Let‘s briefly review the employment and internship situation over the last 3 months.
The number of people is very similar to what we had 3 months ago: 58 Lithuanian, 6 Estonian and 7 Latvian office. However, the employee turnover rate in the company has been quite impressive due to the PMs recruitment process. In the beginning of the summer it was decided to hire 5 more PMs because of a high workload for current PMs (we aim to balance the workload for everyone). Moreover, Maxym became a freelance translator, Gabrielė left for personal reasons, and there were some people who were hired, worked only a few days or weeks and left. The reasons were mostly personal: due to family circumstances, got a dream job, thought that it was too difficult to learn the systems and got scared.
Despite a scary learning process, we have a few people who stayed calm and strong, so please let us once again introduce two relatively new employees in the PMs department: Justina and Julija. We had a few interns as well who stayed for some time and became our great employees: Azadi, Alesia and Greta.
Job interviews are still going on and we are looking for new PMs with the biggest hope to find the best candidates for our company and the PMs department.
Some changes happened in the IT department. Jonas Bitkevičius recently celebrated his 6th work anniversary in Synergium, but he decided to try a new position in another company. We wish you all the best with your new projects, Jonas!
A new accountant, our salary and finance lady, Eglė Laureckienė joined the team—she is lovely, friendly, and a master of all kind of formulas and numbers. We are happy to have an in-house accountant, and we are grateful for valuable consultations 🙂
Kristina Masionė left us to enjoy the motherhood experience again, but we have a “new old” linguist Guoda Rudnickaitė-Vaitiekūnė who has just returned to work after the maternity leave. Guoda is editing various texts, and her manager says that she is universal from this point of view.
Would you like to know more about the first working days and weeks of our newcomers? Please read on the right and welcome them to our Synergium family 🙂
Here is what our newcomers say:
It has been about 1.5 months since I started working at Synergium. I like that colleagues are helpful. Whenever I need some help, either job related or not, I know that I can find somebody who will assist me. Even though the majority of employees are Lithuanians, I‘m happy that there are no language barriers at all because everybody is fluent in English. Time passes fast since I started working at Synergium and I believe it is a good thing.
When I came to Synergium, during the first two weeks I thought “What I am doing here, I don‘t even know the simplest things about computers and programs. ”
But now almost two months have passed, and I learned more than I could ever imagine and just because of very helpful colleagues. They are always ready to answer my questions even when my questions sound silly to myself 😊
I am glad to be here because I see a lot of career opportunities, and I see how Synergium cares about their team members!
I’ve worked with Synergium while being employed in another company for about two weeks before I came to work to Synergium, so I already had a certain impression about awaiting tasks. However, I had no idea what my colleagues were going to be like, would they be cooperative, how they would react to certain changes in routine procedures and so on. So far, I got to know just a few colleagues. In fact, it confuses me very much that it is impossible to say if a person that I meet in the office is my colleague or a Skaineda employee. Anyway, as for the start the most important thing was to get properly acquainted with the girls of the Accounting department. I am very glad and thankful that they are so motivated and helping and—most important—they care about the work that they are doing. It’s very inspiring. With such a crew everything seems possible 🙂
I thought it will be a difficult challenge to return to work after a 2-year maternity leave. But it was not at all. I found many positive changes there, improved processes and innovations. I’m glad to see familiar faces and to meet the new ones.
Hello everyone. I am Greta Babrovskytė and as a new employee (working at Synergium for almost 2 months and a half) I would like to share my experience briefly. I was lucky because before starting working here I was doing an internship, so I already knew the environment of the company, people, etc. To be honest, the first month was really hard to me but now I’m feeling better because I almost got used to it. The hardest thing was to master all the information I received during the first days at work. All the systems and tools looked difficult to use but I am really grateful to my colleagues for all the help they provided. The atmosphere of the company is appropriate to work and, also, a young team helped me to adapt faster. I really appreciate the HR department efforts to involve all the employees by offering fun activities to spend time together. To sum up: Synergium is a great place to work!
