HubSpot: Creating a Company You Love

Improving Company Culture With Foosball

Photo courtesy of Flickr user @robscomputer

If there is one thing that separates the new generation from previous generations, it is that people are no longer willing to settle. Gone are the days when we would fall into a career and stick with it for the promise of stable paychecks. Money is not the top priority anymore. Now, what matters is that we find meaning in what we do, and that we love what we do.

In order to love what you do, you must appreciate the environment you are working in, as well as the people you are working with. This can be attained through working for a company that has the kind of company culture you are looking to be a part of.

HubSpot, pioneers in inbound marketing who help customers make marketing people love, describes in a recent presentation, how they built their culture and why it works for them and their employees.

Here are the crib notes of HubSpot’s 155 slide presentation on their Company Culture [link to the original presentation]:

“A great culture helps attract great people.”

A “culture” is a “set of shared beliefs, values and practices”. Not only do people want to be part of a great culture that aligns with their beliefs and values, but a company wants to create a great culture in order to attract the kind of people they want working for them. They don’t want people who just have a lot of skills or experience, but people who help further the company by sharing the same passion towards their goals.

The HubSpot Culture Code:

1. We are as maniacal about our metrics as our mission.

It’s not just about numbers. Yes, sales are important to the longevity of the company, but staying true to your mission is what will earn you the love of your customers.

2. We obsess over customers, not competitors.

Delight your customers, educate your customers, Solve for the customer (SFTC).

3. We are radically and uncomfortably transparent.

“Power came from hoarding knowledge, and decisions were made behind closed doors.” Now, power comes from sharing knowledge.

4. We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome.

You don’t need packets full of company policies and procedures to know how to run a company. Use good judgement and remember that results matter more than where or when the work is getting done.

5. We are unreasonably picky about our peers.

Hubspot values employees who have HEART: humble, effective, adaptable, remarkable, and transparent (open and honest).

6. We invest in individual mastery and market value.

Compensate fairly while investing generously in learning and growth. Work hard as an individual and work hard as a team.

7. We defy conventional “wisdom” because it’s often unwise.

“Great companies don’t throw money at problems, they throw ideas at them”. The companies of today are much different from companies of the past. They do not operate the same way. Complexity always creeps in, so take risks and get rid of unnecessary factors.

8. We speak the truth and face the facts.

If you disagree, it is your job to speak up. An imperfect or controversial decision is better than no decision.

9. We believe in work + life, not work vs. life.

thennow

It is important to enjoy work AND life, not just working in order to make money so that you can escape to your life. Maintain a balance. Also, workers these days greatly desire flexibility when choosing a career.

10. We are a perpetual work in progress.

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without”- Confucius

Always work hard. Never done iterating, learning, or rethinking.

With so many happy employees facilitating a great company culture that is helping more than 8,000 companies in 56 countries to succeed, other businesses striving to achieve the same success should take note. Becoming a great company does not mean being perfect, but doing your best to make your employees and customers happy while staying aligned with your values. Also, having foosball tables and a fridge stocked with beer doesn’t hurt.

HR Thought Leader: Stacey Carroll

I first met Stacey Carroll at a Trakstar webinar on HR’s role in building a performance-driven organization.   I’ve attended a lot webinar’s and her’s was one of the best.  She provided an energetic and organized approach anyone could follow.  She colored each point with fun and concrete examples.  Her experience as an HR executive at Nordstroms, Payscale, and Trendwest Resorts has armed her with many insights and stories.

She is active on social media and was named by HR Examiner’s as a Top 25 Online Influencers in Talent Management.   At MeritShare we have given her our HR Thought Leader award.

In addition to this award for Stacey,  we are pleased to announce she will be offering a free webinar “Like Me! Rewards & Engagement for Employees in the Social Era” on June 13th at 1:00-2:00pm EDT.   This session is pending approval for 1.0 HRCI re-certification credit.  Save your place now and register in one click here.

The webinar will discuss:
• The effects of employee recognition and regular feedback on engagement
• They types of employees recognition that work best including more modern trends
• Tips and Tricks for effective peer-based recognition and feedback
• 3 steps for implementing a successful employee engagement plan

You’ll leave this session understanding how to update your employee performance and recognition programs to be current with today’s trends and best practices.   Come join us and hear Stayce’s insights and offer your own as well.

Thank’s to David Martin for his support and including us in his excellent Trakstar webinar series.  You can also find Stacey at her website HR Experts on Call.

