
It's working in a great, trusting team, with a lot of independence and the ability to work almost whenever from wherever one wants to be.
Like any startup it is "rough around the edges" but we're humble enough to acknowledge that we're still figuring it out. I like that the people at HelloBetter are open, fair, considerate and well-intentioned and that we're all motivated to create something that's really helpful to people in a way that meaningfully improves their lives.
HelloBetter allows us to grow professionally and personally by encouraging ownership, collaboration and innovation.
HelloBetter - that means deep conviction in our mission, commitment, teamwork, forward-thinking and the will to constantly improve.
Committed teams that want to bring good into the world while staying healthy and happy.
HelloBetter brings together people with a great diversity of expertise in a climate of mutual respect in a way that enables them to deliver great work.
I have worked for a bunch of companies before and HelloBetter is the first time that I am really proud to tell people where I work, what we do, how we do it and what we aim for - and I have the feeling that everyone of my colleagues feels the same way.
HelloBetter welcomes a whole variety of people from all walks of life leading to a rich and exciting work culture.
There is a very appreciative atmosphere at HelloBetter. We work very efficiently together as a team and definitely don't miss out on the fun!
Team-First Corporate Culture | Team bonding and cross-department collaboration are our top priorities to encourage strong employee relationships

What went well?

Remote work went surprisingly smooth
listing of 3 Digas is pretty amazing, helpfulness of everyone, work atmosphere
The onboarding process was extremely professional and welcoming.
We got amazing colleagues and I think it's extraordinary that everyone gets along so well. It's like every person is an expert and at the same time willing to learn from others. Somehow we also managed the long-term home office situation well and achieved many of our goals - of course, I have to think about the digas, but such a success was possible because of the great teamwork on the daily basis.
Our team has a great cooperative spirit and together we proved that we can overcome many challenges.
People are hardworking, goal-oriented & party animals.People's hard work resulted in DIGA getting listed.Employees are well taken care of, and the company is open and honest
viele Änderungen, Fortschritte und Meilensteine, die erreicht wurden. nicht nur die wachsenden Erfahrungen als Unternehmen, sondern auch persönliche Weiterentwicklung
OUR FIRST DIGA! *Our workshops in Berlin where I could finally see everyone in person - this gave me a huge motivation booster! *New formats that were introduced like the AMA and the fact that other ones keep on improving based on our feedback. Makes you feel seen. *The fact that I could take over some new responsibilities. Gave me the feeling of being able to grow at HB *Our summer party! Best day of the year! *Our "finance round party".
Improving and growing: team sizes went bigger, impact, product range and reach also increased. Processes have been professionalized. Staying true to our mission: Evidence and knowledge are key! Learning: As a process of being curious, questioning, trying out, evaluating, adapting, discarding and moving on. And: Making the best of the Corona situation!
The leadership team clarified (amongst themselves) and communicated (with the whole company) the company strategy, which really helped with overall focus and alignment.
Challenging difficult situations, good culture of making mistakes (it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them)
Getting to know my team even though everyone works from a different place. Being introduced to company processes and feeling invited to ask any question I have. Of course, getting three DiGAs approved and being there when the first people receive HelloBetter courses on prescription. Communication between Teams always went really well for me and I was impressed by how respectful and easy communication was, even though it happened mostly online ...
A new closeness of collaboration emerged between product and content teams leading to a higher quality product being put together.
mastering challenges by working as a team in a spirit of trust, cooperation, and transparency
We finally started to see the results of our efforts with DIGA apps getting approved, actual users getting prescriptions and those users giving us amazing NPS scores.
although we went through difficult times, there was no blame game. this was impressive.
Things that HB did amazingly last year, company culture-wise: Creating OKRs together with the team, taking time to get to know each other, bond, and celebrate together (Summer party, DiGA parties, "hello_butter" channel!), Making newbies such as myself feel at home by having an open ear when there are questions, offering them a bunch of workshops (onboarding, data security...), having a survey/getting feedback on how the employees were doing, allowing people to work from the office during the pandemic if they liked to, offering COVID vaccinations through the company (!!!), as well as PCR tests for the xmas bash, communicating openly about things that didn't go well (around DiGA approvals), having regular "All hands"/"TGITs", being open about changing the "All hands" format in order to make it more engaging (showing that it's okay if things don't go perfectly), showing appreciation for people's work (i.e. around DiGA approvals, but also through small tokens of appreciation on their birthdays, anniversaries...), offering short-notice grief counseling for employees, showing flexibility around hiring and truly trying to find meaningful opportunities for people (such as myself or someone I recommended who initially applied for an open position, but later found one with HB that was better suited for their profile, through lots of discussions and talks!), showing support for people who liked to change their career path (like going from BizDev to Design...), supporting people with relocation during COVID, Annika spontaneously starting a xmas call for people who could not make it to the xmas party in person, Philip reaching out to me on our "LinkedIn friendship anniversary" to let me know that it's nice that I'm in the team now ...
To offer people with mental health problems accessible treatment options - especially throughout the pandemic.- We have managed to grow as a team and stay connected - despite increasing numbers of employees and dealing with the corona pandemic. -Having an extremely supportive team lead and team - Creating a very cool website and a high-quality psych blog. - Listing three DiGAs (despite dealing with so many challenges). - With the innovation circle, quarterly surveys and focus groups, we've managed to really stay in touch with our users. I highly value that we are constantly striving to improve and to meet the needs of our clients. -Transferring all courses to our new CMS and making them accessible to users.....the list goes on, but I have to go to the next meeting ;)
Moving forward as a company, team and employee; spreading our mission; 3 DiGA; growing together as a team even while working remotely; transparent and adaptable communication and corporate culture
We had a lot of great successes and it seems that we're on the right track to becoming the business leader in our market segment.
It was exciting to be a part of the DiGA team, to see how we optimized our teamwork and achieved various listings! Also, I have found friends in my work colleagues and feel very comfortable within the whole team.
3 courses listed in DiGA. 6M funding round and tons of other exciting, fun and challenging moments that I cherish routinely
The DiGA applications and preparations for our studies was a massive accomplishment that would not have been possible without the great teamwork.
Personally, it was a very low-stress, high impact creativity and fun environment with a wonderful team. Was able to get to know cool new people in other teams (even within a pandemic) and learn so much as well. Felt seen, heard and my work appreciated!
The onboarding phase was all one could ask for – informative, not rushing and very welcoming. Even transitioning from one team to another was very smooth.
growing together, gathering experiences, tackling challenges
Hiring new employees :)
For me: I have started to work for HelloBetter a year ago. I had a great welcome and I feel delighted to work together with so many talented colleagues in such a motivating environment. Furthermore, it is amazing to work on the frontlines of digitizing mental healthcare and getting this experience. Team: I could not wish for a better team. Seeing the synergies between the individual team members and our strengths underlines that 1+1 is 3. Everyone is willing to help you when you have a question or need some feedback. Company: You grow as an individual and as a company when you overcome setbacks. Last year, we had some challenges where the road was bumpier than we had thought but in the end, we managed to overcome the challenges and were stronger than before. Furthermore, you have to acknowledge how well the management team has navigated the company through the pandemic with all the restrictions and making it easy for the employees to work remotely.
Most of the time we kept calm and believed in us, - also, we were ambitious and daring, - the team parties showed how much we like each other, - I often felt deep gratefulness to be able to work with such talented people
New hires have enriched our team and were able to contribute so much value in such a short amount of time.
secured funding, organizing 3 HelloBetter celebrations

