Y-soft, a multinational company of Czech origin, deals with cloud software related to printing and 3D printers. It operates in 17 countries across four continents.
At the end of 2018, Y-soft founder Václav Muchna decided to take an unconventional step. Along with a close leadership team, he planned to reorganize the company's key research and development department.
In a department with more than 120 employees, he abolished all managerial positions overnight and transferred the responsibility of the bosses to individual IT workers.
The result? Although the company lost about two dozen extraordinarily talented employees, the department's productivity quadrupled over the next six months.
What is the problem?
So what is the problem? Is the fault with managers, or was it just a coincidence? Can this approach be applied to all companies?
At least the following insights emerge from Y-soft's experience:
Responsibility for final decisions can be transferred to individual department employees.
There is no need for someone above them to wield a carrot and stick.
Employees learn to work as one team, like a family, in which all people are equal.
Time and energy savings
In a manager-led company, a significant portion of bureaucratic procedures depends on the manager's position. They must sign off on vacation time, reports, bonuses, give permission to start projects, and so on.
If the manager is not present in the company, the process stops, and productivity drops sharply. Without a manager, the whole process continues.
Greater employee responsibility
If someone on the team made a mistake, they would go to the manager. It was enough to apologize to them, and if they were friends, they would return without a problem. This sometimes allowed slackers to linger in the company.
At Y-soft, a specific person is accountable for individual mistakes in front of the whole team. That is a much bigger lesson than apologizing to just one person.
More open communication
Y-soft used to communicate only through video conferences. Today, they use posts on shared boards for corporate communication.
The founder of Y-soft adds: "What we wanted to solve in a hotel for two days - and what we wouldn't have finished anyway - was done in six hours. In the online environment, it suddenly turned out that such a large group of people, especially IT workers who are introverts and don't like to express their opinions, can express themselves much better when they write an opinion in a post on a shared board."