What Unitonomy solves
The Culture Tax
Companies unwittingly sacrifice performance and money because their culture stinks. They suffer from too many meetings, lack of focus, turnover, etc.
Unitonomy turns proven methodologies into easy workflows. Unitonomy helps companies cultivate belonging, identity, and accountability.
As companies scale, it’s hard to keep everyone rowing in the same direction. The band-aid ends up being more talking and less doing.
Unitonomy improves alignment while saving hours and hours of meetings.
Problems are amplified 5x when people are working remotely or teams are distributed.
Unitonomy applications serve as communication workflows. This means the communication is meaningful and focused.
Leader with Remote Teams
Founder with Rapidly Scaling Startup
Remote Worker Concerned about Collaboration
When Sam’s company decided to move forward with their new digital integration, they found a dev team in Sri Lanka to take the contract. Sam is in charge of the project and is now overseeing the remote team overseas, in addition to the local operations staff Sam was already managing.
Sam has managed teams before, with good success, but this experience has all kinds of different challenges. There are logistical challenges as basic as navigating the time difference and having phone calls in the middle of the night, to more complex ones like making sure the project schedule is being implemented and updated as needed, to personally sensitive ones like everyone clearly understanding what the other is saying. After each late night call, Sam is not always sure the overseas team is really on the same page as the local team… and the time difference means Sam won’t actually find out until the next day.
There are also cultural challenges, related to both geography and company, that are adding to the confusion. Sam has never been to Sri Lanka, and it may be months before that changes. When the overseas team was hired, Sam read a few Wikipedia articles and travel blogs to learn a bit about the country, but still doesn’t have a strong familiarity with the region. Sam is aware of certain cultural differences and tries to be mindful of them when communicating, but it sometimes feels very awkward and ineffective, especially when trying to motivate and inspire the remote team on the other side of the world. For their part, the team is very polite and seems to tolerate Sam’s efforts, but everyone knows it could be better.
On top of that, the dev team is contract. While they are doing a fine job with the programming and tasks Sam gives them, they aren’t direct employees and it comes across frequently that this is just a limited gig for them. There’s not really a sense of collaboration toward a goal. The local team, on the other hand, does have a strong connection to the company and can even be defensive about this. Lately there have been a few instances of the local team blaming the remote one for some small errors, and that’s definitely not the way Sam wants this project headed. Sam wishes there was a way to make the two groups act more like one, and to have the remote team better integrated with the local one so it feels like everyone is on the same team.
Sam is frustrated. The local team is frustrated. And the remote team is likely frustrated (but too polite to show it). The project itself is critical to the company and challenging enough without these complications. Sam needs a way to get everyone on the same page and feeling like a team, despite all these barriers, if morale is going to improve and the project is going to be successful.
Unitonomy is addressing challenges like Sam’s with several workflows designed to help teams with multiple locations and diverse cultural dynamics work better together. Alignment of effort requires understanding the ‘why’ behind the effort and good communication. Efficiency in effort and good performance comes from smart planning fueled by each individual’s sense of purpose.
This is where Unitonomy comes in. Unitonomy offers the application called Our Alignment as a high-level communication workflow to match the ‘what I’m working on’ with the ‘why I’m working on it’ in a manner that telegraphs effort to others. Meanwhile Our Pillars is the application where definition is given to the organization’s mission, vision, values and other foundational beliefs. Each individual’s sense of purpose is built through their sense of belonging, which is their mapping of their professional identity and values back to items like the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
To address additional challenges of managing teams when the teams aren’t in the same room (or country), Unitonomy offers coaching to improve collaboration across regional cultures and time zones.
When Jamie and the two other co-founders started their tech startup three years ago, they dreamed of the day their product finally got a foothold and started to gain traction. It’s been a wild ride with all kinds of ups and downs, but that day is now here and things are really starting to explode with growth. The excitement and energy Jamie imagined would come with this day is all around, but so are some challenges Jamie didn’t really anticipate.
Up until this point, the co-founders added the initial team members slowly. Most of the earliest hires were people the founders knew already, some for years and years. Another one, a programmer with very specific experience, took longer to find and they really got to know that hire through the interview process. Hiring that programmer was a milestone as well because it finally put them at a point of getting actual office space and moving out of Jamie’s living room. The team was still pretty small though, and they could do company outings in two cars. At their weekly happy hour six months ago, they all still fit around one table at the local microbrewery.
Now, however, things are taking off and the staff size is ballooning. They started five new people just last week. Somehow, most of the HR pieces have ended up in Jamie’s lap, in addition to the parts of the company focused on product development that are actually in Jamie’s wheelhouse. In fact, the HR work is now taking up much more of Jamie’s time than the dev work. It’s not the best use of Jamie’s skill sets and Jamie is drowning in HR related paperwork and processes. They aren’t big enough to hire a dedicated HR person yet (at least according to their investors), so Jamie is stuck for now.
