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Do you remember the first time you took note of a flock of birds slipstreaming? And someone explained the way they fly aerodynamically and take turns to head up the V-shape and be carried along by the strength of their fellows? Nature is smart. We can learn a lot from it.

No one wants to end up in a job they dislike, but many do. No one wants to be an island either, as a little internal survey we did revealed. At WooThemes, we are determined to make sure everyone in our team is flourishing, growing and enjoying what they give themselves to each day. We recently asked what it was folks enjoyed most about working for Woo.

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The Motivation Trifecta, plus one?

Drive proposes three elements that motivate and allow us to do our best work – autonomy, mastery and purpose. The most popular answers that came in from the Woo team fell neatly in step with these, with one key addition:

At WooThemes I get to work with people who live and breathe what I do – so instead of being the guy in the back office who can do machines, I get to be the guy on the team who gets to try out his ideas and learn new things every. single. day. –Danny Santoro

The all important context is ‘team’

We all derive a level of satisfaction from having a sense of freedom, being productive and doing work that matters and it is not rocket science to equate autonomy, mastery, and purpose to overall workplace happiness. But we believe there is something more that leads to a happy working environment and at Woo, the Motivation Trifecta plays out in the all important context of our highly-functioning and carefully chosen team.

Getting to work with a team of like-minded, thoughtful individuals, all working together to achieve the same two goals. –Bryce Adams

I love working at WooThemes because I get to do what I love and I get to do it with awesome people who are all incredibly talented. –Hugh Lashbrooke

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40 individuals, 14 countries, 1 team

WooThemes started with three people passionate about WordPress working in different corners of the world. Mark and Magnus met in the flesh for the first time over a year after starting a company together, and the level of trust, flexibility and ability to do great work oceans apart is part of our DNA.

The flexibility allowed while working on a distributed team that is spread out over 14 countries, with some of the most talented people in WordPress, on a team that enables me to make decisions that I believe will help better the company. –Maria Scarpello

Some practical tips

Communication and familiarity
Our company would fall apart if we didn’t put a strong emphasis on the importance of communication. We can’t tap someone on the shoulder, wander over to their desk, or shout from across the office when we’re stuck.

To that end, we have the current setup:

  • An internal P2 (we use our own Houston theme). Here we share important news, ask questions, celebrate birthdays and pass on feedback.
  • HipChat –  Anybody can ask anyone else a question, and we have dedicated rooms for each team.
  • iDoneThis – At the end of each day we log what we’ve been up to.
  • Each team has a weekly meeting to catch up and set goals for the next week (Skype and G+ Hangouts are our friends)
  • We’ve recently started a Town Hall meeting with the entire team – this generally happens every 3 months.

When a new team member joins, we organise a company-wide hangout to get to know our new team member a little better.

We also use Know Your Company to ask them to what they’re working at the beginning of each week. We also find out a little more with some of the questions we ask. Last week we found out a few team members had the McGyver Mullet growing up.

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