Pre boarding course - Welcome at Springest

Welcome at Springest!!!

We are so happy to have you on board :) What follows now is a short guide on what you can expect from your life as a "Springeteer" and a list of the must-reads, tips & tricks and some quiz-questions for you: all the stuff you need to know before you start.

Welcome at Springest!!!

What is expected of you during pre-boarding

Go through the articles

You will see that there are several "books" in this chapter. One of those is specifically for Learning Advisors hires, the others are for all to read. Make sure you go through all the relevant "books"

Answer the questions

Sometimes, in between the chapters, you will find some quiz-questions and/or open questions. Please answer them :) 

Read the readinglist

In order to became a real Springeteer as soon as possible, we ask you to go through our reading list and read the books we recommend (preferably before your first day)

Your first day @ Springest

Working hours

At Springest, with a fulltime 40 hour contract you work 8 hours a day, plus one hour of lunchbreak in between. This means if you start the day at 9.00, you work until 18.00. Of course, you are welcome to start earlier. You will get key, so you can enter and leave the building whenever you like. But for your first day: ring the bell and walk to the third floor.

We always start the day with a stand-up at 09.30. Make sure you are at Springest before 09.30, so you are on time. Some circles (teams) start earlier than others, so make sure you talk to your leadlink in your first week about the times your are expected at the office. On your first day, 09.15 is perfect to get started together. 

Stand-up time

  • Short check-in: What is on your mind? Stand-up meetings at Springest
    • Call out distractions, get present for the meeting. One person speaks at a time, without discussion
  • Discuss your agenda:
    • DONE: What were the 2/3 most important actions you completed (for your projects yesterday). Keep it short.
    • TO DO: What are your most important to-do's for today?

 

Lunch

We have lunch together at 12.30, but of course you are free to go somewhere else for lunch. The lunch is healthy, as biological and locally produced as possible and FREE :) There is a fiscal addition on your paycheck for lunch, because that is obligatory by law. But there is no deduction of lunch money from your salary.

 

Dresscode

Start-up life! We won't tell you what to wear when. Dress however you feel awesome, pretty & comfy.

 

Onboarding-schedule

On your first day, one of the "onboarders" at Springest, will arrange a desk, hardware and other necessities for you and will sit with you to explain what you can expect and how what you need to do to be onboarded. First part of onboarding however, is your pre boarding, which starts here. 

 

Tools

Before you start, you will get an e-mail/text with login information for our tools (Slack, Gmail, Asana, other role related tools), which means you can already start with checking out what we are doing.  From the moment you can access Asana and Slack we want to ask you to no use e-mail between colleagues. For example, when giving us your data for salary administration and copies of ID, please make use of Asana and add a link to Google Drive if you share documents. Thats how we roll :) If you have any questions about this, please do ask!! 

 

Springest history, accomplishments & media

 

It all started in 2008...

The Springest story started in March 2008. Ruben Timmerman (speaker, online marketing expert and owner of his own business since 2004) was frantically looking for a good course. He could however not find a proper place to compare courses, filter on region, budget et cetera or find reviews of other people. Thus, Eduhub was born: a platform where people got connected with everything related to education and

personal growth. The company started out from his house in Utrecht, but Ruben also worked from Switzerland for a while, with 2 developers working remote.

In 2009 the company moved back to the Netherlands and found an office at the Singel in Amsterdam. Now there were four people in total, working together at the office. Growth came fast and the company expanded to around 10 people, when it moved to the current location at Rokin 75 in October 2010.

It turned out that 2010 was a year of more changes; the name Eduhub was replaced by "Springest", envisioning growth, springtime and development. Shortly after that, the company is elected "Start up of the Year" by The Next Web and Ruben received the LOEY starters award.

Two years later, an investment round ensured room for more growth, provided by de Rabobank and our Angel investors, amongst which were Marque Joosten (funda.nl), Patrick Kerssenmakers (fonq.nl) and Floris Rost van Tonningen (hyves.nl). The company expanded to Germany and the UK in 2012. 

2013 was the year of the Springest Lustrum, celebrated with a great SpringFest at the office. By this time, around 15 people were working full time at the company. Because of the growth and changes accompanying that, Holacracy was introduced. Coached by  Diederick Jansse from Realize!, everyone at the company got trained in this organisational system. The shift to Holacracy was time consuming and not always easy, but productivity increased rapidly.

