April Bohnert | June 13, 2019
Scaling a company successfully is no easy feat, particularly when it comes to maintaining a strong culture. After all, what came naturally with a team of 20 often requires a more deliberate and collaborative approach with a team of 200. As companies grow — adding new people, processes, products and even departments — it becomes even more important for their cultures to grow along with them.
We caught up with four local tech companies to learn more about what defines their cultures and what they’ve done to stay true to — and evolve — that culture as they’ve scaled.
Embracing the “show, don’t tell” philosophy, Engrain delivers interactive real estate software that leverages touchscreen, interactive mapping and data visualization technologies that brings information directly to renters’ and buyers’ fingertips. Chief Operating Officer Melissa Pasquale shed some light on the ways their culture has evolved over the years and why she expects it to continue evolving alongside the company.
What are some of the defining qualities of your company culture today?
Though the company has been around for over 20 years, our culture has changed dramatically. In the last few years, we have grown from a small agency to a now 60-plus employee, product-oriented SaaS company. The people on our team define our culture, and that process has been very organic. At a recent team building event, we defined ourselves as open, nerdy, anti-corporate, punchy and evolving. We love to celebrate people’s differences and promote growth in an individual’s areas of strength. Despite our size, we still maintain an entrepreneurial vibe at Engrain, which leaves room for individual employees to push through significant changes to company culture.
What are some steps you’re taking to stay true to that culture as you grow?
Our office manager is in charge of the Engagement Committee to ensure company events are organized and happening on a consistent basis. Volunteers within various departments help come up with the ideas so it’s always something new and fun. We also have a monthly first-Thursday happy hour which includes company announcements, ice breakers and libations. We try to plan our remote team’s visits to the office around first Thursday, and when they aren’t in town we use a virtual meeting to keep everyone in the loop. In this way, company culture does feel very cohesive and collaborative.