As I write this, a construction crew is just on the other side of our workspace wall, starting on a very large expansion project that is set for completion by the end of 2019. Once again, BizStream is running out of space. As we continue to grow and bring more developers on to our team, the need for a larger workspace to house all the code gurus became more and more evident leading into early 2019.
Bear with me on the Star Wars reference, but it feels like we can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. See what I did there? The force is not strong with me… How about, we are growing at lightspeed! Anyway, just this year BizStream ranked no. 4,841 on the 2019 Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Read more about our Inc. 5000 ranking here
. We believe that the defining element of this growth comes from the people that we bring on to our team. For us, the BizStream culture is everything. To prove it, over the last year we have invested a lot of time and resources into defining what our culture is and who we want to share it with. Our interview process has gone through an extensive restructuring as we strive to bring in people that clearly fit within our culture and align with our core values.
As I stated before, culture is everything to us and is the defining factor for a business to not only succeed but also grow. When you surround yourself with people who have a clear and concise understanding of your core values, great things manifest. A work environment that is full of employees that connect with each other and have a passion for the things they are creating fosters a culture and reputation that extends beyond the walls of BizStream. Health benefits and competitive salaries, while powerful at attracting talent, tend to fall short when you introduce an employee vetting process. Especially one such as ours that strikes a balance between technical prowess and cultural integration. We believe that an employee of the BizStream family should not only house the technical chops necessary to do the job but also the ability to embrace and help foster the core values that construct our culture.
The foundation of the BizStream culture is rooted in our 7 core values:
- Whatever It Takes
- Work Hard, Play Hard
- We Are A Team
- Be Fearless
- Foster Growth In Others
- Be Positive
I think this is ultimately where most companies would stop in this post. They spend the time to write who they think they are as an organization, chart out some values and post it up on a wall to collect dust. Over time, employees walking past forget it’s even there. So how do you activate and inspire your team to live and breathe your core values?
Three years ago, we set out to conquer a unique event as a team. You can read about our 2017 Tough Mudder event in my blog post, Five Reasons to Challenge Yourself
. What started out as a friendly dare quickly became a company tradition. Every two years, a large group of our BizStream family heads out to a gravel pit to run in a 10-mile, 25 obstacle, fitness course. We can think of no better event than the Tough Mudder
to live out our core values and foster our culture as a team. A Mudder event requires a “Whatever It Takes” attitude. Every obstacle is a unique challenge to each individual and some are not possible without the assistance of fellow teammates (We Are A Team). We had a few of our members conquer fears of heights, electrical shocks, and claustrophobia (Be Fearless). Throughout all the mud, muck, rain and cold, we kept positive attitudes as we rolled around in the mud (Be Positive).
The Tough Mudder event is a direct representation of our team living out our core values together. They chose to run this event on one of their precious summer Saturdays and pay the extra cash for the team shirts. We did it because we are a family. We do challenging things together in and out of the workplace because we have the passion to do so.
Fostering culture is not an easy thing for any organization. At first, implementing core values can feel a bit “corporate”, though I assure you if you ever get a chance to visit us at BizStream, we are anything but a “corporate” business. Over time though, they begin to define who we are as a culture and community. There’s a reason people WANT to work at BizStream and I guarantee that if you put in the effort to craft your culture, you will find success.
Is culture a tough “mudder” to solve? Yes absolutely. Is it worth it? We like to think so and we have the growth to prove it.