Half a year later, in December 2014, Ruben closed a deal with Sanoma Ventures for another round of investment. After that, a big investment party at the office followed for our business relations, family and friends. More money, more growth and more challenges were on the agenda now. A lot of learning, chaotic growth and excitement followed the investment.  Unfortunately the investment did not lead to the envisioned growth, which led to a period of declining revenue and with that the team became smaller too. 

Still, Springest received an award from  NRC Beste Werkgever 2014-2015 in the category ‘Nieuwe Helden’, because of our organisational system without managers and the climate of learning for colleagues. The strategy of Springest, aiming to become " The amazon of Learning", was reshaped into becoming "The Learnest of all", everybody learns through Springest, that includes the Springeteers themselves. 

In 2015, more recognition came, when Springest was indexed in the  top 100 of “Unicorns”: the most scalable organisations in the world. We are listed next to companies such as Uber, AirBnB, Facebook, Google and Netflix. And again, we won the award for Beste Werkgever in 2015-2016!

2016 marked a year of growth and expansion: the team grew from 19 to 40 employees. Not only did our Go-team (corporate sales) grow, also the learning advisor-team saw exponential growth. Which also made our revenue increase with 50% in 2016.

The big leap to Germany was finally made. After years or running Springest.de from our HQ, a new office was established by Matt in Berlin, with our first German LA-hire in Berlin! The deal closed with Siemens DE, made us also establish a German company, so in October 2016, Springest GmbH was officially founded.

The year 2017 started off with more rewards. This time not first position, but Springest still ended up number 3 in the list of Best Employers New Hero's of NRC.

In March 2017 Springest became to big for the office at Rokin, so after more than 6 years in the epicentre of Amsterdam, Springest moved to the awesome Houthavens. A new more mature company, with a bigger team and way more space was born.  At the same time, the German team in Berlin expanded to 3 FTE.

June 2017 was a big moment in Springest history: a new investment round came through.

What is the things you look most forward to, when it comes to learning & working at Springest?

When it comes to efficiency, it's better to just work through your task list and not spend to much time making overviews & priorities

  • NOOO, always separate working from processing. So work pro-active: make overviews, make your own priorities, after that clean your inboxes and organise your work and only then start working. It costs some time, but it saves you a lot of time too, to become an efficient, productive GTD-master.
  • Of course, I wanna work as quick as I can and do not want to get distracted with goals, overviews and priorities.

An introduction to Springest

Springest The Movie

You probably know what Springest is. You have had your trial day and checked us online (we sure hope so). Perhaps you have already seen some of our PR-videos there, if not, check it out:

Meet the team!

The Springest Family

The Springest team is growing, so it's hard to remember all names and faces in the beginning. Be smart and check out our "about page" to see who is who.


The Dev / Product circle

Springest is essentially a tech company and these are the heroes that build and maintain our platform and the features. They code in Ruby on Rails and if you are not a techie yourself, you will get an intro during your onboarding time at Springest with all the ins and outs on what they do.

Provider Sales & Support

SHOW ME THE MONEYYYY!!! These are our dealmakers and the ones that make the providers on our platform happy, with their smiles, jokes and sales skills.

Organisations

Talking about the big bucks: meet team Go/Organisations. They are responsible for Springest Go: a learning portal build by Springest for big corporates in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and soon the whole world! Springest Go is a system through which employees of theses corporates like Siemens, PostNL, Bavaria, AEGON and ING can book their course and often Springest also processes the payments and invoicing for these deals.

Learning Advisors

The biggest growing team at Springest! These lovely people really make Springest the Learnest Company, because they talk to the users/visitors of our website every day and help them find the right course. 

Springest Germany

Meet Springest DE! Since October 2016 Springest is officially a GmbH in Germany, with an office in Berlin. The focus of these cool Germans is on Provider sales and user support.

Smooth Operations

Basically all Springeteers are part of the Smooth Operations circle. Be it feeding the fishes, being a lunchbuddy, picking up bread on their way to the office, repairing stuff in the office, being GTD-masters, fixing Internet and sooo much more. The Smooth Operators together have the purpose of making Springeteers the most productive, happy, communicative and energetic people on earth!

