People are the foundation of your company culture. Hiring candidates who are as passionate, creative, and dedicated to excellence as you are is essential to maintaining a great corporate culture. From the beginning, we’ve had a process for testing every candidate in every position. Many candidates spend 12-16 hours preparing for their test. Every new hire brought on has been through the testing process – it’s something we can all bond over. You never know if you are truly passionate about something until you get tested for it. We want only the truly passionate here.
2. Trust them to do their thing.
Once you’ve hired the right people, trust them to execute on their own. This trust motivates accountability. For example, at Google, employees are encouraged to devote 20% of their work time to personal projects that will better the individual or the company. At Bazaarvoice, every employee gets an unlimited number of vacation days. As Brett told the Austin American-Statesman, no one has ever abused the policy in our five years of operation. “When you treat people like adults, when you treat them with radical trust, they in turn do the same for you,” he said. Hubspot practices the same policy.
3. Solicit feedback and recognize excellence.
At Bazaarvoice, much of our culture revolves around being open with our employees. All of our management team maintains an open-door policy – any employee has direct access to our leaders to voice their ideas and concerns. This openness lends itself to fierce conversations that solve problems, rather than dancing around them. Feedback on management is also formally solicited quarterly (we rate managers on whether or not they are living our cultural values), and our managers craft this feedback into actionable areas to improve their leadership in the next quarter.
Additionally, we maintain a number of ways for employees to recognize each others’ excellence, be that excellence cultural, personal, or work related. We present peer-nominated culture awards at every quarterly All-Hands meeting (held off-site at a low-key environment, such as the Alamo Draft House or Salt Lick), offer peer-nominated reserved parking spots to high performers, and sporadically dole out Star Performer awards for exceptional performance. These awards come with various equity offerings, grants, and general peer recognition that builds a culture of success.