LanCul Culture guide
Language and culture are the bridges that bring people together, allowing us to expand our understanding of what it means to be human in a whole new way. LanCul is a community brimming with diversity and richness, ready to provide the world with this unique opportunity for deep, authentic connections between individuals through language and culture.
With diversity as our goal, we dream of contributing to a world in which people of diverse backgrounds and values are able to come together with a common sense of respect for each other’s differences.
This document was written to convey the work culture that we wish to create at LanCul in our effort to deliver the experience of “Language” and “Culture” not just to our customers but to everyone, including our own employees.
We continuously strive to be the best we can possibly be by evaluating our employees based on their demonstrated sense of honesty, excellence, respect, and cooperation.
What makes LanCul stand out from other great companies is how:
- We encourage independent decision-making.
- We share all information thoughtfully and transparently.
- We treat each other with equity over equality.
- We are strongly committed to our culture and therefore we only hire people who are genuinely passionate about and understand our values.
- We are always sharing and seeking out ways to improve our culture.
At our core, we are united in our belief that we are independent and can therefore manage ourselves using our own sense of responsibility. By eliminating the traditional system of corporate hierarchy and by aiming for a flat organizational structure based on self-management, we hope to create the “All-Star Team” in which excellent Mates are able to maximize their performance and success. By allowing each of our Mates to grow and thrive in a relaxed and free working environment, we will create a more flexible, fun, exciting, creative, and successful organization.
Rather than managing our Mates, we would rather inspire them each to be their own leaders. We trust that our team will do what is best for LanCul. In this way, we entrust each person with all the information they need to exercise the freedom that is necessary to be completely autonomous in their decision-making. By encouraging freedom, we believe that we can foster a strong sense of responsibility and self-management skills in our Mates who in turn will produce the best work in order to benefit the company.
Here at LanCul, our values stand for more than just appearance’s sake. We continuously remind ourselves of our core values, using them as the drive and foundation for our actions and as a reference point in our daily decision-making processes. By putting these principles into practice every day, we make our values come to life.
At LanCul, we believe that being honest and genuine with each other builds trust within our community, allowing us to forgo the need for hierarchy and management. Honesty is essential to maintaining our flexibility and smooth communication. Furthermore, at LanCul we emphasize the difference between looking through the window and looking into the mirror, and knowing when to do which. In the face of failure, rather than finding external factors or people to blame, we should instead “look in the mirror” by reflecting on ourselves and asking what we could have done differently. In times of success, instead of attributing the success only to ourselves, we should instead try to “look through the window” by crediting and thanking others. If we all adopt this mindset, we can appreciate a more relaxed and genuine style of communication that is free of blame and which benefits everyone. We believe in the inherent goodness of every individual and honesty communicates this truth louder than anything else.
- We share our work progress, schedules, and results in a transparent manner so as not to obscure any details.
- We communicate directly and respectfully to our teammates, saying things to their face rather than behind their backs.
- We admit our mistakes freely and transparently.
- We are not afraid to voice our concerns when we notice behavior that is inconsistent with LanCul’s values.
- We steer away from overconfidence by being honest with ourselves and staying down to earth and humble in our interactions.
Our free and independent working style is contingent on our ability to be responsible. Our ability to exercise awareness and responsibility is directly tied to our freedom to work remotely at any time, take holidays whenever we need to, and assess our own salaries. By providing this type of freedom and trust to newcomers from the get-go, we believe that we can develop our Mates into even more responsible teammates.
- We are capable of finding our own solutions to problems without needing to be micromanaged.
- We make sure to finish what we started and to clean up our tracks when we make mistakes so others don’t have to.
- We learn from our mistakes and failures and use them as an opportunity for growth.
- We aim to share as much of our work as possible in order to manage tasks more efficiently and for us to take days off freely.
- We do not have a dress code!
3. Pursuit of excellence
For us to deliver the best service to our members, we need to first believe in what we do. We pursue excellence by constantly reminding ourselves of what it means to be LanCul and by that token, never compromising what we stand for. We strive to keep LanCul’s values close to heart and understand the priorities of the company over personal preferences.
- We place equal value on results as well as process.
- We should never settle for less than what we are capable of achieving—we try to put our all into everything we do.
- We prioritize quality over convenience and seek out optimal actions and decisions rather than taking the easiest path.
- We need to be able to sail the ship through stormy seas, making difficult decisions even in the face of uncertainty.
- We speak up about what is best for LanCul, even when it feels awkward or difficult to do so.
