In this post, we will look at how 91Springboard’s founders plan on maintaining our work culture as we scale up even further. We’re now 100 employees strong and will be well over twice that number before the year ends.
Q. What Are The New Challenges You Foresee As You Scale Up – How Do You Plan To Tackle Them?
Anand: The new challenges start with the fact that we are now at 100 people. For the first time, we have a layer in the organisation. Earlier it was us (the founders) and everyone reported to us, but now we have a layer of mid- management. So how does that culture get translated? Typically, everytime a layer is added, there tends to be some dilution of the culture and the message. How do you continue to translate the culture to the new people who will join us in the future, that’s the key challenge and for that we’re relying on:
- Regular communication from our end (the founders) and being transparent and clear about what kind of a company we want to build, consistently.
- Our core team – we’ve been lucky enough to have a great initial team. The first 20-25 and increasingly the 100 we have now, have bought into the culture and fully believe in it.
So, for the next 100 joinees, it’s not possible for the founders to sit next to each them for 8 hours a day. However, this core team, these are the people who are empowered and will carry forward that culture and way of working, of this we are confident.
Varun: So, let’s be honest, we aren’t going to be able to preserve the exact culture that we have now when we are an organisation that’s 200+ people strong. However, we can guarantee that our culture will evolve and that the core of it will always remain the same, regardless of the number of employees or hubs we have. Since our work culture is a direct reflection of our values, it’s the one thing that’s set in stone! This core includes things like:
- Freedom to do what’s best for the customer, in your opinion
Pranay: Part of it is ensuring that the values and culture are both communicated explicitly. If and when someone goes against the core values, it’s our job to make sure it’s pointed out, looked at more consciously and affects a change in behaviour. Another very important thing is hiring.
We hire people only if they are a good culture fit. Like everyone else, we’ve made a few mistakes in the past but we’ve identified and rectified them as soon as they’ve been spotted.
Another point is that just because they don’t fit our culture doesn’t make them bad people or bad at their jobs. They may be great at their jobs but are not the right fit for this particular job on account of the culture mismatch.
Here at 91springboard, being a right culture fit is just as important as being good at your job. It’s the religion we follow here and if maintaining the right culture costs us a few great employees, it’s fine, we’re willing to take that hit.
[This post first appeared on 91springboard.com and has been reproduced with permission. 91springboard is a vibrant coworking community created for startups, freelancers and business owners with a startup mindset.]