Many organizations have their own set of values. And yet, most of them are just mere words on the walls. In order to create a successful business and organizational culture, you need to make sure every action and decision is in line with your company's values. We chatted with the CEO of Contactually, Zvi Band, to give us a glimpse into their culture.
Q: Tell us a little about your company and its culture.
A: Our core vision is the most successful businesses in the world will be built upon personal, authentic relationships with their clients and partners. Contactually builds long-lasting relationships that grow your business. Discover the right person, and develop authentic personalized communication that keeps your business top-of-mind. In just minutes a day, engage your high-value contacts to generate more repeat and referral business.
We have a motivated, mission-driven, goal-oriented culture. We regularly engage our team to ensure we're building the best culture possible, and it shows. We have core values that aren't just on our wall; we live and exhibit them every day. Our Glassdoor scores prove it too.
Q: What's one thing your company practices that sets its culture apart from everyone else?
A: What makes us unique? Our love of dogs. Our celebration of the weird traits of each and every employee — from the woman in marketing who has a passionate hatred of melted cheese to the engineer who is obsessed with steampunk. We let people be themselves.
Q: What advice can you give to organizations seeking to close the communication gap?
A: Completing the feedback loop is key. People will only bother communicating to you if you respond to it. We will pull up all feedback we receive up on screen, talk through it publicly, solicit feedback.
Additionally — while we respect the anonymity and honesty of feedback tools, we do demand that employees adhere to our core value of "Be Excellent With Each Other." That means you can't use these tools to air dirty laundry, bash other employees, or simply complain. Instead, suggest solutions. Highlight concerns. Give good examples. Otherwise, these platforms, and your culture, can become overly negative.
Q: What's the most common mistake you see companies making with employee onboarding, and how does your organization succeed at the process?
A: Assume people will figure it out themselves. We believe in throwing people in the deep end, but we have a very structured approach to onboarding. From the moment they sign their offer letter, that kicks off a series of steps, from sending them headshots of all their future coworkers, to making sure they have a mentor on their first day. We also make sure we gather feedback from every new hire on their onboarding, and constantly make changes.
Q: What was your favorite Cheers you've ever received?
A: The best Cheers I've seen was from our sales team, thanking engineers for a recent feature launch. While seeming like just another cheer among the 60-70 or so we normally get a week, the engineers named came to me privately, saying that was one of the highlights of their time here.
Q: How does your organization help your employees recharge or maintain morale?
A: Maintaining a tight feedback loop is important — they see that we care, and that gets us most of the way. Beyond having unlimited vacation, we keep a close eye on our employees and will recommend they take time off if they seem like they need to recharge (with a $500 bonus if they take a week plus a break).
Plus, we like to add a good amount of fun to the office — not just corporate-mandated fun — but true spontaneous activities that make employees look forward to the week, stay in the office well beyond us asking them to just to socialize, and do whatever they can to help build a great culture.
Q: What was the most important or impactful employee feedback you've ever received? And why did it make such a difference?
A: We've had employees use our feedback tools to give us very critical feedback about the direction of the company.
Q: What's the one piece of advice you have for any organization or leader out there?
A: What is more impactful to your business — if you could be 100% more productive yourself, or enable each and every member of your team to be 10% more productive?