When I joined the team at GadellNet, one of the first things I noticed was what it felt like to work at GadellNet. We were small then, less than five people, and it truly felt like family. The culture was naturally customer-centric, helpful, transparent, and flexible. What I saw was a company about to explode, and I didn’t want to lose that awesome culture that was already in place. So, after 9 exhausting months of trial-and-error – we put into words what was driving GadellNet employees – Make an Impact, 100% Responsibility 0% Excuses, Grow or Die.
These three core values have been the driving force behind all of our decisions here at GadellNet since we decided to intentionally build a culture we loved. From what software to recommend to a client to who to hire and which new products to add to our offering, each decision circles back around to our core values. Because of this, growing tenfold in employees and even more in clients hasn’t changed the feeling of family in our offices.
A lot of small businesses leave their culture up in the air. When GadellNet had five people, it happened to play out for the best because our founder Joe had been picky about who he added to the team. Being intentional about your culture impacts a lot of areas of your business, ultimately, the right culture will strengthen your bottom line.
It starts with the people you hire. Asking questions during the interview process to help you uncover not only the strength of their skills, but also if their personality is right for your company. We have three assessments before we ask a single technology question. We are absolutely not right for everyone – it’s fast paced, honest, quick, distracting and busy. It’s obvious when someone can’t handle the culture.
The person you hire based on alignment with your culture will also stay with your company longer, which is great on a lot of levels. Doing personality and cognitive testing is a great way to ensure you’re finding the right people. We use Advisa in Carmel, Indiana to help plan all of our testing.
Making everyone in your company aware of your values shapes your culture. Keep these values in front of them. You can even track how well they can meet your core values. This can also help to bring your employees together under a common goal. For us, that goal is to empower small businesses and school through technology. You can’t walk anywhere in our company without seeing our values posted.
Sustaining a good culture means valuing the employees you have and empowering them to learn and grow. We invest in tools like Slack for communication, we have a sizable budget for employee training, and we sponsor events like Holiday parties and happy hours. We allow our employees the flexibility to work when and where is most productive for them and we offer an additional 16 hours of PTO just for volunteering or charitable events. All of these little perks add up to attracting and keeping the right talent.
Investing in your culture takes a little time, a little strategy, a little creativity and a little patience. This is one area to invest in that will always pay you back. For small businesses, especially, having your culture as a true perk will help you attract and keep the top talent in your field.
If you want to learn more about GadellNet’s culture, click here.