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GAMOMAT: implementing a Good Work philosophy

By - 4 May 2023

Earlier this year, GAMOMAT was recognised at the “Germany’s Best Employers 2023” competition. Out of more than 900 participating companies of all sizes and sectors, the independent software developer for slot games made it into the top 100 and achieved 13th place.

The evaluation process involved GAMOMAT’s employees being surveyed anonymously, assessing factors such as leadership, trust, recognition, support, care, cooperation, team spirit, and identification with the company, whilst the management team provided information about their personnel, procedures and measures.

Dr. Alexandra Krone, Managing Director GAMOMAT Development GmbH, explains why consistently making formulated values tangible in all stages of the employee life cycle – from employer branding through to recruiting and personnel development – has been crucial in implementing a ‘Good Work’ philosophy.

Could you begin by describing GAMOMAT’s company culture?

Our company’s culture is built on a strong value orientation that is complemented by a hybrid, flexible work environment, similar to that of an “Ethical Entrepreneur 4.0”. The entire employee life cycle, starting with recruitment, is consistently implemented following our five core values: Dream Partner, Empowering Potential, Fire and Flames, Quality Advocate and Cognisant Idea Generators.

The value of “Dream Partner” formulates our expectations for mature communication behaviour. We receive a lot of feedback on this: the team environment is described as exceptionally free of egoism, sensitivities, and micro-politics. The key to this is managing people using a consistent set of values that are conductive to a positive workplace environment.

How has the underlying ethos of GAMOMAT changed since you joined the company?

We have translated the importance of culture and values for the success of the company into action much more consciously and consistently than ever before. In our opinion, corporate culture plays an exceptionally central role at GAMOMAT, both at the strategic level and in daily business operations, compared to many other companies. We are convinced that the prominent quote “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is true.

We do not consider it special that we have formulated values at all, but rather the extent to which values and concrete actions convey a consistent image and thereby create credibility. We achieve this by consistently making the values tangible in all stages of the employee life cycle – from employer branding to recruiting and personnel development.

How have recruitment processes fed into this ethos shift?

As part of our hiring processes, cultural fit carries huge importance because we are convinced that professional competence can be “learned”. Personality and value attitudes, on the other hand, prove to be consistent time and again. Consequently, we repeatedly turn down candidates who are well-suited for the job but who, in our view, do not have a sufficiently large overlap with our value base.

When recruiting employees and managers, we work exclusively with structured, standardised interviews that are closely aligned with the company’s cultural requirements profile. This ensures that questions are only asked if they are critical for success in the respective role. In addition, each candidate always receives the same set of questions. Without exception, all interviews are conducted in a four-eyes principle.

It has been empirically proven that structured interviews have a higher prognostic validity than formless interviews, because they significantly reduce the effect of prejudices, stereotypes and biases in social perception. We have also ensured our managers are very aware of this fact.

By choosing the methodology described above, we very consciously ensure that our personnel decisions are made independently of characteristics that are irrelevant to the requirements, such as ethnic origin or nationality, age or gender, sexual orientation, social background or religious affiliation. This strategy has resulted in a very diverse team with a common set of values.

How does ‘Best Employer’ rank as an award category? Does it mean as much to GAMOMAT as winning an award for best product?

That depends on whom you ask. Just kidding! Our products only exist because a great team develops them – our people are our most important resource. Being an attractive employer is therefore not a “nice to have”, but one of the most critical strategic factors for success, especially in times where there exists a shortage of skilled workers.

The Great Place to Work Institute is recognised as a global authority on workplace culture. It is a great honour for us to be officially one of the 100 best employers in Germany across all sectors and size categories by this organisation. This is invaluable for our employer brand, especially when recruiting for highly skilled tech professionals.

What advice would you give businesses looking to implement a culture of teamwork that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination? How does one begin to change a workplace culture?

I would recommend that every company management team first asks itself with ruthless honesty what are the goals actually behind such a change. The question is: should the company appear more diverse to the outside world, or should it really be more diverse with all its consequences? Only if – starting with the leadership as a role model – there is an intrinsic interest in the values themselves, does it make sense to initiate a process of organisational development.

The credibility of values can be seen in whether a company is willing to make even unpleasant decisions in favour of corporate culture. In the case of diversity for example, this would mean quickly removing discriminating managers and employees even if they are valuable for the company from a professional standpoint.

What steps can be taken to ensure diversity is perceived as a competitive advantage and a core value instead of an issue or problem to ‘fix’?

At GAMOMAT, we have explicitly integrated the resource-oriented view of diversity into our set of values. It is important that everyone in the company can refer to such a clear statement in daily business. This creates psychological safety.

Furthermore, I am convinced that we also need to show many more examples of diversity, because that becomes much more sustainably anchored in people’s minds than just words. If I were to ask you to imagine a leader today, would you imagine a man or a woman? We need to show people and their success stories who don’t fit the stereotype – as role models who encourage you to follow the same path.

What else does GAMOMAT make outstanding? Why is it your Great Place to Work?

Very good question. I could name many reasons but on this occasion I will focus on two. First, GAMOMAT’s hybrid work set-up, as the flexible choice of workplace that offers the potential to shape working conditions in line with personal life circumstances. This means our office serves as a “cultural refuelling station” that provides a sense of belonging and identity and the perfect place for onsite meetings.

In addition, all GAMOMATies benefit from an excellent Learning & Development format: the GAMOcademy. Here, every employee has the opportunity to choose learning nuggets and deep dive modules that suit individual needs.

Has enough been done to get women into senior leadership positions in the gaming industry? Is a lot being said but little being done?

It’s not really surprising to say that in the iGaming industry – as in other industries – there are too few women in leadership positions. The challenge, therefore, is to break down structural barriers in society that make it difficult for women to advance their careers. These include stereotypical ideas about how men and women should be, the unequal distribution of care work and gainful employment, and the gender pay gap.

Furthermore, we need to inspire young, talented women to pursue leadership positions in the industry. We need to show that there are real opportunities for career growth and development. It must be said that there is still a lot to be done.

What more should the gaming industry be doing to expand the number of voices – not just of women but people from all backgrounds and walks of life – at the top table?

Unfortunately, there is still a lot that needs to happen in society to gradually dismantle structural disadvantages until people have the same opportunities and structural discrimination ends. To achieve this, promoting diversity in companies can help by making diversity management a top priority.

In my view, today’s decision-makers in companies must actively and very visibly work within their sphere of influence to remove the aforementioned structural barriers. I am confident that the increasing labour shortage will accelerate this. The top goal should be that everyone feels heard and included.

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