Earlier this month, Centrify was honored to be named One of the Best Places to Work in 2016, a Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Award. We are really proud of this award, but we are especially proud of the passionate and hard-working employees that make Centrify one of the best places to work. It is their dedication, motivation and energy that makes Centrify a great place to work. After we were honored with this award, I was given the opportunity to write a blog post on Glassdoor for Employers. Below is my post, which focuses on why maintaining a company’s culture is so important, and how Centrify does so even while continually adding new employees.
When Centrify was notified that we were chosen by our employees to be on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in SMB this year, we could not have been happier. Centrify was founded in 2004 to address a growing problem — securing organizations against the ever increasing number of cyber threats. And to help solve that problem, we rely on our great people: people who are energetic, motivated and collaborative.
One of the keys to success is maintaining our culture, which is hard to do as we continually add new employees. We’d like to share some of the things we have learned as we have grown, and although we can’t animate it or set it to music, we’ll do our best to mix some in songs. Feel free to hum along!
1. Invest in developing your people.
“I get up at seven, yeah, and I go to work at nine. I got no time for livin’, Yes, I’m workin’ all the time.”
Employees invest a lot of their time in you (and outside of engineering, they usually start work before 9:00 AM), and it’s only fair to invest back in them. Training, mentoring and ongoing communication are critical. Make sure that people have the skills, tools and information they need. Ask questions to find out whether people have had all the training, orientation and onboarding they need.
Even if they do have what they need to get the job done, offer to help people receive additional training so that they know they’re growing professionally and keeping abreast of developments in their field, not stagnating. Assist people in getting opportunities to go to professional conferences, network and find other opportunities for growth. If people feel as though they are learning and growing at your company, they are far more likely be more happy and engaged in their jobs.
2. Empower people.
“I’ve been takin’ care of business, it’s all mine. Takin’ care of business and working overtime, work out.”
Since our employees end up taking care of a lot of business, look for opportunities to involve people in setting goals and working out strategy. Expand people’s sphere of influence when appropriate, by giving them authority to make decisions and take action.
But, there is a difference between empowering people and dumping too much responsibility on them. When you give people authority, make sure they also have the resources they need. Make sure that the goals are clear and that everyone is on the same page. Managers or mentors should be available to offer help or clarification as needed.
3. Help people feel a part of the big picture.
“I’m taking what they giving ’cause I’m working for a livin’.”
Make sure that people see where their work fits in, and aren’t just doing it for the paycheck. Don’t assume that everyone shares the same understanding of the company’s goals or that everyone sees clearly how vital their contribution is. Talk about the company’s goals and how each person contributes. Align employee’s individual goals to those of the company. Talk about where the company is going; share your own enthusiasm for the company’s goals and successes. When people’s contributions have been central to reaching a major goal, make sure everyone knows about it and celebrates the success.
4. Share information.
“You wanna know my occupation, I get paid to rock the nation – I go to work.”
It is important for people to know their occupation and the overall goals of the company – but, it is more critical to have them think in terms of how their efforts contribute to the “big picture,” rather than just do as they’re told. Be as open and transparent about the company as you can, and frequently communicate on that.
You need to help people to understand the larger picture so that they make decisions in the best interests of the company, and see how their work impacts the company. If, in the process, you can help them reach out and establish contact with people in other parts of the business, sometimes even direct relationships with customers, suppliers, etc, then they can better learn how our products impact others and they expand their network and perspective.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
“We get up at twelve and start to work at one, Take an hour for lunch and then at two we’re done, Jolly Good Fun!”
We actually end up spending a lot of time working together, and at times it is a whole lot of time working together. The excitement of a new product release is exhilarating, but if you take it all too seriously it can be draining. So, we try to have fun in the process.
Whether it is buying a pair of red Converse sneakers for all employees, or having a raffle to swap offices for a day with the CEO, we try to enjoy ourselves whenever we can. The CFO has been known to play “Name that Tune” on the boombox for his team at quarter’s end!
6. “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, It’s home from work we go.”
Our most valuable assets go home every day. By engaging our workforce and making Centrify a Best Place to Work, we know our employees are going to come back to work the next day. If you would like a free pair of Red Converse and want to be part of the adventure, check out Centrify and see if there is a role for you.