BY BILL HUSEBY, PRESIDENT & CEO
One thing that SIGMADESIGN is known for is its culture. In fact, a lot of new hires say they were attracted to SIGMADESIGN by the people and the company culture. It’s a challenge to maintain that culture as SIGMADESIGN grows, but we are dedicated to keeping it fun. Actually, that commitment is stated in our core values as “Take Time to Laugh.”
I’ll be honest, it isn’t easy to keep that “one big happy family” feeling when everyone is busy and the company is going through growing pains (we’re up to 300+ employees). But we are able to keep the culture alive at SIGMADESIGN through a few different channels: taking time to laugh, event planning, communicating, work-life balancing, and reinforcing values.
TAKE TIME TO LAUGH
It’s the small things that matter. Encouraging people to take a moment at work to share a story, or share a joke leads to some laughter in the building. It tends to be contagious. Spending some time together helps bring the employees closer together when they have time to learn about each other. That’s why it’s important to continue to plan events that bring people together. We aim to do so with several events a year (Summer Bash in August and Holiday Party in December). Self-organized events like a golf league, bike rides, nerf gun wars, BBQ’s and hikes are also encouraged.
Open sharing is part of what makes teamwork effective. Keeping lines of communication open can be a challenge as a company grows and becomes busier. Face to face communication is always good, but when schedules collide other forms of communication can help. We use an internal-only email blast called the INSIDER to help everyone in the company (in many different locations) know what’s going on within the company. For example, sharing details about a new project Rick is working on, or Rachelle had her baby, or Justin is moving to Singapore – all of these new bits help everyone feel part of a big family.
At SIGMADESIGN, everyone can take the time to do what is important to them. For me, that’s being with my family, sailing, and coaching my kids’ baseball teams. For any given employee, that might be going to a Star Wars convention, taking a month off to travel in Europe, or taking a side trip for fun while on a business trip. Whatever it is, we make sure our employees have the time to cultivate a positive work-life balance. Oftentimes, that looks like a flexible work schedule, whether it’s a mom in Singapore who works part-time so she can homeschool her kids, a dad who stays home until he drops his daughter off at school, or a mom who goes home early to take care of her new baby. At SIGMADESIGN, we believe in a healthy work-life balance, and we do what it takes to help our employees maintain this.
REINFORCE VISION AND VALUES
My number one priority is to remind employees of the SIGMADESIGN vision and values. This helps strengthen the company culture. As part of our onboarding practices, we teach culture and reinforce it to everyone in the organization. Using a hiring process that emphasizes the core values from the beginning is an approach that has helped us grow our team of the “bestpeople.”
SUSTAINING A GOOD CULTURE
Keeping a strong company culture is worth the effort. It helps with retaining both employees and clients. We support each other and our families because work-life balance helps increase happiness and prevents burnout at the office. These reminders help employees know why they are at SIGMADESIGN and helps keep the team united.