 

Visualize Your Online Reputation

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Today’s MeritShare innovator series interview is with one of Vizify’s founders, Todd Silverstein.

If you haven’t tried Vizify yet, you should.  We were very impressed with how easy it is to use and how well it shows up on search results for your name.   We recently recommended the service for the Mashable Article: You Will Be Googled.

Vizify helps you look your best online with graphical bios. They’re a series of interactive infographics that tell your story, from your most tweeted words to your career history and personal and professional interests. Vizify builds & updates most of this for your from your social media content, but we also provide themes and vizcards (bite-sized infographics about you) that you can use to truly make your bio all your own.  Use your bio as you would a personal website and  impress potential bosses, client, even dates.

We were curious about the people and vision behind this innovative service and asked Todd to share the “why” behind Vizify and get his advice on managing your online reputation.

Why did you start Vizify?

We were inspired by the growing importance of your online presence, when it comes to finding a job, succeeding in business, even finding a date. When you look at things from the side of the person Googling you to find out more, you realize that there aren’t really great solutions out there for pulling it all together into a constantly up-to-date, comprehensive, and engaging whole.

What are some of your favorite Vizify profiles?

Our Chief Security Officer: https://www.vizify.com/emma is a good example of the personality and style you can bring to your story.

What recommendations do you have for managing your reputation online?

1) Assume everything you post today is public. Don’t post anything online that would make you uncomfortable.

2) Own your full name online, e.g. claiming linkedin.com/your-full-name and yourname.com

3) Most sites, such as LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to either put links in your brief bio or to link to other sites. To help yourself be found online, it’s a good idea to interlink the sites you use together. Of course, we believe a Vizify bio makes a great destination to point to from other profiles.

4) Set up a Google Alert for your name so you can monitor what’s said about you.

5) One of the best ways to shape your online presence is to publish new and up-to-date content reflecting your accomplishments, skills, etc. If you’re unsure how to do that, or find it too time consuming, take a peek at our vizcards for some ideas.

Do you search on people online as part of your due diligence on job candidates, business partners, customers, or suppliers/vendors? 

Of course, I look to see if they have a Vizify bio first! :) I also use Rapportive, a gmail plug-in, which does all the heavy lifting for you and displays social media profiles of the people you email.

What unique things do you do to create a unique work culture or engage your team/employees?

Every Wednesday (which is when we ship new code), we have a “5:05″ (borrowed shamelessly from Andy Sack’s model while we were in TechStars), where every team member has a chance to share their high & low for the week with the rest of the team. We’re also big on transparency– we have a monthly all-hands where we share our progress and numbers. We also do a team lunch together each Friday, which really helps keep the lines of communications open.

What mascot best represents your company culture/spirit?

Hmm, I’m sure my cofounders would disagree, but I’d have to pick dragons.  Either that or breakdancing chickens.

What are some of your favorite new online/mobile services?

I’m fond of one tab for Chrome (I’m a too many open tabs fiend), hootsuite (it’s a great way to keep up with high twitter traffic) and mad mimi a really great lightweight email newsletter program.

We thank Todd for spending time with us to answer our questions on the heels of a big product launch.  Todd and has team just released “Vizcards” a fun way to create eye-popping graphics about yourself.  You can reach Todd on Vizify or  Twitter.

 

Leveraging People and Profit: The Hard Work of Soft Management

What’s an “Altrupreneur”®?

Bernie Nagle has been a student of “engagement” in the workplace for nearly 40 years, primarily in manufacturing environments, either as an executive or as a consultant.  He is also co-author of the book, Leveraging People and Profit: The Hard Work of Soft Management, where he coined the term “Altrupreneur”.

Leveraging-People-Profit-Altrupreneur3Nagle describes an “altrupreneur” as one who conducts the affairs of an enterprise with conspicuous regard for the welfare of others, builds communities that produce value for all the organization’s stakeholders. This new breed of leader responds to the needs of the organization and the demands of people coming to the workplace and marketplace.  The manager who can balance the people and profit factors has the best chance of succeeding in tomorrow’s corporation.

MeritShare co-founder Travis Pearl first connected with Bernie on Linkedin and recently conducted this interview.

Tell us about yourself?

I have both experienced and observed the phenomenon of engagement as an employee, manager, senior executive, consultant, author, speaker, business owner, and facilitator.  

