Great Companies Start with Great Culture
Startups have a million things going on at once. Engineers are focusing on building a great product. Marketers are pushing to find great market fit. Sales reps are trying to exceed last month’s numbers. Operations people are testing new policies and processes.
When expectations are through the roof, it’s important to build a humble, hardworking, and self-sufficient team while also creating a workplace where they can reach their full capacity.
Here at Codility, we’ve been fortunate to hire strong team members across our global offices, and we do our best to empower them to do great work. However, this doesn’t always come easy. While different teams are pushing to meet their goals, it’s usually the mission of your HR or People Operations teams to keep the company mission and values alive. Juggling company culture, office arrangements, recruitment, onboarding, employee retention, and managerial support isn’t an easy task. But with the right processes, team, and tools, creating an amazing culture becomes much less daunting.
It’s important to have your company values embedded into every aspect of the business, starting with the way you recruit. We use Lever to help our recruitment flow. It allows us to keep track of our candidates to ensure that we give each candidate the attention to detail that is deserved—whether they are in the application or offer stages. Using an ATS like Lever also allows us to follow-up with candidates with transparent feedback in a timely manner after we’ve received scorecards from the hiring team. Our team is the core of our company, and we make sure that is reflected in our recruitment processes.
Codility’s People Operations team is very focused on how we onboard new employees. After all, first impressions are everything. We want our new employees to take a deep-dive into each function and really get to know the team they’ll be working with. It’s important to give new employees the autonomy during their onboarding to schedule sessions with different members of the company in whatever areas they feel it’s needed most. Our onboarding processes are never stale—we utilize Culture Amp to gather feedback from employees at their 1-week, 3-week, and 5-week marks to get a pulse on how their onboarding experience has been. This enables us to constantly improve for future new hires.
It’s no secret that the key to keeping employees happy in the workplace is to create an environment that empowers them to grow their skills and find professional fulfillment. Honest and straightforward feedback between managers and teammates helps ensure that there is a mutual feeling of transparency across the board, which has resulted in closer relationships amongst our peers. Creating a fun, inspiring office space and offering benefits like Health & Wellness Reimbursements, Growth Budgets, volunteer opportunities, and healthy food options show that leadership puts employees first.
Feedback. Is. Everything. Whether it’s managers giving feedback to their reports, reports giving feedback to their managers, or teams giving feedback to other teams, it’s crucial to provide a working environment that promotes feedback. Having an international team environment can complicate this process, which is why our leadership is split between all offices and makes themselves available for open conversations with employees. Using a tool like Culture Amp plays a huge role in allowing each and every employee to feel heard, and allows people to give feedback anonymously..
If I could give my personal advice to anyone from my time at Codility, it’s that Culture is the #1 thing that keeps your company’s heart beating. When you’re connecting with candidates, pay attention to their values because your company becomes who you hire. Many places offer free lunches and give you tons of swag, but lack core values to frame the way they work. Codility’s executives baked our mission and culture into the company first and then we grew. In the end, great people are going to stay because they like where they work and who they work with.
It can be challenging for startups to juggle the tasks of building a great product and sharing it with the world, and creating a mission-driven and sustainable company culture. It’s crucial that leadership buys in to putting employees first—after that, it’s up to every member of your workforce to keep your mission going. If one thing is clear—people and culture are the most valuable assets in a startup’s goal to become a great company. Having a dedicated team to exude core values, cultivate workplace culture, and bring everything and everyone together, can help take your organization to the next level.
If you’re interested in learning more about our team and workplace, check out our About page!