Finance

Masters of Coin, guarders of the Iron bank, Go invoice processors, strict but just. These spread sheet-lovers make sure we get more cash in than we spend and of course work hard to keep the accountants, the bank, our investors and (very important) your own bankaccount happy.

Getting Things Done & Effectivity

GTD at Springest - Why?

I am rather like a mosquito in a nudist camp; I know what I ought to do, but I don't know where to begin - David Allen

We work according to the method of David Allen: Getting things done. This guru has developed theories and instruments for working productive, efficient and stress free. 

GTD is a time management method and it's one of the few obligations we have at Springest. It's not always easy to start with, but once you master it, you will love it! 

GTD Kick Ass, because it:

  • creates OVERVIEW
  • lets you take CONTROL of YOUR WORK
  • LOWERS the levels of STRESS
  • makes us all MORE PRODUCTIVE
  • turns IDEAS into ACTIONS

 

 

GTD will make you go from:

To:

 

 

 

Which 5 steps are crucial in GTD?

  • Capture > Collect what has your attention
  • Cherry Picking > Take the most important stuff from your list first
  • Clarify > Process what it means in terms of next actions
  • Work from your inbox > to avoid doing extra work moving stuff around
  • Organize > Put it where it belongs in the right lists / projects / tools
  • Start right away > Do not think about what needs to done, just go ahead, avoid wasting time and work when things come in
  • Reflect > Review your lists frequently
  • Engage > Simply do, by using your lists, systems & tools

Get started with Gettings Things Done - Some videos

To get a proper introduction into the world GTD, watch this video:

 

To hear the "GTD-master" (David Allen) speak, watch this video: 

We ask you to read the full book "Getting Things Done", but with the following video you can repeat the key-learnings to maximize your knowledge ;) :

 

 

 

Keyboard shortcuts

We love Keyboard Shortcuts

At Springest, we like to do everything the most easy and most efficient way. That is why we use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. We even have a role for productivity and frequently organize trainings for using keyboard shortcuts. 


Here we'll give a few handy tips and tricks before you start. For the rest of the tools we use, there are more shortcuts as well. We will elaborate on that further. For now, try and use these shortcuts on your Macbook (and surprise all your friends and family;)). If you have no Macbook yet, no worries, we will pick this up when you start working at Springest. 

Chrome

  • cmd + tab for switching between apps.
  • cmd + L to select the url.
  • cmd + ` to change windows (always have two next to each other).
  • cmd + 1-8 and cmd + 9 (last tab) to switch tabs.

Text awesomeness in OSX / Terminal / Asana

  • ctrl + a to go to beginning of line.
  • ctrl + e to go to end.
  • cmd + arrow left/right to jump to the beginning/end of a line.
  • ctrl + k to delete line from cursor.
  • alt + arrow left/right, to go to next word when editing.
  • alt + backspace to quickly delete the whole word instead of character by character.
  • cmd + shift + left/right arrow to select the whole line (to quickly copy paste a whole line for example).
  • command + shift + v (add shift to the normal paste command) to get rid of formatting text.


Pre-boarding for Learning Advisors (no need to read when not hired as an Learning Agent)

Sales, Sales, Sales - Introduction

Learning advice = Sales

Our Customer sales team is not the same as at other companies. We are focussing on advising people and are objective advisors. We don't work with hard sales targets or don't offer personal bonuses. However, Learning Advisor is off course a commercial job/role and we all want to help Springest earning money by advising as good as possible. 

To be capable to help the customer as good as possible, some sales theories can help with reaching your goals. Maybe you have experience with selling from your study or former job, but it's always good to back this knowledge up with some of the most used influencing theories. 

In this section we will prepare you an what to expect and how you can see results quickly!




AND Remember: Always Be Closing!

Why is Customer Sales at Springest different from other companies?

  • No bonuses
  • No personal targets
  • Advising role
  • Objective role

Influence

Influence

One of the most prominent writers in Sales theories, is Robert Cialdini. With his book "Influence" he had a lot of influence ;) in the way people sell these days. 

According to Robert Cialdini, there are six simple techniques in your sales calls that can immediately increase your changes on getting the booking:

1. Reciprocation

This factor can be described as "give and you'll receive". In sales and marketing this can be used like this: Give free information, help a user finding some answers, give some extra (external) information or just be freaking nice. The user is triggered to give you something back later, maybe in the form of a booking, some goodwill or a reference to a colleague or friend. 

