Summary: Great perks and benefits, recognition with cash incentives, family-feel, room for advancement, 12 weeks maternity, solid collaboration tools and a non-nonsense place to work. “Continuous learning” is one of their core values and they are a pure meritocracy.
Intro: We actually walk the talk when it comes to culture. Culture to us is not about ping pong tables and free food. Those are nice to have, but they don’t bring people to a company, retain them, or build the belief system that we all must operate from to build an incredible company long term. We approach our culture from the inside soul of our company – and then ensure it touches every element of the employee cycle for reinforcement. From our first touch point with candidates until people exit to everything in between, our culture is the thread that binds us together.
“Continuous learning” is one of our core values. We provide opportunities, tools and support for those who are motivated, step up, and are eager to learn. In 2016, we were finally large enough to invest in a “people development” function, and with it has come highly engaging manager bootcamps, a new approach to onboarding for impact, and a robust learning management system. In addition, we’ve got countless examples of people here who may not have a ton of experience in years, but have added such value to the organization that we continually find new projects, work and teams to challenge them with.
Fully paid 12 weeks of maternity. Direct access advocate hotline for those people who have special medical cases that require extra care/attention. And most importantly, an understanding leadership team who partners with our people strategy organization to make accommodations when people need to take time off. We go out of our way to make work not a worry when people face life challenges – we step up, help out, and fill in. One of my favorite recent examples from 2016 is when an employee had a life threatening accident in January. Our team stepped up (with his family’s permission) and raised $27,000 to aid with his special expenses.
Community service/charitable causes:
We’ve been a big supporter of “TUGG” (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) for years. They host an annual “give back” day in Boston each fall, where employees give back to the Boston community. Inspired by this action, on October 20th of 2016, we hosted #raid7givesback day. Across the globe, every one of our offices shut down for the day and with every one of our 900 people working together to give back to their communities on projects that were selected by each office. It was so successful we are committed to doing it in 2017 as well.
With input from our employees, we created “Passion Quotient” surveys to establish a mechanism that would be transparent, safe and productive. We’ve played with the timing over the years (twice a year, 2 a week and now quarterly) to optimize participation and reduce survey fatigue. We track the trends, and report back to the company at the end of each quarter about what we are hearing, and what we are doing to tackle it. And then we ask them to get involved to help drive the necessary changes.
Whenever we move space or offices, we ask various employees to join the design team. We do this to strike a balance between our style, culture and functional space (white boards everywhere, an enormous kitchen that doubles as a meeting space, bright colors, talk rooms, couches, ample places to collaborate, etc.) Ensuring our people are motivated by our ideas is critical.
Creative meeting places:
Every two years, we bring the entire company together from all over the globe to share goals, collaborate and learn. We were 800 people this January, so we needed to be at the Boston Convention Center…but we’ve also held events for each office at places like the Museum of Science, F1 Racing, Disneyland, and even a free park and just played lawn games together. It doesn’t matter where we are – we just aim to maximize the time spent together.
The company keeps its kitchen stocked with snacks.
Each week, Full Circle Insights picks up the check for a catered lunch.
Company outings are held quarterly, giving team members a chance to build relationships.
There is a ping pong table onsite for relaxation, plus a trail on the campus where people can take walks.
The Full Circle Insights office is also dog friendly, which injects a level of calm energy into the office.
During the day, people are pretty heads down….but we like mix in fun like music, ping pong games, and we have abundant space for people to gather at lunch. Most people bring or grab a lunch from outside, and gather together to share meals, catch up, etc. Obviously we have special parties and events outside of the office to really celebrate and blow off steam!
How corporate vision is communicated:
We host global “kickoff” meetings at the start of every other year (we alternate the entire company coming to Boston every other year, with the Execs traveling to share on the alternate year). We use these meetings to share vision, align teams, and build relationships. Then we revisit how we are progressing at monthly interactive Town Hall Meetings led by our CEO. We supplement with frequent communication through team meetings, emails, etc. to share where we are performing, and where we need to get back on course.
