Team of software developers full stack developers and software testers in a meeting in the library

Putting people first

As an SDM, Gabriel Csergo, knows what it's like to manage teams and find the win-win in various situations. Below, he shares with us how he feels the Centric culture and values relate to his work as a manager.

I think of Centric as a people-oriented company where we treat our employees as partners. I have seen presentations where they say if you treat your employees as volunteers – treat them well, make them feel appreciated, and make them feel like they are part of something great – they will stay with you and help you reach your mission and goals. If you treat employees with the dignity and respect they deserve, they will be motivated to achieve more – go the extra mile – do the impossible. This is something I have felt at Centric since I first started many years ago.

We had a situation where one of our colleagues told us that she wanted to move to Cluj to be with her boyfriend who was working there. She wanted to let us know up front so we could start looking for someone to take her place. At that time, we didn’t have work from home or remote work policies like we do now, but we offered her a hypothetical situation – if it were possible, would you be interested? She told us that she had been thinking of something like this but was too nervous to ask. She said that she would like to work from Cluj and that she really liked the team and thought she could continue to bring value. I told her that I would look into it and she agreed. Afterward, I talked to the team and we came to the decision that we have nothing to lose. They didn’t immediately dismiss the idea; they were willing to give it a try. I then went to her and told we could try it out and see how it goes. She was so happy that she could move and not have to worry about finding a job. And we did not have to go through the stress of finding someone to replace her. It was a win-win for everyone.

software tester scrum master sitting in the library reading a book

I can remember another example of this when we were looking to hire someone for a senior position. They said that our offer was tempting, but they also had other passions that they wanted to pursue. They requested to work four days a week with a salary to match that schedule. This was another time when we did not have this type of policy, but I told them I would see what I could do. I went to the management team and they agreed. We saw it as an opportunity to offer different schedules and to be flexible to people’s needs. I went back to the person and told them that we could do it, and that we had a new policy thanks to them. Now everyone could choose to work four days a week or six hours a day. They were a bit surprised, but also impressed, that we made a company change based on a request of someone who didn’t even work here. Another win-win.

I can think of one more time when something like this has happened. We had a colleague with a personal issue. They had a sick parent in another city. They asked if they could work for a few months remotely so that they could be with their parent. With no trouble at all, the company agreed, and we offered to help this person as much as we could. Again, a win-win for everyone.

These are bigger examples, but I think we show that we care in a lot of smaller ways too: offering people extra monitors, buying high-quality coffee, giving people extra memory if they need it, travel allowances, breakfast at hotels when they travel, not checking the mileage or the amount of gas used when travelling with rental cars, budgets for our team building and education events, etc.

Full stack developer NET developer listening to a presentation at a conference

This is not to say we don’t make mistakes. We do. And we have had people leave the company because of some of our mistakes. But what I can say about Centric is that we accept our mistakes, try to fix them, and learn from them. This happens at a local level in Iasi, but also on an international level, going all the way to the Centric Board in the Netherlands.

We believe in the approach that you need to try new things and make mistakes in order to succeed. And we are open to learning from our mistakes and grow from them. This applies to our benefits, our culture, and our products. If you want innovation, creativity, and the best for your employees you need to make mistakes and take risks. With this attitude, we have been able to do some amazing things and I believe we will continue to do them in the future.