2. Social Proof

It's in human nature to just do what everyone else is doing, especially when they are insecure. It feels more safe to just follow the crowd and this feels like taking less risks. 

How can we use this while calling? There are plenty of ways! When advising a user on a Scrum course, just say (only if this is true) "Last week I booked the same course for another user, with a similar learning goal". Besides, experiences on Springest are gold. When you want to enroll a user for a course and this course has got 50 shared experiences with a 9.3 as average grade, you can just point this out to the user. It has to be good! 

3. Commitment and Consistency

If you say you will do something, it feels badly to just not do it in the end. This goes for users too.



Holacracy

Holacracy at Springest

Holacracy at Springest

Springest has implemented Holacracy, so we would be able to grow without having to deal with bureaucracy and other productivity-killers. Because Holacracy is transparent and dynamic, we can now constantly evolve and change our company structures. 

Most important is the purpose of the whole organisation, the purpose of the roles and the goals of the accountability each role has. Instead of a static organisation, we aim to have a constantly evolving, self improving organization. To get to that point, so-called "tensions" (not necessarily negative, merely the gap between the current state and a better or ideal state) cannot be ignored but must be used as fuel to move forward. Whenever you have a tension with something, as a Springeteer you are obliged to process this, for example in a tactical meeting (add it to the agenda) or by giving someone a task in Asana.

Holacracy - A quick guide

Holacracy at Springest

To make a growing organisation scalable and manageable,  Springest has implemented Holacracy. Within this system, responsibilities and power are distributed in a new way, in which traditional concepts of leadership and management are abandoned. 

Why Holacracy?

Check out this quick video

Springest has implemented Holacracy, so we would be able to grow without having to deal with bureaucracy and other productivity-killers. Because Holacracy is transparent and dynamic, we can now constantly evolve and change our company structures. 

Most important is the purpose of the whole organisation, the purpose of the roles and the goals of the accountability each role has. Instead of a static organisation, we aim to have a constantly evolving, self improving organization. To get to that point, so-called "tensions" (not necessarily negative, merely the gap between the current state and a better or ideal state) cannot be ignored but must be used as fuel to move forward. Whenever you have a tension with something, as a Springeteer you are obliged to process this, for example in a tactical meeting (add it to the agenda) or by giving someone a task in Asana.

Roles instead of jobs

Instead of traditional "job description", each Springeteer has several roles. That means you are not a "sales manager", but you have a role "Key accounts", and a role "Provider sales", a role "Phone outreacher" etc etc. Every separate (bundle of) task(s) is made into a role, which has specific accountabilities. We even have a role "Green Officer", that is accountable for watering the plants and a role "Bread" that goes to the bakery every morning. 

Roles are created during  Governance Meetings, so with the entire team. Every role knows it’s own accountabilities, (example roles in Asana). From these accountabilities stem projects and tasks, which will come back in the next part on Asana. Everything is clearly formulated, with the aim to make it very transparent to which role you should go, when you have a question or a project-request. Roles communicate directly and there is no old-skool manager to intervene in this. 

In Holacracy, circles and roles evolve constantly.  Here you find an overview of the core circles in Alignment. Within alignment, every sub circle is a role in itself. These roles are the lead links of their own circles, which in turn consists of roles. Check out this overview of the roles at Springest!   

Tactical meetings

Holacracy aims at having efficient and to-the-point weekly meetings, called Tactical Meetings. Specific Holacracy rules are followed when project updates and agenda items are discussed, which are best experienced in practice. 

The idea behind the tactical meeting is that so-called ‘tensions’ are discussed as agenda points, after a quick project update per person. Within this system, every employee is an agent that detects tensions and brings these to the fore during meetings, with the aim of improving Springest and the general productivity and quality. Whenever there are tensions to be discussed between different circles, an appointed Rep-Link will bring this to attention during Alignment meetings. 

Each agenda item should either be there for clarification/posing questions or immediately be made into a next action; a task assigned to one of the roles. Making next actions is very important in Holacracy, since someone is made accountable for an action and the distribution of responsibility is made visible.