Open-mindedness is at the heart of LanCul. It is the reason why mates and members alike join us and it is therefore our mission to promote openness and respect at the individual level in order for it to be felt at a company and customer-service level. Seeing as we work with a multicultural team of Mates, we are committed to respecting and adapting to the different cultures we come from. By keeping an open mind, we can persevere through any situation or conflict using our diverse backgrounds to our advantage in coming up with solutions together.
- We welcome different opinions and our main goal is to discuss these constructively during meetings.
- We are open to receiving feedback from our teammates and use it to strengthen our ideas even further and improve our decision-making.
- We try to communicate using simple and direct language with the understanding that we work in a bilingual company with speakers of different language levels.
- We recognize our own prejudices and resolve to actively fight against them.
- We aim to treat ideas equally and objectively according to LanCul’s values rather than how well they fit in with our own personal biases.
- We meet in person as often as we can in order to prioritize face-to-face communication, promoting understanding and open-mindedness.
We can appreciate the immense value of simplicity when stopping to consider the increasingly complex world we live in. Keeping things simple helps us avoid unnecessary stress. Complex ideas may make you feel smart and give the impression of that you are to others. However, such ideas often bear the risk of shadowing the problem altogether, making us lose sight of what is really important. This is why at LanCul, we try to get to the core of the problems we are faced with by taking a direct approach.
- We are straightforward in our interactions, making sure to communicate using simple and clear words and expressions.
- We analyze problems deeply rather than superficially.
- We seek out simple solutions to complex problems.
- We re-conceptualize and reframe questions in order to work through difficult problems.
- We make the most of our limited time and resources by spending them wisely and efficiently.
- We automate our operations where necessary in order for us to focus our energy on projects that require creativity and lateral thinking.
At LanCul, we truly value the connection between people and we see humor as the grease that makes all the wheels turn smoothly in our day-to-day operations. This sense of human connection is fundamentally what makes our work feel meaningful. We’d rather have a team made up of friendly and easygoing individuals than those who have no interest in building positive relationships, no matter how talented they may be. Humor at the office keeps us all upbeat and down to earth and reminds us of the LanCul we want to create at the service-level as well.
- We understand both the quality of the work we do as well as the importance of nurturing relationships within the team.
- We try to lighten the mood during heated discussions.
- We make the effort to be friendly even when we are busy.
- We show our true character in all of our interactions and understand that the more we can be ourselves with each other, the better the team’s cohesion becomes.
- We come to work with a smile, demonstrating a positive and approachable attitude that can inspire others to do the same.
The “All-Star Team” is one made up of highly effective and efficient team players who share common values and goals for LanCul’s future. The benefits of working in an All-Star Team are immeasurable.
We are not one of those companies whose employees leave work everyday feeling demotivated, helpless, and unable to have contributed to the company’s growth in any meaningful way. At LanCul, we aspire to create an environment wherein each of our mates feel they are flourishing and happy to be coming to work everyday, excited by the endless opportunities for collaboration, creativity, and community. As an All-Star Team, we can spend our time productively, improve on ourselves, and most of all have a good time while we’re at it.
Creating the All-Star Team is no easy task. Undoubtedly, the key to creating and maintaining our desired culture is achieved by hiring well, and by that we mean hiring only those who are truly ‘LanCul’ to begin with. We must then make sure to nurture cooperativeness and support the open sharing of information. By doing so, we can hopefully create team dynamics that work well, thus avoiding internal politics.
However, more than simply creating and maintaining the All-Star Team, we want our company’s culture to keep evolving. We aim to create such a desirable working environment that if an employee was to take a break from LanCul they would think to themselves, “Of course I’d love to reapply to LanCul again.”
Here are the values that we believe are essential to realizing and maintaining the All-Star Team.
In order to achieve the All-Star Team, we try our best to operate as fairly and independently as possible as an organization. As opposed to hierarchy, we value camaraderie between coworkers with the acknowledgment that newer Mates are in no way inferior to older Mates but simply have more to learn.
Many companies are entrenched in their practice of traditional management, where managers supervise employees’ work directly. At such companies, decisions of any importance are usually left to the manager, and any other decisions and tasks that are left to employees are highly micromanaged. At LanCul, we do not adhere to this top-down management model. Seeing as we recognize our Mates as capable and responsible adults, we trust them to work independently and to make their own decisions without needing to be micromanaged or monitored. More experienced Mates will certainly support new Mates in learning about the culture at LanCul and showing them the ropes, however, we encourage newcomers to learn the most through their own first-hand experience by dipping their toes into the waters of responsibility and by making their own choices.
Naturally, new Mates will face blunders and experience failure a few times when they start out. We fully expect this. We also see the value of failure in the long run because those who have failed once and have reflected upon their failures are usually instilled with a much deeper sense of responsibility and self-management later.