Yesterday I was asked to write a few sentences about my first days at work. I wasn’t sure how to put my first impression into words, but I guess, so far, so good. It felt a bit anticlimactic at first, but at this point (my fourth day) I made a couple of real projects myself that left me feeling overwhelmed, so I’m very happy it’s Friday. Giedrius is being an awesome mentor by putting me in place when I’m having an “I am very smart” attitude and shaming me for not keeping my e-mail folder tidy. Also, I’m a bit amazed by how developed the translation industry is, since I used to think that all those manuals and UIs are being translated by bearded old men in sweaters with deer patterns and breakfast leftovers in their beards. All in all, I’m glad to be surrounded by people who really know what they’re doing, and hope to become a valuable addition to the team.
TOWARDS STRATEGICAL GOALS
Transparency is one of the values that the most modern companies promote. Synergium is young, energetic and modern, so please welcome the shareholder and CEO of Synergium who will tell us all the top news of the company. This interview with Mindaugas Kazlauskas covers the following: moving the Lithuanian office to new location, financial information, expectations and plans for the upcoming year.
Lithuanian office moves to new premises
Mindaugas, tell us about the new office for Lithuanian team. What is the plan? Will we be able to move out until our current agreement is over?
The short answer is “Yes, we will organize everything in time”. The current agreement terminates on the 17th of November and we can move to the new office any time in November, we have 3 weeks for that.
How will the process of moving be organized?
We will hire a moving company to transfer furniture and all the things for us, specialists will only need to pack their things in boxes and unpack in the new office. Most likely, we will start moving on the 10th of November (Friday 12-00 afternoon) so we will have a weekend to check whether everything works. You will unpack things on Friday afternoon there. We mainly have only tables, chairs and PCs as individual belongings—we are very mobile.
The revenue spent in the best possible way
You used to share financial data with the employees in 2016 and then you stopped. What was the reason?
True, I was sharing revenue, cost and profit information for the last 12 months, but I am not sure that it helped as some people were telling they don’t know how to interpret that information. For example, let’s take the month when we were operating at a loss: was it very bad or just bad? The month when we were generating profit: was it very good or only covered loss of previous month? Only a finance specialist can see the full picture, there are no simple answers in finances.
What is the situation now?
Generally, we are growing and doing better: we were receiving 188 000 €/month in 2016 and now we are receiving 214 000 €/month. It means we are growing by 14%. This is really good.
We also are spending 14% more on various needs: employing more PMs, researching MT, developing the Flow (new name of ZeroKlik), paying salary for a saleswoman in Sweden. Unfortunately, sales in Sweden are on hold now, I asked the saleswoman to leave as she sold only 3000 eur since October. I take full responsibility for this unsuccessful project as her manager. We will stop this project for a moment, analyze what we can do better and will earn some money to try again. We will not surrender.
In 2016 our yearly profit was ~20 000 euros. No dividends were paid to the shareholders, we have spent 100% of this money for employees: coffee machines, events, salaries.
What are the main reasons for revenue increase of 14%?
The main reason for growing is that we have been doing translations into Russian and other languages, making the Baltic in-house linguists teams smaller in 2016 spring (sad, but rational decision that proved 100% right as finances improved instantly) and hiring translators into Russian, Ukrainian and Nordic languages. From 100% amount of orders, LT orders make up 26%, LV – 22%, ET – 22%, RU – 17% and all other languages – 12%. Take away the revenue of other languages—and we would NOT be growing by 14%, but declining by 15%. So, we should maintain good services for the Baltic languages, and look for growth opportunities by offering our services to customers in other languages.
Strategy set in 2015 is in progress
In 2015 autumn, we had some coaching-training and defined our strategy. Let`s first review whether we were working according to the strategy:
1. LOW-COST IT PLATFORM AND OFFERING REALLY GOOD PRICES:
We decided to improve a few areas:
– start using ZeroKlik in production in the beginning of 2016.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: the progress on the Flow (Zeroklik) is slower, but this is mainly because of the too ambitious initial schedule, not the lack of developers` motivation. They really try to launch a good product. We might still start using it in 2017 autumn. In addition, we are using more of SelfServices in GoogleDocs thanks to Petras who learned the development skills for Google Products.
