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Organizational culture in Polish reality

Will we surprise you with the information that two-thirds of employees, including those with higher education, prefer the boss who gives orders and does not ask for an opinion?

Polish companies are modern serfdom, where those at the top have authoritarian inclinations and almost unlimited power, and lower-level employees follow every order without objection. That is how Janusz Hryniewicz, a sociologist dealing with organization and management theory, characterized the Polish organizational culture over a decade ago.

The serfdom mentality has not entirely disappeared from the Polish labor market. However, now more and more companies reject that management style in favor of an organizational culture modeled on Western standards. It is visible in the technology industry, where the Silicon Valley principles are the basis for their development.

And there are many successes! In the latest Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe ranking, distinguishing the fastest-growing technology companies in Central Europe, the Polish company Packhelp is at the fore. Moreover, 30% of the entire list went to Polish organizations, five of which made the top ten. In terms of the number of companies, only the Czechs are ahead of Poles. The average increase in revenues of Central European companies in 2020 is almost 1,500%! In turn, the latest Financial Time, in FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies 2020 , listed 44 Polish companies, including 18 from the technology industry.

Are you managing a company? Are you a manager? Check what the surveys say about employees’ expectations and how outstanding industry companies build a high organizational culture.

What do employees want?

IT companies know that great employees are the driving force behind business success. So let’s fight to have and keep the best players in the team. In Poland, the main reason for quitting jobs is still too low a salary regardless of the industry.

According to the No Fluff Jobs report on offboarding, as many as 78% of IT employees quit for this reason. However, inadequate work culture comes second (59%). Professionals are looking for a new employer resulting from a lousy atmosphere (53%) and a lack of stabilization (52%). Aleksandra Kubicka, HR Business Partner at No Fluff Jobs, points out in the report that people with more seniority still put earnings first. Yet, they also value good organizational culture and working conditions. Thus what should you do to make the most extraordinary talents grow together with your company? Check how outstanding Polish companies do it.

High organizational culture in practice

You probably know the Great Place to Work® competition brand, which awards organizations rated best by their employees. For several years, Sii Polska has been high on the list. Joanna Kucharska, director of human resources, indicates the source of the corporation’s success: clear goals, mission, and values that work in practice.

HR specialists check at the recruitment stage whether the candidates identify with the company’s values, regardless of the position. Sii Polska also focuses on open internal communication. They often treat employees as consultants and implement the improvements they propose. In addition to shared values and open communication, its sense of purpose and inspiring leadership are equally important. According to the ‘7 wonderful in IT’ report, based on research conducted among Polish technology companies included in the prestigious Clutch ranking, these elements form the basis of an efficient organizational culture that brings the company tangible benefits.

Managers in the IT industry also know that investing in an employee’s development means investing in the entire organization’s growth. Funds for training and the opportunity to participate in industry conferences are now a standard. For example, The Software House in Gliwice, which took first place in this year’s, Clutch’s ranking, regularly organizes internal workshops and has a particular conference budget for each employee. At STX Next, a company specializing in Python, employees can participate in periodic growth reviews, internal training, and individual training budgets.

How does it work in a teal organization?

The Warsaw-based SoftwareMill, one of the few Polish companies with a teal organizational culture, which took the third position on the latest Clutch list, went further. A team of approximately 70 people works fully remotely, has a flat structure without managers, and the teams operate on the principle of self-organization. The central pillar is transparency in terms of both processes and finances. Everyone also has access to any information in the company and a free hand in making decisions, even if they are sometimes wrong. SoftwareMill’s approach is „ask for forgiveness, not permission. ” The teal organization makes employees feel responsible and has a real influence on the direction of its development.


Serfdom culture, still present in many Polish labor markets, merely is inefficient in the technology industry. IT companies know that respecting and listening to employees brings tangible benefits, which is why they are so eager to adopt the principles of organizational culture tested in the West. That is why they focus on clear goals, values, open communication, inspiring leadership, and engaging employee development. On the other hand, IT employees themselves are aware that they may require much more from employers than just being paid on time. Organizational culture and right working conditions are essential to them, and their absence leads to their inevitable resignation.


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