I started consulting back in 1995, after 22 years in the Food Industry, when the company I worked for was acquired. At that time I was VP Manufacturing for a $2.0 bil. company, responsible for 7 plants  Instead of moving to Europe with the acquiring company, I took the “package” and went to outplacement. It was at that point I decided to begin writing my book and go out on my own.  After consulting and speaking on my own for a period of time, I was recruited by PriceWaterhouse Consulting and I worked for them until I was recruited by one of their clients to lead a global business process improvement initiative in 13 locations in 9 countries.  

Break it down for us Bernie

 My experience has taught me some simple truths about people in the workplace:

  1. The vast majority of people are fundamentally good; they want to do a good job, improve and grow

  2. Everyone is really good at something

  3. The greatest motivator in the workplace is believing at the end of the day that what you did made a positive difference

  4. People and Profit are not mutually exclusive business choices

Enlightened leaders know these truths intuitively and act accordingly, with integrity and respect.

Why did you start your consulting/training company – what is your mission?

My mission was then, and remains today, “Ubertas per Beneficium” (Abundance through Service).  My goal is to establish a covenant mentality of mutual service in the workplace, through whatever means of evangelization is at my disposal.  My most fervent wish is to get back to being able to support myself financially doing this work full-time as an independent operator or as part of a larger training/consulting firm.

Explain the meaning of “Altrupreneur” – how did you establish that term and what does it mean to you?

The word, Altrupreneur ®, is an improbable union of the words, “Altruistic” and “Entrepreneur”. An Altrupreneur ® is a transformational leader who understands a simple, underlying principle of human nature:

“Engagement, trust, loyalty, and followership, are inspired by the leader’s willingness to value and serve ‘the other’.”

I wanted to create a word that communicated a workable middle-ground meld of the attributes that make for a successful entrepreneur, as well as those of a genuine altruist.  These were the traits I had observed in successful manager/leaders who had the ability to truly engage people in the workplace and elicit discretionary effort, innovation and enthusiasm.  These special leaders had keen business sense and a nose for the bottom line, and at the same time, were people of high integrity, uncommon empathy, and genuine concern for the welfare of others.  In other words, they held others in “high regard”; hence the frequent references to the creation of a “high regard” work environment.

If you had to provide three leadership principles around servant leadership, one sentence each, what would they be?

Leadership Principle #1   Leadership exists only through the voluntary gift of follower-ship

Leadership Principle #2   The gift of followership is given for their reasons, not yours

Leadership Principle #3   You can neither know nor engage their reasons unless by your actions you embody a spirit of humility, respect and service for others


Your website states that Altrupreneurs ‘create “virtually free” new sources of Competitive Advantage in a sustainable world, please explain?  

The lack of engagement in the workforce has been demonstrated repeatedly in study after study.  It is no longer an area of speculation, with some studies estimating as high as 70% to 80% of the workforce actively disengaged.  This group falls into the “quit and stayed” category.  It has been my contention, as I stated emphatically in my book nearly 20 years ago, “the greatest waste of assets in all organizations is the untapped creativity and innovative energy of an engaged workforce.”  Your competitors may outspend you in every asset category, but they cannot buy, nor can they match the creativity and innovation of a team of energized workers.  That enthusiasm and innovative energy cannot be forced it cannot be coerced and it cannot be bought…it must be led.  People do things for THEIR reasons, not yours.  The enlightened, servant leader is uniquely able to connect with the workforce where THEY are, with an interest in THEIR needs, and ignite that enthusiasm and innovative energy on behalf of the organization.  This is the next frontier in sustainable competitive advantage.

What are the most important traits, attributes for Enlightened Leadership?

  • Integrity

  • Humility

  • Regard/Respect for others

  • Competence

  • Optimism

  • Communication

  • Enthusiasm

What companies do you admire the most?

There is a company (literally a few miles from where I live) I recently got to know, and had a chance to interview the president, Stuart Watson.  The company is named Truline, and they make bearing housings for super high-tech applications, like aircraft fuel pumps.  Stuart and the company owner have created a Servant Leadership culture as genuine as any I have ever witnessed in the last two decades.  When I was researching my book,  I had the privilege to speak to some of the giants of the Servant Leadership world, like Max DePree, Herb Kelleher and Art Wainwright, and I will tell you this company is no less impressive. 

bernie

We thank Bernie for his time, insights and advice.

If you would like more information on Bernie, please visit his website  Altrupreneur.com