2020 is already in its second week, so it’s time to wrap up 2019.
Often when companies talk about the success of the previous year (or the lack of it) they talk about numbers. More precisely, financial numbers. We used to do the same. However, our transformation towards a more people-centric company has gone so far that we believe it’s a bit out of fashion for us to focus solely on financials. It’s enough to say that in 2019 we grew well and managed to maintain high profitability.
Here’s an image containing some of the most important or interesting figures from last year.
Some numerical highlights of 2019
Let’s begin with a bang; during 2019 we compensated more than 900 000 kg of CO2! Though we’re happy that our remote office in Spain was used almost throughout the year, we feel a bit bad about all the flying. Encouraging people to use air travel is in contradiction with our values of sustainability. Therefore, we compensated all the flights to and from Spain, and are discussing the possibility to have an alternative remote office somewhere more accessible. Continuing with the environment theme, last year our office turned meatless and there were new environmental initiatives almost weekly.
New people and growth
26 new people started at VALA during 2019. Now we are over 100 people! Hiring 26 new people was made possible by a great number of job applications, 676 in total.
Even though we have grown fast and are not “small” anymore, we insist on remaining agile and maintaining our small company vibe. Now that we have more muscles, it’s just easier to prove ourselves to new customers. Talking about customers, we managed to provide our services to 12 new ones last year.
VALA people still like VALA. Our employee satisfaction remained at the same level throughout the year, 4,4 / 5. Also, our weekly feeling meter levels were somewhat constant, holding an all-year average of 8,4 / 10. Lastly, the thing that gave us the widest smile in the last days of the year, was that we rose to the number one spot on Tuntopalvelu. Tuntopalvelu is a service where anyone can review their current or previous employer.
VALA is now more active as a community than ever before. It was somewhat difficult to count all the educational/recreational events of the year but we ended up with 38 events which should be close to correct. That’s quite a lot more than before. Largely the increase in these events was caused by the birth of four new VALA communities. Now we have a self-directed community for test automation, test management, devops, AI and business & culture.
From these, the business & culture community, called BizzCult, is one worth a mentioning. It’s a community where the members meet and talk about VALA’s business and culture and make company wide decisions. This has turned out to be a fantastic way to include those who are interested in company decision making and at the same time help us not to bother everyone with constant surveys.
Something bad too
There must have been something bad too you must think. We always try to be as honest as possible. So yes, there were some bad things too, naturally. For example, some customer projects ended and a few good VALA people left to pursue new challenges. We would have wanted to see some improvement in our employee satisfaction (now it remained more or less the same) and we still have some learning to do with all the new processes our growing headcount requires. Also, there was the incident of the V***n satulasuojat…
All in all, last year was good and we’re ready for this one!