Something we’re quite proud of happened this week. Entrepreneur recognized Dimagi as one of the Top 25 Best Large-Company Cultures of 2015.
Our team is everything to us, and our culture comes from the amazing quality of our team. We measure success by impact, team satisfaction and profit, in that order. Maintaining and improving team satisfaction through rapid growth is difficult, but we’ve largely managed to hold on to our tight-knit culture, while doubling in size in the past two years.
Throughout Dimagi’s early years, we used the following saying to help us assess team satisfaction: “We would rather be a team of 15 people that love their job than 100 people that like their job.” The problem with this expression is that we outgrew it — the numbers that is. We surpassed 100 people in 2014, and we are still growing.
While we are no longer a scrappy 15-person team (well, maybe just the second part), the underlying message holds true: we want people to love their jobs. What’s worked for us?
- Hire the right people. When you look to hire, know what qualities a person needs to exhibit to jive with your office culture. At Dimagi, we look for staff who are intellectually curious, passionate and impact driven. We share a common passion for building things that help others. If we don’t see these qualities, we won’t extend an offer, even if the person has excellent professional skills. Know the qualities that are your culture’s makers and deal breakers. And, make sure being hip isn’t one of them. As Randy Pausch said: “You get people to help you by telling the truth; by being earnest. I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short-term, earnest is long term.”
- Let them create the company they want. Your team should be encouraged to experiment. At Dimagi, employees can take personal initiative days where they can work on different teams, pursue a passion, etc. Providing people with the freedom to create is of utmost importance, and can be quite rewarding for your business too. As a result of our personal initiative days, we’ve broke into new sectors, developed new product features, identified best practices, and so much more.
- Prioritize work enjoyment. Beers and candy helps. In all seriousness, work perks are important. Here are a few ways we reward our employees:
- Travel: Our staff has travelled to 42 countries for work.
- Flexible work schedules: Dimagineers pick their own hours and can work anytime, anywhere.
- Generous time off: 30 days of PTO, 10 personal initiative days (independent projects), & unlimited sick days.
- Away Months: Our team self-organizes away months, where we pick up and work somewhere new. We’ve traveled to both Brazil and Guatemala.
- Have an office pet. Bailey keeps us sane.
We’re exceptionally proud of our culture and team, and want to thank Entrepreneur for recognizing all of the Dimagineers who make work exceptional.
P.S. Dimagineers: beers + candy @ 5 in the bullpen to celebrate.