The concept and terminology might still sound a bit vague, but as soon as you participate in the meetings, things will start to make a lot of sense. Of course, questions remain and we are (since the introduction of Holacracy in 2013) still learning every day. That is why we have the role  Brian Robertson Rep, which can help you with guidance in the process and answer complex questions. Do not hesitate to ask the Brians (there are many) for help; they are here for that purpose!

A Quick Introduction

Visualize before reading!

Visualize before reading!

Especially during the onboarding project, the whole Holacracy concept with its jargon can be tough to understand. However, experience has shown that it will be a lot easier if you see the following video's beforehand. We know it takes some time but you'll thank us later;)


Reading list Holacracy

Untitled content

Untitled content

Practicalities

Free days, public holidays and absenteeism

Which days are the bank holidays?Check out the calendar for our public holidays. Add this calendar “Springest Holidays, Birthdays, Free & Work @ Home” to your agenda (if necessary, ask Debbie for access).

There are some legally official free days, but because we are not part of CAO it's always tricky to know which day you are off and which you are not.

Just remember: 5th of May & Good Friday are no free days for us, neither is Sinterklaas, Christmas eve (well, the eve is, but not the afternoon before), Thanksgiving, Animal Day etc etc. The ones that are free, are:

  • New years day
  • Second easter day
  • Kingsday (long life the Republic :P)
  • Ascension day
  • Pentecote Monday
  • First & second Christmas day

How do I request a day off / holiday?We work with NMBRS. Here you can ask for free days under the heading ‘Verlof aanvragen’. Before you do the application: ask your leadlink(s) if those days you want to go are ok for the circle(s) you are in. After that, the request is send to the holiday-role that will approve your request and you will be notified by e-mail. After you have requested your day(s) off, please put it in the calendar “Springest Holidays, Birthdays, Free & Work @ Home”, so the rest of us knows that you will not be here that day.

To log into NMBRS, check your personal e-mail and search for Springest. Your account should be activated. If you can't find it, ask Debbie to check if your account is enabled. 

What to do when I'm sick?Please inform everyone through the updates-channel in slack, with an expectation about the amount of days  if you will or you will not check slack/mail/phone etc. In other words: inform us if you are 50% or 100% processes the absent days in NMBRS, so please also update when you're back on track or you go from 100 to 50%. Please add a hashtag before a sickness-update, so we can scan it easier: #sick

We use the numbers of absenteeism for our own stats, but I also have the obligation from the government and our insurance, to report absenteeism within 48 hours. So it's important that I do not miss any updates.

So say: Flu, not working today #sickOr: worked this morning, now headache, calling in #sick 50%

Also tell us when you are better again. You can also use the same # for it. For example: back at work no longer #sick :)

Where can I find my paycheck and year overview?Log into NMBRS. You can find it there. No access? Ask Debbie. The paychecks will appear in NMBRS around the 24th each month.

To log into NMBRS, check your personal e-mail and search for Springest. Your account should be activated and you can find the link in the e-mail. If you can't find it, ask Debbie to check if your account is enabled. 

Why do I have to fill in the calendar “Springest Holidays, Birthdays, Free & Work @ Home”?It’s important to add to the calendar the days that you will not be at HQ, be it because you work at home or you have a holiday (do add these details), so that we can all see who is not here a specific day. Also, Debbie uses this list to order supplies for lunch.

I have made expenses for Springest, how will I get the money back?Scan your receipt, mail it to [email protected], mention that you have paid for it. It will be added to your next paycheck. 

I have ordered something with the Springest pinpas/creditcard, what do I do with the invoice?Please ALWAYS send it to [email protected] We need this for  bookkeeping. No paper invoices accepted, scan your invoice (with QuickScan for example) and send them to our finance inbox.

Which calendar's shall I add to my Google account?You can see into all the calendar's of your colleagues, but we also have 2 that you need to add to the list:

- Springest Holidays, Birthdays, Free & Work @ Home > here you tell us when you will not be in the office and you can see what you're colleagues are up to. Also, it states when there is a free day or a birthday! -  Aquarium new meeting room > here you can book the Aquarium for your meeting or talk. 

if you want to view this "resource's" availability without scheduling a meeting, you have to add it as a Calendar via Other calendars > Browse Interesting Calendars:

Last updated on March 6, 2017