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TECHNOLOGY

When Technology and Culture Sync, It's Magic

At my company, Eventbrite, we use these tools to nurture our team and keep everyone on track.
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Early in 2012, Eventbrite had a major technological fail as tickets for a very large event went on sale. It was a make-or-break moment. While engineers focused on fixing the problem, everyone else--from human resources to marketing--hopped on calls from ticket buyers to work alongside our customer support team. We managed the crisis together. It became a transformational episode for us, in understanding our company is strongest as one team.

Since the earliest days of Eventbrite, we've made our people core to our mission. Our culture is an ever-evolving manifestation of those on our team. As people join, we believe in earning their trust by demonstrating we'll embrace them and help them grow. Showing that you consistently have their best interests at heart not only motivates your people to do their best work; it also builds goodwill that you may need to draw on when the going gets tough and you have to lean on one another to find the horizon.

Time and again, we learn that it's foolish to take culture for granted or merely trust your good intentions to win the day. As with any other crucial aspect of a growing business, you need the right technology and tools. When it comes to supporting our culture in three key areas, Eventbrite has a few favorites.

Communication and Collaboration 

If your company is in hypergrowth, it's sometimes unclear how to get certain answers without going on a treasure hunt. We use a team chat app called Slack that, among other things, has a powerful search function that makes it easy to find people with specific expertise. With it, newcomers come up to speed--and feel connected--much more quickly. We also use Google+ to build communities around common interests, as with our Brite Mamas & Papas group, where new parents find support and mentoring as they return to the Briteland (our office) and start balancing work and family.

Feedback

We use the app Delighted to ask one question each month--Would you recommend working at Eventbrite to a trusted friend or colleague?--and then calculate our internal Net Promoter Score, which is commonly used to divide customers into "promoters," "passives," and "detractors." (We've learned promoters use the word leadership, while those mentioning management tend to be detractors.) To maintain transparency, we share these results with our entire company; this adds to our ongoing dialogue about what we do well and where we could improve. We complement Delighted by conducting in-depth quarterly surveys with the polling tool Culture Pulse. These surveys yield more granular insights when cross-referenced with Delighted's results.

Performance

Our Britelings track performance and behavior--not just what they did but how they did it. To help people understand how they're performing and keep them tracking toward their goals, we use the performance-review software Small Improvements. This information guides team members' quarterly check-ins with managers and feeds into our Workday-based human resources system, where it informs annual performance and compensation reviews. Such reviews can be a daunting prospect for employees and managers alike, but we find this consistent process helps eliminate surprises while fostering a constructive career-building culture.

Creating a strong company culture isn't just good business. It's the right thing to do, and it makes your company better for all stakeholders--employees, management, and customers. We've found the right tools are a huge help in maintaining our culture while attaining our goals.




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