Three Technologies That Our Startup Uses to Extend Our Company Culture

December 7, 2016

This article by Pixlee's Kyle Wong originally ran on in December 2016

As the CEO of Pixlee, I spend a lot of time thinking about the role that technology can play to shape our productivity and culture. Although technology cannot single-handedly make a company's culture good or bad-- much of that depends on the leadership and people-- it can help to illustrate your company values. Here are three important ways that we use new technologies to extend our company culture.

  1. Slack and Growbot: Give kudos, celebrate small wins, and emphasize company values

    For many startups, the path to success is a long one. To keep moral high on the journey, it's helpful to celebrate the small wins. Every day your young company will take steps towards achieving its end goal—whether that is to IPO, be acquired, raise another round of funding, or make the world a better place. While that goal may seem insurmountable at times, it's important for teams to understand that small wins are equally as important as the big ones.

    At Pixlee, when a sales person signs up a new customer, or when a customer shares a glowing review, or when an engineer pushes a new feature, Slack has been a great tool to celebrate these small wins. Slack allows team members to quickly acknowledge their peers for their success. Our team frequently gives shout-outs to each other to show their appreciation and to energize the team.

    Within the Slack platform, we use small bots (some created in-house and some imported) to emphasize and reinforce important topics, such as our company's values (#EverydayMatters, #ConsistentlyDeliver, #NeverStopLearning.) These so-called value shoutouts help to ensure that our company values aren't just mentioned in passing during our team meetings, but that our employees are encouraged to embody them each and every day. We use Growbot to tally the points for each shout out recipient and give out awards at the end of the year to the employees that embody each company value the best.
  2. Double Robot: Demonstrate transparency and give remote employees a presence in HQ

    Transparency isn't just giving everyone access to all information, but rather, it's making sure that people have access to the information that helps them do their job more effectively.

    As Pixlee has grown and expanded to include offices in New York City and Toronto, we have prioritized ensuring that our remote teammates feel included in the company culture in the same way that we enjoy it in our San Francisco HQ. Although Slack and Instagram are great ways to communicate and share memories, we have a unique opportunity for remote teammates to have an actual presence in the office: the Double Robot.

    From anywhere in the world, Pixlee employees can login to the robot and have full autonomy to "walk" around the office as they please. Our team of Toronto-based engineers frequently uses the robot to "walk" over to the Engineering department and to help their teammates brainstorm creative solutions to coding problems or join the daily Engineering Standup meetings. The Double Robot allows remote employees to have an interactive presence at these meetings rather than to simply sit on mute on a teleconference line. In addition to fighting off HQ FOMO, it fosters feelings of inclusivity and teamwork.
  3. Instagram and #PixleeMemories: Highlight fun memories and reinforce our brand

    During their job search, Millennials often look up companies on social media. These candidates are looking to answer questions such as: Who are they as a company? What are my prospective coworkers like? Does it seem like a place I want to spend the majority of my time?

    Many of our candidates even mention looking at our Instagram as preparation for their interviews. In the past, we used Instagram primarily to share posts about our customers. We occasionally peppered in a few fun Pixlee team shots. Based on the feedback we received, we decided to overhaul our Instagram strategy and turn it into a recruiting tool. Today, we use Instagram to share an inside look of life at Pixlee by featuring fun stories from our team.

"Three Technologies That Our Startup Uses to Extend Our Company Culture." Kyle Wong, CEO at Pixlee, 12/7/16.

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