The Voys model
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life - Confucius
We are convinced that happy colleagues make for happy customers.
To be happy in your work you have to enjoy doing it. You can only find this when:
- The work interests you,
- you find challenges in the work that you do and
- when you have autonomy in the work that you do.
Only then can and will you take extra steps to learn new things and continue to develop yourself. This ensures that you continue to enjoy your work.
At Voys, we use a different organizational model. We believe that freedom and responsibility are the basis of fun and impactful work. That’s why we do not have managers, chefs, department heads, or other bosses. You are your own boss and entrepreneur and, therefore, responsible for your own work and the roles you hold.
We assume that you are very good at making your own decisions. And what if you're not sure? Then your colleagues are there to help you.
No job descriptions
We work with 'roles' and deliberately not with 'functions'. A function description describes tasks, responsibilities, and authority and this leads to the following:
- boxes: "This is part of my tasks, and this is not."
- restrictions: "I may do this, and I may not do that."
On the contrary, a role leads to:
- creating a mutual expectation: "This is what you, as a colleague and/or customer, may minimally expect from me."
- facilitating entrepreneurship: "This is what you may expect minimally, but I have the autonomy and ownership to determine for myself how I fulfill my role and what I want to accomplish."
In early 2015, we added Holacracy as an addition to our own Voys model. Holacracy is an operating system for organizations. Its two main pillars are:
- Working from and towards a clear goal (purpose driven)
- Distributing authority
Holacracy organizes the work and not the people!
Each circle (see
Each circle consists of explicitly described roles that all have their own purpose. Furthermore, the system is characterized by very structured and effective consultations: the work consultation and role consultation.
It's not the fastest or strongest that survives. It's the one that is the most adaptable to change - Charles Darwin
Multiple roles & circles
Holacracy organizes the work and not the people. In practice, this means that you can fulfill multiple roles within multiple teams that we call circles. A role can also be filled by multiple people.
You will experience that roles are created, modified, deleted, and that colleagues will stop energizing a role by giving a role back. You will also see that circles are created, modified or roles move from one circle to another. Holacracy is a dynamic and evolutionary system which means that 'mini-reorganizations' take place continuously.
With small steps, we constantly try to make small improvements. You do this by resolving 'tensions' people experience from their roles. This may sound a bit wishy-washy, but it actually prevents long-term bloat and stimulates continuous growth.
Fulfilling a role means that you have a set of responsibilities that you can be held accountable for. This means that you and your colleagues are fully responsible for the ins and outs of Voys. Projects are an important part of this.
If you want to make something nicer, better, simpler, more efficient, or more fun, you can create a project. Anyone can start a project. This can be done from one of your roles or as so-called 'individual action'.
You develop yourself by learning in these projects, and you help the organization move forward. A project can be anything: an open house, ordering custom sportswear, introducing a healthier lunch, or looking for a new supplier for a particular product. For all projects, the following applies: it must make the company 1% better or the world a little bit more beautiful. Of course, there are certain conditions attached to the projects. Project 'shopping during working hours on Tuesday mornings' does not help us any further. But the project 'purchase company bicycles for colleagues, so we can travel to work healthy and green’ or the project 'sprucing up the interior so that colleagues work in a more pleasant and inspiring environment will help us further. That way, you can still shop during working hours ;-).
“Beun, measure, learn”
— Wouter Brem
New systems added since Holacracy
Since adopting Holacracy, we have added a lot of default systems and processes to the org so we can run as a self-managing organization. All these systems combined we call “The Voys Model”.
Examples include our
- so everybody can add to a combined strategyOutlook strategy process
- to create a vision togetherVision Conversations
- Value, for Compensation - salary
- A system so everybody can do purchasing via Spending and purchasing
- And so much more you can find in the Voys Handbook for Colleagues
Let’s look at the