A strong leadership team is a must-have for any company to be successful. But when the co-founders truly like each other and treat each other with respect, the potential for achieving big things--and having fun doing so--increases exponentially. That’s the case at Seismic, a cloud-based sales enablement and marketing orchestration platform.
These relationships are a microcosm of Seismic’s award-winning culture. The company works hard to live up to its accolades, consistently investing in people and culture since its launch in 2010. CEO and Co-founder Doug Winter says it is easy to justify the spend, which has contributed to consistently strong revenue growth and a client portfolio that includes more than 600 enterprise businesses.
Winter says their workplace attracts “the best and brightest.” Because employees enjoy their jobs and understand how their work advances company objectives, they are engaged and productive. They are also more apt to recommend the company to top talent looking for new opportunities. This virtuous cycle helps fuel exponential growth and earns Seismic its place on Inc.’s 2020 Best Workplaces list.
Winning, With Respect And Humility
Respect is a core value at Seismic and informs a key belief: good ideas come from anywhere. “If you have a good idea, I want it, and I want your manager to want it, and it is our job to make sure you have both a forum and opportunity for bringing feedback forward,” Winter says.
Those good ideas lead to wins, but despite all the achievement, Seismic champions humility. Winter is proud that when sales representatives announce closed deals to the company, they thank the people who made it happen--the marketer who supported the meeting or the product engineer who added a new feature. When employees comment on Seismic’s #whywewin Slack channel, they shout out each other, not themselves. Winter is also proud that regional offices embrace their unique vibes. Seismic’s 900-strong workforce is bound by common values, but each location feels different.
Living, Breathing Culture Every Day
This year, amid unprecedented circumstances, Seismic doubled down on efforts to strengthen teams and support employees across all 14 locations. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, managers instituted daily stand-up video calls so they could check in on people’s well-being and offer help when needed. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Seismic brought in outside experts to lead cross-functional discussions on race and inclusion that brought teams closer together across the globe.
Culture starts at the top, with how Winter and his colleagues treat each other and always have, from day one. But, even though Seismic’s spirit is organic, it takes work to persevere, especially as the company expands. Seismic invests in copious team-building events, including “more happy hours than you can shake a stick at,” an annual company-wide conference, and frequent community volunteer opportunities. This helps create a workplace people want to tell their friends about.
The world changes, and events beyond entrepreneurs’ control will always affect business. But Seismic does the work to build and protect the culture its leadership has embodied from day one.