Recently, RevUnit was named a Best Place to Work in Arkansas.
It’s our second year in a row and you could definitely say we are proud. We try hard to be the kind of place people want to work at. The kind of company where you don’t hate Mondays. We aren’t perfect by any means but there are a number of things I believe we do right. Here are a few thoughts I’ve had about the characteristics and actions of successful companies who have created cultures where people love to work.
1.) Start With Why
Great companies don’t happen by accident. Starting with why a company is formed and why it keeps on existing. At RevUnit, we believe strongly that we can make work and life better for millions of people. We believe our focus on solving problems with design led solutions can change the world and transform enterprises who employee millions of people. Our why is grounded in making #workbetter.
We also exist because we want to work at a place we love, with people we love.
We believe our strongest organism in our organization is the team, or a “unit.”
Our why isn’t making mobile apps or selling products. Those are some of the “how” and “what” attached to our purpose. We are grounded in our why.
2.) Culture is intentional
Every day we choose to build our culture or let it erode. It’s a choice every day. Made by our thoughts, words, and actions. Everyone at RevUnit has had the opportunity to shape our values of Celebrate the Win, Do What’s Right, Be Fearless, A Little Better All The Time, and a personal favorite I’ve Got Your Back, You’ve Got Mine. We choose the values and we choose to live into them. Every decision either makes it easier or harder to be the culture we are striving to be. It’s our choice.
3.) Hiring has to change
Knowing why a company exists and choosing the kind of company culture you want means you can’t just hire anyone. At RevUnit, a perfect fit is more than just someone who can “do the job.” It’s someone who can do our job. Living and building the RevUnit culture.
You can’t just be a participant, everyone has to be a part of the architecture and construction of the culture.
This sounds easy to do, but when you need someone on a new project fast it’s hard to stick to your guns. But you have to be true to your hiring. You can only hire someone who will make your company a better place culturally.
4.) Individual growth is key
Belonging in a company is important. Having a path forward is even more important. The key to being a successful place to work is being a place that provides opportunities for growth and progression.
At RevUnit, we do it by focusing on Individual Development Plans or IDP’s. Each person in the company is responsible for their own IDP’s. They outline what you want to develop and grow in. Everything from job specific skills, leadership opportunities, special projects, and picking up cooking skills. The goals are both practical and aspirational and recognize your personal growth is about growing outside of work too.
I believe great companies choose to acknowledge your life and dreams outside of work. Even when they don’t align with company objectives.
Your goals are then backed by specific actions you will take. You might even call out where others in the company can help. It’s not uncommon to have someone say, “Hey, you are in my IDP!” You then share your IDP with your manager who aligns themselves with your goals. Your manager’s job then is to help encourage and open pathways for you to achieve those goals. Providing coaching and feedback along the way.
5.) Empathy is the defining characteristic
Great companies assume best intent. Each person understanding that the other people they work with and communicate are trying just as hard as they are to live into the company values. Empathy is the process of seeing other’s perspectives too. It’s one of the reasons why we believe in getting together face to face as much as possible. We do company All-Hands meetings, we have a bi-weekly forum company-wide, we do local office huddles, and we strive to be direct and focused when we communicate across locations and teams.
We also use slack to keep talking and we shut down almost 99% of internal emails.
6.) Culture requires constant aligning
I love RevUnit but it isn’t perfect. We have lots of challenges to overcome still. We’ve made acquisitions and need to keep integrating. We keep making new hires and must ensure everyone is having a RevUnit experience. Then there is growth. Lots of it. We are doubling every year and this year we’ve already doubled our staff from 32 to 60+ by the end of July. We are growing and that brings challenges too.
We can’t sit back and rest on culture and the awards of the past. Culture is constantly evolving. You have to keep evolving and working along with it. I love where I work but it is called work for a reason. It takes constant iterations and changes, but I love it and I love the people I work with at RevUnit. I believe everyone can work at a place that makes them happy.