Just like the example above, we aim to operate Raid7 as if this is OUR company. I might drive the cultural efforts as the Chief People Officer, but the culture belongs to all of us. We provide ample opportunities for people to communicate, share, and drive change. In other words, people are rewarded for “grabbing a shovel” and getting involved. You can’t ask for change without getting involved in helping us get there.
It depends on the team…but as a company, we doing two major forms of recognition.
- Employees can nominate each other for “Guitar Picks” through a portal, which allows you to recognize someone online, seen by all, AND receive a physical pick representing the team of the person who granted it to you. he goal is both for employees to thank each other for amazing things they’ve done, as well as to foster cross-collaboration for teams. e’ve given out about 15,000 picks since the program started 3 years ago.
- We give quarterly “Moose Awards”. Nominated by our people, selected by our Exec Team, these awards are given to represent each of our 5 core values. The winner receives a stuffed Moose (company mascot) dressed to represent the value, as well as $500.
- Teams also celebrate in their own ways. Our more extroverted sales organization bangs a gong for every $10,000 in sales; (e.g. 5 hits for a $50,000 deal). Every person within earshot of the gong gets up and high 5’s the sales person. It’s a powerful team moment celebrating not just the sales person, but all of us who contributed to getting it done. Our more introverted product team prefers more subtle recognition. Bottom line, every team leader needs to understand what motivates their teams.
- People understand that accountability and ownership are critical to being successful at Rapid7. One example, Trevor McKee, a former summer intern, is now an employee with two years of experience. He took such accountability and leadership on a project last year, he was promoted to manage a team of people with far more experience than he. He’s respected by these people and delivered exceptional results. We celebrate and encourage people like this. On a meta level, we seek to include our people at every level in our bigger decisions. From encouraging them to share their points of view with our executive team to having the latitude to take risks on projects to further our innovation, we celebrate those who have the courage to make decisions. And when they fail – as they will from time to time – we look at those as learning moments. Have resilience, dust yourself off, and try again.
We do not have set hours. Our philosophy starts with the notion that we hire adults, and we expect them to act like adults. We do ask people and teams to establish the core hours that work for them (typically between 9 and 4, so we can optimize meetings, etc) but we don’t care when people come and go. We live in a networked world; people are reachable when we need them!
To a large extent, they do make their own schedules. With the exception of our junior sales inside team who works core hours (they are largely in training mode) we have an unlimited vacation policy in the US (it’s managed according to country law in other locations.). People just need to give their managers a heads up about time they want off, so the manager can ensure there is coverage, etc. We don’t track time off needed for doctor’s appointments, school plays, etc. People need to be relatively to manage their lives; and we like to allow them the latitude to do that. We have rarely seen an abuse of that. In addition, we encourage people to track their time off (vacations, not hours) so we can ensure people are actually taking it. In a high growth environment with motivated people, we sometimes find ourselves encouraging people to take a break if they don’t realize it themselves!
We all realize that it takes ALL OF US to deliver the results to drive this company to be successful. While we all work hard in general, when it’s “go time” and there is a big project or effort that needs to take place, you’ll always find people willing to put in the extra time and effort to create great results. We see this at the end of the month with our sales team generating the final push for revenue, our hiring team working to fill much needed roles, and our finance team working hard at the end of the quarter to close the books. Everyone understands these crunch times, and managers do their best to maximize time during less stressful periods by encouraging time off, learning opportunities, etc.
Much of our company is new (we’ve doubled in size over the last 1+ years). However, we also have a number of people of “long timers” who are in each function who have been here over 5+ years, when we were under 100 people. While skills are important to get the job done today, we also hire for attitude, aptitude and culture fit. By doing so, we identify people who will scale with the organization as it continues to grow. In short, nearly every member of the exec team that joined in 2012 is still here and thriving.
Closing company statements: See like to our “Moose Manifesto” which outlines our culture and how we live it. It was written by our people, for our people. In it, you’ll see we seek to balance skills with attitude, aptitude, and culture fit. If you want to be heads down and not contribute to the team, this isn’t a good place for you.
Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.