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#jenafits
15 Simple Steps to Great Company Culture
Mike Rustici, President
Rustici Software
#jenafits
Who We Are
#jenafits
Outstanding Results
#jenafits
Fifth Third
#jenafits
Gosh darn it, people like us
#jenafits
Why create this environment?
=
#jenafits
How we do it?
#jenafits
1. Always stick to our culture and values
#jenafits
2. Recognize that life happens
#jenafits
3. Treat people like adults
CC: Tears 142/366 by Blue Square Things
#jenafits
4. Let people rise to expectations
CC: crossroads: Success or Failure by Chris Potter
#jenafits
5. Never compromise on people: Attitude
#jenafits
6. Never compromise on people: Ability
A
#jenafits
7. Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint
CC: hard work can hurt by normalityrelief
#jenafits
8. Make people feel safe
#jenafits
9. Argue well
#jenafits
10. Everything is up for discussion
#jenafits
11. Be consistent in everything you do
#jenafits
12. Have “legit” fun
#jenafits
13. Benefits are nice, but just the start
#jenafits
14. Embrace diversity
CC: strawberry fields forever by Jack
#jenafits
15. Create an office people want to come to
#jenafits
It’s not rocket science
#jenafits
@mike_rustici
mike.rustici@rusticisoftware.com
rusticisoftware.com
Mike Rustici, President
Questions? Just ask!
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15 Simple Steps to Great Company Culture

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A look at the 15 steps to great company culture at Rustici Software—one of Nashville's "Best Places to Work" six years running.

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  • -we are a software company that works in an obscure niche, but who has a new opportunity to go huge
    -we set out from the beginning to create a company that we wanted to work at
    -we’re not a SCORM company, we’re not a software company, we’re a place Mike and Tim want to go on Monday morning
  • -we are a software company that works in an obscure niche, but who has a new opportunity to go huge
    -we set out from the beginning to create a company that we wanted to work at
    -we’re not a SCORM company, we’re not a software company, we’re a place Mike and Tim want to go on Monday morning
  • -NBJ best places to work 6 years running
    -been in business 12 years, only 3 people have voluntarily left
    -most revenue is recurring or repeat
    -average >97% positive customer service feedback
    -consistent growth rate >20% every year since inception
  • -5/3 customer *almost* since the start
  • -employees love us, clients and public love us
    -this is our most important asset
  • personal recognition of what we wanted our career to be, but it also just makes good business sense
    it’s not altruism, it’s just good business. as a software company, people are our only asset

    - todd asks for balance sheets every quarter, he should be asking for employee and customer satisfaction reports

    -cost of turnover
    -super smart people @ below market
    -tin can opportunity is direct result of people loving us and more importantly trusting us
  • -taking care of our people, take care of our customers, then everything else
    -we’ve passed on opportunities b/c it is beyond what we could do in a sustainable way
  • -people will always have something more important in their lives than work, give them the flexibility to deal with problems and to have amazing experiences that make life worth living. they will pay it back in spades
  • -when you treat people like adults, they act like adults, when you treat them like children, they act like children
  • -this applies to adult oriented policies, but also to expectations of great work, when you expect it, you’re more apt to get it
  • -attitude first
    -our sweet spot is folks who have had a bad job, they run through walls for us
    -team focused people, people who just want to do great work, who take pride
    -the little things matter - change the TP, take out the trash - if you have people who will change the TP, you have people who will go the extra mile for a customer, even if it’s “not my job”
  • -show us you can do things
    -fight hard against hiring B players - spiral, firing a B+ is the hardest thing to do, but hugely important
    -A+ players do 5x as much as 50th percentile
  • -keep people fresh, 40 hours is enough, don’t burn them out, work at a pace that is sustainable for a decade. innovation doesn’t happen behind a computer screen
  • -both from obvious things like harassment or physical safety
    -but also safe to try new things and to make mistakes. failure is part of innovation. the key is to acknowledge it and learn from it
  • -tim and i have argued over everything under the sun, but we have never fought
    -always assume that other party has positive intention, that they are making an argument that they feel is for the good of the whole
    -for that assumption to work, you need to actually do that
    -defer to reason - logic wins, not emotion, games or power - Tim and I almost never play the boss card
    -this applies both to intellectual arguments as well as social remarks, things are often misunderstood when taken outside of intended context
  • -if you can win the argument, we should probably change what we do, but you need to convincingly win the argument and be willing to walk away from your idea if you lose it
  • -every decision is filtered through the lens of “how will this affect our employees”, does it violate any promises, either explicit or implicit. if it does, sometimes that will be necessary, deal with it head on, openly and honestly, don’t sweep things under the rug
  • -don’t force people to go to lame manufactured corporate events, do real fun things and make participation optional, appeal to a variety of interests. “fun” is designed to let people get to know each other in new ways, introduce some competition and give people new experiences
    -one of my favorite things about RS is that nobody goes out to lunch
  • -jenafits shows we are serious about taking care of our people and helps us stand out. it’s a word-of-mouth recruiting tool as much as an employee benefit
  • -but this doesn’t mean you should have an affirmative action plan for gender, religion, race, sexuality, etc, it means embracing different world views and ways of thinking, that’s where innovation and creativity come from
  • -one that shows we value the people and the work that they do
    -create opportunities for socialization, but give people isolation to do good work
    -it doesn’t cost all that much more compared to a person’s salary
    -include some pictures of the office
  • -why don’t more companies think like this?
    -when you consider each of these decisions in the big picture, they are common sense and so obviously right. when you look at decisions in isolation it’s less clear
  • -why don’t more companies think like this?
    -when you consider each of these decisions in the big picture, they are common sense and so obviously right. when you look at decisions in isolation it’s less clear
  • Transcript of "15 Simple Steps to Great Company Culture"

    1. 1. #jenafits 15 Simple Steps to Great Company Culture Mike Rustici, President Rustici Software
    2. 2. #jenafits Who We Are
    3. 3. #jenafits Outstanding Results
    4. 4. #jenafits Fifth Third
    5. 5. #jenafits Gosh darn it, people like us
    6. 6. #jenafits Why create this environment? =
    7. 7. #jenafits How we do it?
    8. 8. #jenafits 1. Always stick to our culture and values
    9. 9. #jenafits 2. Recognize that life happens
    10. 10. #jenafits 3. Treat people like adults CC: Tears 142/366 by Blue Square Things
    11. 11. #jenafits 4. Let people rise to expectations CC: crossroads: Success or Failure by Chris Potter
    12. 12. #jenafits 5. Never compromise on people: Attitude
    13. 13. #jenafits 6. Never compromise on people: Ability A
    14. 14. #jenafits 7. Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint CC: hard work can hurt by normalityrelief
    15. 15. #jenafits 8. Make people feel safe
    16. 16. #jenafits 9. Argue well
    17. 17. #jenafits 10. Everything is up for discussion
    18. 18. #jenafits 11. Be consistent in everything you do
    19. 19. #jenafits 12. Have “legit” fun
    20. 20. #jenafits 13. Benefits are nice, but just the start
    21. 21. #jenafits 14. Embrace diversity CC: strawberry fields forever by Jack
    22. 22. #jenafits 15. Create an office people want to come to
    23. 23. #jenafits It’s not rocket science
    24. 24. #jenafits @mike_rustici mike.rustici@rusticisoftware.com rusticisoftware.com Mike Rustici, President Questions? Just ask!
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