On top of all that, it’s a constant race to get all the new hires up to speed on things, to make sure they feel part of the company and not like they are outside the inner circle of the first few hires. Despite being part of their hiring process, Jamie forgot a new hire’s name the other day. It was embarrassing and made the employee uncomfortable. That’s not the experience Jamie wants for their team. Jamie and the other co-founders want their company to be a great place to work and one that is really beloved by their employees. They’ve talked about how to keep that family feel it used to have, but the recent growth is exposing some pretty big gaps in that ambition. It turns out, cultivating a great culture as you grow takes intentional work and sometimes that can get lost in the chaos of startup life. Jamie is worried if they don’t foster that culture, they may start to see turnover and further add to the HR workload. And Jamie knows who will be dealing with that workload.
Jamie needs a way to offload some of the HR work until there’s staff to handle it. Jamie needs a way to get the new hires on-boarded and integrated into the company quickly. Jamie needs a way to effectively build that scalable culture the co-founders dream of having in their growing company. And Jamie needs the solution all of this to be painless to implement.
Unitonomy is addressing challenges like Jamie’s with several tools designed to help teams that are growing rapidly work better together. Think of cultivating your org’s culture as an activity that produces compound interest: a few small actions with Unitonomy today will have a huge impact later and save loads of time down the road.
Case in point: on-boarding new employees. Imagine having the organization’s goals, mission, and values defined and coupled with stories from the people in the org who embodied these beliefs through their actions. A new hire walks in and is able to read through these stories and immediately appreciate how the organization’s beliefs are embodied. This is priceless because the new hire now gains this understanding immediately, instead of 12 months from now.
Last winter, Nic took a new job working remotely. It was a big change from Nic’s prior office-based jobs, but it was a great opportunity that meant Nic’s family didn’t have to move. The kids got to stay in their schools with their friends and Nic’s partner didn’t have to start a job search in a new city following a relocation.
The new remote work lifestyle has other perks as well. Nic has more flexibility around hours and every day is “Bring Your Dog To Work Day,” much to the delight of Max the Mutt. On occasion, Nic goes to a local co-working space just to get out of the house and to reconnect with the working world in person. In those ways, the new lifestyle has been good. In other ways, however, remote work has been challenging, especially when it comes to Nic’s connection back to the company. The digital connection itself is much better, now that the home wi-fi and router have all been upgraded, but the communication with Nic’s team is not as smooth. There are frequently times when significant bits of information don’t get passed along to Nic, not intentionally, but because Nic wasn’t there to bump into team members in the cafeteria over lunch. The repeat oversight makes Nic feel like a bit of an afterthought, like something disposable. Other times, it’s been a little easier to read a team member’s email message as terse or aggressive, when it turns out it was neither. Nic isn’t always sure what other team members are working on or how it intersects with Nic’s work in real-time. It’s hard to have a sense of what is going on in the office, outside of the meetings for which Nic connects in. Nic is frustrated and feels isolated and distant in more than miles.
It leaves Nic feeling more like a machine, handling rote action after action, as opposed to a valued human member of the team. Nic has also noticed feeling more disengaged from the actual work, which is disturbing given this is a field Nic has been passionate about since college and usually enjoys working in. The work hasn’t suffered, yet, but Nic is worried it might. What worries Nic most, however, is the symptoms remind Nic of a previous job, one from several years ago. In that workplace, things seemed okay on the surface. Work was being done, tasks were being executed, but there wasn’t a sense of belonging or teamwork. People just did their thing and that was that. They weren’t rude, but everyone did their role and then left for the day. That was how it was when things were good in their sector.
When the economy tightened in their sector, however, things weren’t good. People were still doing their thing in isolation and leaving for the day, but now there was tension everywhere in the air. Things were falling apart. Stress levels were through the roof, even over minor things. Everyone seemed to be suspicious of each other. By the time Nic left that role, the workplace was demoralizing and toxic.
Maybe Nic is being extra sensitive to it, but this current sense of isolation from the team feels a lot like the isolation from that previous experience. And Nic doesn’t want to go through that again. Nic wants to feel engaged with the work, but also with the rest of the team, and with the mission they are all striving toward.
Unitonomy is addressing challenges like Nic’s with tools designed to help teams that are located remotely feel connected and work better together. When a team is solving hard problems together, it’s going to take deep commitment to get through the tough moments. And commitment comes from a sense of belonging plus how thick the bonds run through the members of the team. Unitonomy addresses both belonging and bonding.
One of the elements missing most in remote work situations is the fun of being together — where bonding develops through internal jokes, shared experiences, and side conversations in the kitchenette. Unitonomy gets it and has apps to stimulate bonding through purposeful side conversations. Imagine taking 20 minutes each week with your team to make fun of yourself? Sound crazy? We dare you to try it. You might find yourself developing stronger bonds with your colleagues.
And as for belonging: Unitonomy offers Our Pillars as the application where definition is given to the organization’s mission, vision, values, and other foundational beliefs. Each individual’s sense of purpose is built through their sense of belonging, which is their mapping of their professional identity and values back to items like the organization’s mission, vision, and values.