I posted this over on Medium as well, which I will probably do time to time when it seems relevant. Still experimenting with what it means to have so many places to blog these days.
I was writing something else earlier today and included a bit of an aside about an idea I talk about a lot at Percolate: Thinking about the employee of today and the employee of tomorrow.
To explain, we’re growing pretty fast. We were something like 85 at the beginning of this year and we’re right around 185 now. When you’re adding two or three people a week, like we have this year, you run into some serious challenges. One of the ones that especially struck me (and always surprised me wasn’t discussed more), is how you keep people engaged/educated as you’re growing so fast. So far in December we’ve added something like 12 people. We should add another eight or so before the month is out. That means 10% of the company will be starting this month. That’s obviously great from a growth and talent perspective, but it’s a bit of a pain when you consider that anyone who started in December missed everything that happened in November. That included an offsite, lots of product additions, and a bevy of other new ideas, processes, documents, and lots of other stuff.
How you keep an ever-expanding employee-based abreast of what the company does seems like one of the most important questions of company culture that isn’t really ever asked. Every time you send an email outlining a new idea or process you need to think about how the people that don’t work at the company yet are going to learn about it. That could mean it becomes part of training materials, is presented in a meeting to new hires, or (best of all) is coded into a product you use.
I suspect (though can’t prove), that ultimately this is one of the big things that kills companies operating at high growth. If you don’t keep this in mind you can’t possibly keep the culture feeling cohesive, and without that it’s quite hard to understand how you keep people and the company aligned around a shared mission and vision.
And in the end, that’s really what culture is all about.
If you want to learn more about the Percolate culture, we’ve written about it quite a bit over at our blog.