How Technology Helps Foster A Strong Culture At HubSpot

How Technology Helps Foster A Strong Culture At HubSpot
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Inbound marketing software company Hubspot has over 1,000 employees globally, one of the company’s core focuses is encouraging a culture within the company where no matter if you’re introverted or extroverted you feel like you can contribute and be listened to. HubSpot’s vice president of culture and experience, Katie Burke chats with B&T about how technology has helped foster a good workplace at HubSpot.

“We’re trying to build a company that helps employees live and work in a way that actually mirrors the way modern humans want to balance their life and work in a meaningful way,” Burke told B&T during her visit to HubSpot’s Sydney office.

Katie Burke

“Our employee survey is done quarterly, it’s done on through a Net Promoter Score and all the results are shared with all our employees. So you can see exactly how happy our employees are on a quarterly basis. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern, an entry level sales person or engineer, you can also see it by location and we also release all of the raw comments.

“What’s most important is not just asking for the feedback but showing that it’s being listened to and addressed. I think where companies are getting it wrong is they ask for question but not actually wanting to hear the answer.”

Some of the employee feedback was concerned that HubSpot was losing its focus on transparency and humility. In response to this, HubSpot trialed a ‘Failure Forum’ where executives and senior staff would share something that they did at HubSpot which failed, discuss why it didn’t work and look for suggestions or guidance within the company.

“The idea of it was to make sure we’re rewarding and incentivising people who are taking these risks even if it doesn’t work out. Because that’s part of learning and growing and that’s what going to get our front line employees to continue to say they have a great idea and let’s go.

“I think it’s a good way to make sure people are comfortable with that notion and not afraid to be excited and proud about what we’re doing, but also not afraid to be humble and able to look with customers and colleagues about where we could do better.”

This focus on learning from and embracing failure carries over to the company’s recruitment process which includes a litmus test for humility. For those people who are considered introverted, HubSpot has a company wide wiki where all the financial information about HubSpot is stored.

“At any tech company you really want to recruit remarkable technical talent, and often those folks are more introverted. The things they know and can share are harder to draw out then a potential interview would suggest.

“HubSpot has a unique value proposition where everyone at HubSpot is an insider so all of our new sales reps, new engineers, all of our co-ops are designated insiders. So that wiki not only helps us share that information but it also provides a forum for those who are less extroverted to share their ideas and insights.”

As the company expands, HubSpot uses technology to make the company still feel small. For example, one of HubSpot’s engineers built an app called the Lunch Roulette application. When you click the Lunch Roulette button, it delivers the name and contact details of four to five HubSpot employees that you can set up a lunch date with.

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