– To MT on all LT, LV, EST and RU projects by 2015 10; Scandinavian – in 2015 12.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: not so many projects as planned go with MT for LT, LV, EST and RU projects. However, we use MT on other languages too; however, we sometimes earn, sometimes loose with MT, it is not a 100% victory yet.
2. WE WILL SELL TO RICH END-CUSTOMERS:
We planned to:
– establish an office in Denmark with 1 Danish sales person.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: we hired a person in Sweden; for now, we have sold for 3000 euros instead of 300 000 euros as planned, so it is not working yet, I asked the saleswoman to leave the company.
– find and train translators for Scandinavian languages.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: we definitely have risen to the new level with OTHER languages than Baltic, without them we would not have a 14% growth, but a 15% decline instead.
3. BEST PROCESS ENGINEERS:
We wanted to:
-document and standardize most valuable processes till 2016 01 in all teams.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: we wanted creative talents do new things + calm & patient talents test & give feedback. By this I wanted to introduce a “Lean Production” culture, start “standardizing many processes” and “measuring the progress”; this has been happening to some extent in most departments, but it has not been systematic and in very little intensity as I haven’t dedicated enough time.
4. BEST CULTURE: “SYNERGIUM WAY” of doing things:
It had to be done in 2 ways:
– strengthening the engagement and committing to strategy.
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: the HR started the Engagement Project and measured the current engagement level of employees. We established budgets for bigger and smaller events in the company and departments.
– having our original way and being proud of it!
RESULT AS OF 2017 08 10: the Engagement Survey showed that colleagues are proud of themselves and their work. We will try to uncover new levels of meaning + fun + growing in our company soon.
In addition, we also earned a lot from opportunities that were not planned, but appeared on our way: Translated Aliexpress.com into Russian (2 000 000 words in 1 month) and did translations into various other languages such as Romanian, French, German, and Spanish.
Plan for future is to innovate.
What changes we should expect in 2017 and what is your plan for 2017 and 2018?
What changes we should expect in 2017?
We are changing every week, there are small changes that sum up and bigger innovations are born or simply we are doing something slightly better than the competitors and … win in daily competition battle. Don’t underestimate your small improvements!
What is your plan for 2017 and 2018?
There are many plans, so I will better provide a small summary:
1. We will maintain our leadership for the Baltic languages.
2. We will do even more translations into Russian/Ukrainian and other languages.
3. Vilnius office will move to new premises. Not related to strategy, but we will have new good emotions and will save some costs.
4. We will continue applying MT on as many projects as possible (now we can apply MT and measure time in SynCAT and in Studio/GS via DQF plugin).
5. We will work on Swedish sales again, but only after we earn some money for a salary of a new sales person.
6. We will try to use as many Robots and automation processes as possible. MT text pre-translation is a Robot that helps translators. SelfService is a Robot as it automates the PM work. Now our Accountancy team is also using Robots that gather data for invoices for some clients 95% automatically, so people spend only a few minutes to transfer data to the invoice template.
7. We will use the Flow (new name of ZeroKlik/AccuraDoc) and will automate as many operations as possible.
8. We will start company-wide trainings with the best EKT.LT consultants for which we got some financing. It will be a great opportunity for all of us to grow as personalities and professionals and will ensure that Synergium Way is the best way.
We will try hard in 2017 so that
- Customers get what they want (not more, not less, ExactQuality);
- Colleagues are engaged, feel growing, receive competitive salaries and enjoy what they do;
- Shareholders get their investments back and some profit (otherwise, why invest?).
Thank you, colleagues, you are one of those few reasons I work as hard as possible myself: I want you to be engaged and proud of what we have achieved. I don’t have shareholders or bosses to please, therefore I try to please customers and you.
We would like to introduce our Accountancy Department.
Let the story begin…
Once upon a time, in a kingdom of nice and hard-working Synergium people, strange things started to happen in Accountancy city. The only citizen left was Marija… She did her best fighting with all possible threats and some magical external powers were helping her but soon it turned out that in Accountancy city more citizens are needed. Luckily, in Synergium kingdom, for a very long time lived a brave and wise White Witch Irina. She agreed to take care of Accountancy city. One by one to Accountancy city came Laura, Kristina, and Egle. After doing such a great job, Irina decided that it’s time for her to leave this city and empowered Egle to rule it on her own. And they lived happily ever after.