There are, however, a few exceptions to our system of flatness and self-management. Take, for example, driving instructors. For the most part, driving instructors remain in the passenger seat. They are there to teach you the fundamentals and to provide you with useful advice but only in anticipation of an accident would they ever interfere by stepping on the brakes or taking over the wheel. In much the same way, Mates at LanCul manage themselves by driving their own cars. It is only when the company suspects that a decision or action could be detrimental to LanCul in terms of safety, ethics, brand image, and finances will it step on the brakes to protect teammates from something potentially disastrous. However, these cases are few and far between.
- Our organization is founded on the premise that each Mate works independently and self-sufficiently and each team functions autonomously.
- We have designed our system regarding attendance, holidays, salary etc. in a way that promotes performance rather than management.
- The relationship held between more experienced teammates and new teammates is not one of hierarchy but rather one of mentorship.
- We treat ideas and opinions equally and objectively, independent of the person who voices them.
- To prevent internal politics, we don’t judge our teammates by their job titles.
- We always refer to each other by first name to encourage a sense of equality and open communication.
- We never force people into a role they are not comfortable doing; we would rather our Mates recognize their own strengths and hone them the best they can in an area they feel confident in.
There is always a story behind every big decision and the journey is as important as the destination. For this reason, the importance of open communication and transparency in all stages of every decision-making process cannot be stressed enough. Besides, by adhering to a culture of transparency we can create a work environment that is pleasant and honest.
We want to always strive for a maximum level of transparency in all our endeavors. Open sharing increases efficiency, promotes stronger connections between teammates, and helps us to better understand ourselves as a company and the direction we are headed in.
Almost all company documents are published internally and systematically in a way that anyone within the team is able to read and comment. With the proper sense of self-management and responsibility felt among our Mates, potential risks such as unexpected leaks are virtually unheard of.
Some ways in which we can communicate transparently include:
- Being open about any factors impacting our work performance (personal matters) in order for the company and teammates to judge everyone fairly without having to make assumptions.
- When it comes to bigger decisions, making sure that we are properly informed by listening not only to those with the loudest voices but also to the people who dissent quietly.
- Putting our work schedules and holidays in a shared calendar so that everyone can coordinate with each other in an efficient manner.
- Sharing feedback reports and lessons learnt from failure not only among those in your respective teams but also across teams.
- Relaying important information and decisions from meetings through notes and logs on team-wide platforms.
Above all, we are in search of Mates who not only promote our values but also share the desire and ambition to further improve the company and culture with LanCul’s future success in mind. We are aware of the material costs of spending time on team building and focusing on culture the way we do. But we are also acutely aware that when members of an All-Star Team start working together, beautiful things start to form—namely efficiency, creativity, and productivity.
We believe that a deep understanding of LanCul’s culture and an attitude that is open to learning is more important than work experience or possessing high skills. Although skills are important, skills can always be learned whereas the right mindset is much harder to come by. Rather than having a team of “talented assholes” who are able to get everything done in half the time but who show no sense of team spirit or affection for their fellow Mates, we seek out sincere, caring, and responsible team players who are calm in spirit yet eager in their desire to learn and grow. In an All-Star Team driven by a shared sense of culture, we can create an environment in which everyone can truly thrive and where we celebrate one another’s achievements because each person’s successes are a win for everyone.
- We push ourselves to think about the bigger picture and what best benefits LanCul rather than what is personally advantageous for you or your group (team, department etc.) in the short term.
- We are proactive about maintaining our culture and will kindly ask those who do not to fit to leave if their presence jeopardizes the cohesion of the team and the overall health of the company.
- We are a people-driven company with a strong emphasis on mindset.
- Through training and mentoring, we communicate our culture and vision to new mates as early as possible, focusing on mindset rather than skills in order to frame the way they approach future problems and decisions.
LanCul is a company that was created to offer a service for the happiness and enjoyment of everyday people and we are equally committed to delivering the same attention and care for the people inside our organization. With every moment shared at LanCul, we aim to create lasting bonds with our customers, expand our minds by sharing ideas across cultures thereby experiencing the joy of the present.
No matter how large we may grow as an organization, at the end of the day the company and its ensuing culture will always be the sum of all of its constituent parts—us.
This is why we at LanCul take our values to heart. With every smile, every minute of conversation shared, every moment of affection felt, we are reminded of the substance and authenticity of these values. In reading this document, we hope that this culture can continue to flourish and grow, starting with you.
“To inspire the human spirit and bring diversity to the community through language and culture.”