What didn’t go well?

communication between teams
Due to covid, there is no personal communication between team members. Our game needs to be stepped up in order to attract new users.
A "failed" launch of the mobile-first depression prevention course. A massive effort was involved in creating it and our ambitions and expectations for it were high, but fell short.
It is only my 2nd week. Everything went well :)
Providing all interested employees with keys to the office ;) , some room for misunderstandings about the training budget in the Operations Handbook (already gave feedback on that which was received quickly, thanks!), in rare cases: booking rooms for workshops or similar (just because there isn't much room), hardware could be improved (the current external monitors are not well suited for designers), some work was bottle-necked because we were missing people in the tech team
We always manage to go the extra mile to meet internal and external deadlines and requirements. Sometimes it's mentally and physically exhausting, but I still believe it is always worthwhile to leave our comfort zones.
Delayed deliveries, less participation in Diabetes and depression DiGA. Company's failure is my failure TBH
Last year, we had a 3 month period where several projects had to be finalized and it was pretty time-intensive for many employees involved. As a high-growth startup, these periods are sometimes unavoidable. Hence, it was a great move from the management team to gift every employee 3 additional days of paid leave as 5 holidays in 2022 fall on a weekend.
stressful periods when we should not forget our own well-being
Home office sucks, I'd love to be able to see my colleagues more often and chat in real life
I wouldn't call it 'what didn't go well'. So far there has been a lot of preparations, planning etc. – a perceived collective sense of enthusiastic mood and pioneering spirit. I am curious to see how we function as a team when things get 'serious' and we work more under routine conditions.
Our mobile app remained buggy, to the point that our app store ratings are very poor. We didn't manage to capitalise on this platform in 2021 to make it highly valued by users.
there could have been more commitment in management towards regulatory requirements (ISO norms etc).; and there should have been even more reference to our companies' mission in daily work + meetings
Sometimes our ambitions are so high, that we forget to check in with ourselves and make sure that we don't work too much.
There were sometimes where I didn't feel very prepared for the tasks I was assigned and was a bit overwhelmed in the process because I was missing a lot of background information. In a way where I didn't know what questions to ask, because I had so little introduction to the topic. (It got better, in the end it feels even nicer finding things out on my own, but still this could probably save a lot of time.)
DVG and fundraising was a bumpy ride, which made it difficult to plan
Only thing I can think of is an external factor - corona! WFH can impact me negatively mentally, so having to do that wasn't great. However, HelloBetter made lots of effort to allow small groups into the office and socialise safely through team events.
it required a lot of patience and opportunistic behaviour to bridge the gap to HelloBetter being DiGA-listed. This led to frustration and stress in me, my team and the company