Ok, let’s get back to reality. 😊 I asked our accountancy girls to share some information about their work specifics with us. Here we go!
Working in Accounting/Administration department is like cooking shashlyk. As a Manager, you monitor the whole situation that the meat (=tasks) are completed in time, that it does not get burnt (= get overdue), you always check the status, if all is OK, and finally, you are happy when the result of all this shuffling is satisfying 😊.
The work in this department is not limited to issuing invoices and answering queries.
You need to have an analytical mindset, be detail-oriented and take care of a variety of documents, which always have to be up to date and in the right place. Our girls manage it well: besides taking care of regular accounting stuff, they work as private detectives investigating multiple complex cases, offering solutions. They range from “where the payment went to” (when clients mix something) to “what is this invoice for” and “who paid for what???”. It takes time and patience but the result is rewarding.
What is the most memorisable story from Synergium life?
Getting the “thank you” cards. I felt much appreciated after reading all of them.
What colleagues could do to make your work easier?
They could be more patient sometimes.
Did you dream to become an accountant in your childhood?
Never. I always wanted to become a teacher or a doctor. Also I hated math at school.
What words would describe you the best?
Individualist, aesthetic, art-lover, mindful and friends say I’m strict (I find it a useful quality though).
What is the most frequent question you hear at work?
“How many vacation days have I collected?” I guess. 😀
What was the most challenging situation for you at Synergium?
Maybe not the situation itself, but learning a way to multitask more effectively, prioritise and juggle the tasks.
Why did you decide to start working at Synergium?
My previous company suggested me to try working at Synergium directly; I thought it might be an opportunity for me to learn many new things I haven’t dealt with before and to grow as an accountant, so I applied for the position.
How did you decide to become an accountant?
That was a result of a long-term analysis 🙂 I strongly believe that one must like his or her job to be good at it, so I thought about the field that wouldn’t make me bored and I would still enjoy my job in 10 or 20 years. Someday it just hit me that accountancy is perfect for me. 🙂 On the one hand, it’s a routine work, on the other hand, you have to know so much, you get to learn every day and regulations are shifting every year, so there’s no space for boredom.
You are sooo user-friendly. Will you one day become a grumpy cat?
I already am sometimes; you just don’t see it because I rarely come out of my office. 😀
What are you hiding under your secret smile?
If I’d tell you – it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
Please share the story how you started to work at Synergium (hiring, first day at work, etc.).
I actually mixed days for two interviews that I was going to have. So I went to Synergium thinking it was a company selling building materials. I only realised there was something wrong with my knowledge about company’s industry when I saw a weird look on Vaiva’s face.
What would you prefer: hiking or diving? Why?
Diving, because it is fascinating, plus, I’m afraid of heights.
In May, the department started working with tasks management system Kanbanize:
The system is similar to the one, which our IT Helpdesk is using. All mails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are registered as tickets. Each of us in the department can assign a ticket to herself according to the job functions. The sender receives an automatic reply. When the task is solved, the person who sent a query is informed that this query has been solved.
We are happy to share the results of the last 3 months and give you a short overview of who is in charge for what in Accounting/Administration:
To finish the article, I want to thank our Accountancy/Administration department!
Ladies, good luck 😉
PROJECTS TO REMEMBER
Since 05/01/2017 the company has received new or bigger translation orders for the following languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Slovakian, Norwegian, Swedish, Kazakh, Finnish, etc.
With the help of Petras Kovas (Data Analysis Team Lead) and Giedrius Brazaitis (Improvement Manager and QAE Team Lead) , the Uber Self-Service was created. It means that whenever a new translation from Uber is available (for Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian language), it is automatically registered in a Google Sheet using various formulas and runtime policies. Translators get automatic messages about new translations and they can assign to specific translation project all by themselves whenever they want. Due to this automation process, there is less work both for Registrars and PMs.
TALENT SEARCH WEBSITE LAUNCH
We have launched a brand new website called Synergium Talents, aiming to attract potential future employees. The site lists the main benefits for full-time employees, freelancers and interns.
In addition, we are getting some small proofreading tasks from Alibaba. As far as we know, they are not executing translation projects now. We hope to get more translations from them in the future. 🙂
Win a blanket!
We are SOOOO excited to announce the BEST SUMMER ADVENTURE PHOTO competition!
Choose the best photo* of this summer and send it together with a title and short description to email@example.com till the 28th of August.
Your photo will be uploaded to YAMMER, and if it receives the highest number of LIKES, you will win a lovely blanket!
The WINNER will be announced on the 31st of August.
Share your BEST SUMMER ADVENTURE PHOTO and take your prize!
*To avoid copyright issues, the photo must be taken by you.
SynGoesOut – Our New INITIATIVE!
Let’s have a new tradition of going out with colleagues! SynGoesOut is the name for an initiative to spend more time with colleagues outside the workplace, get to know each other better and make our team even stronger! Every 4–6 weeks we will organize going outs with colleagues in their cities—Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Does it sound so exciting for you as well? Sooo, can we celebrate the last day of summer all together? Let’s make the very first SynGoesOut on the 31st of August in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius! Who is in? Moreover, during our first SynGoesOut we will announce who is the winner of Best Summer Adventure Photo competition. We will have a live broadcast to connect 3 offices!
As the summer of 2017 is coming to an end, it is the right time to remember our adventure—Summer event! 38 people with positive vibes and big smiles started the adventure to Kazlai village (haha, just a coincidence 🙂 ) where a summerhouse Duobys was booked for Synergium. We are happy because this Summer event has unified all our offices! Big thanks go to our colleagues from Latvia and Estonia.
Ridiculous, Tangerines, Despacito, Lost in translation, Mistranslation, Pinky & The Brain… What are those names?! Those were the teams competing in the orienteering game! Our applauses go to Despacito—they won!
We are really waiting for the next Summer Event’18 but to remember the Summer Event’17, please find the pictures in the gallery.
Latvian office @Illusion room
Our Latvian colleagues also find some time for small events! As you can see from these funny pictures, they went to the Escape Room and visited the Museum of Illusions.
What about our beloved Estonians?
Kaie reported: “We haven’t done much together lately, but we went to the cinema and we are planning to have dinner together soon. On one Friday Dan took his dog Arabella to the groomer and decided to bring the dog to us. What a fluffy surprise! It was totally worth to come to the office for this during vacation. Here are some photos :)”
Work, eat and repeat – let’s remember our last FOOD EVENTS!
Monday - Fruitday
Every second Monday we have 2 or even 3 boxes of fresh and colorful fruits — a dose of vitamins for the beginning of the week. As Monday is the best day of the week, it is great to keep the energy up, so the fruits is a nice way for all of us to care and share 🙂
Sandwitches for IT guys
The statistics show that the number of emergency breaks has recently decreased. Therefore, our IT guys received a thank-you gift from the company. They seemed surprised and happy when we showed up with a plate of sandwiches from Subway.
Cold medicine in the fridge
Do you remember the last day of July? We still remember how fast you all ran to the kitchen because you thought that a phrase “left one” means that only one portion of ice cream is left in the fridge. Hahah, that was fun! There is no better medicine from a heat stroke as a delicious, cold bite of heaven! Thank you, Mindaugas!
Trying out our new toaster
As you have already noticed, we have a new friend in the kitchen! And we had to try it out! On the 1st of August, we brought some bread, Nutella, peanut butter and jam. And ate it all. Yummy!
And in Latvia…
Kristine says that our colleagues in Riga office are not party people. But they have their own FOOD EVENTS for sure! Here is a photo of snack time on the 8th of March. Our Latvian girls celebrated femininity and a lovely female team!
Do we love our FOOD EVENTS? Of course!
“I’m very excited about all these gifts from Synergium. Keep going!”
“What a great surprise! Thank you!”
“It’s just aaaaaaawesome!”
Guys, we sometimes run out of ideas and, unfortunately, miss some occasions. As our work environment and well-being depends on all of us, feel free to contact the HR department and share your ideas and suggestions regarding activities, celebrations and how to make every day at work more and more enjoyable.
PRAISES FROM DEPARTMENT MANAGERS