What can be improved?

communication between teams
communication between the teams :)
more guidance and exchange, especially for new projects or studies
Avoiding meetings that are not always necessary, sometimes I wish for more detailed C-level information
the number of meetings should be reduced and their efficiency should be increased. (e.g. we should introduce a rule that meetings should last max. 30 min except there is a good reason not to do so)
A product roadmap or potential features should be decided or planned at least one year in advance.We should take one sprint out of the quarter to improve or refactor our codebase rather than always building features. Ample time should be set aside for exploring new technologies.According to me, we should provide adequate DevOps time in order to improve, scale, automate, and keep our software infrastructure up to date.
I think many things are already being improved and have initiatives in place and teams around them!I would love to become a more "North Star" driven company, with a greater emphasis on the importance of OKRs and using them as a tool to discuss strategy, focus areas, priorities etc.
Adding a UX Designer to the team (: // finalizing the re-structuring of how the dev team works // if we reach 100+ employees, perhaps finding a bigger office space for meetings and workshops (otherwise, even if only around 10% of people decide to come to the office, it can already become crowded quickly) // learning more about each other on a personal level (as a crowd, but also on an individual level, i.e. the articles some Tech-Team members wrote for LinkedIn, that was great stuff)
It would be great to see what other teams are working on on a more regular basis.
It's too early to judge
As the company is growing, we need to make sure that everyone is well connected within the company. Not only within their team but to other teams. This is often challenging due to the pandemic and the remote work. Creating some events for this could be helpful. Sometimes I had the feeling that some team leads were still pretty heavily involved in the operational day to day business. I can't judge but I think every rapidly growing company comes to a point where the team leads need to take one step back from operational work and focus more on managing /people management.
More team events. Also, we didn't get a Christmas present. Sorry, but we got one the year before so I expected something (:
Staying in touch in person during a global epidemic is not easy, but it is essential. Let's keep on finding creative and safe solutions to meet for work and after work.
More Team-bonding would be great, especially with so many new people.
more frequent and structured 1on1s, more consistency in strategy going forward
More consistency in strategy going forward and more team-bonding time would be nice
The culture of constructive conflict resolution. People should be more direct in their feedback.
Especially the whole delivery end to end process requires major improvement from planning, development, testing, test automation and CI/CD pipeline. What is it that our well-growing competitors are doing that we are missing.
The one thing that comes to my mind is that I would still love to have a place to work in Hamburg. I miss seeing my collegues in person and have some personal exchange and bonding. I sometimes feel kind of "lost" in front of my PC at home. I hope that this will change one day so that the feeling of being part of a time grows even more
I wish we've had more opportunities to celebrate the small and bigger wins. Also after a high-intensity "sprint", at times it would have been nice to know we have the opportunity to wind down. Maybe, it would be an option to introduce some sort of "Unwind-Team" Day. At these days, we could either do a cross-sectional team retro (reflecting about the last project), do a social event (celebrating minor and major milestones) or even take a few hours off.
focus more strongly on psychotherapists as a target group for B2B communications
Talk even more transparently about our emotional state and the toll that work stress might have on us at some moments. Actively cultivate or help employees cultivate measures to allow for refreshing rest. Adding some form of "active break" where we get moving or be mindful together even when we are in home-office.
Always room for more social events, but that is hard within these times. But perhaps some virtual events could be organised :)

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