Campaign Monitor has grown like crazy these past few years. With rapid expansion and the recent addition of our new sister companies, Emma and Delivra, Campaign Monitor employees now work in cities around the world, including Sydney, London, Nashville, San Francisco, and Indianapolis. Plus, with remote workers scattered across even more locations, the challenges that come with operating a distributed team have never been more apparent.
For example: How do we build a strong global company culture? Culture has always been a core part of our DNA, but with the addition of two new teams and people in so many different time zones, we’ve had to tackle this challenge head-on. To find out the “why” behind our current approach to company culture, I consulted Karen Clark, Head of Employee Experience at Campaign Monitor.
With so many employees scattered around the world, how did you even begin approaching a global company culture?
First off, we acknowledged that each location brings its own unique and special culture to the group. Rather than taking away those differences and enforcing some sort of “one size fits all” culture, we instead focused on how we can celebrate those differences through some common company-wide initiatives. We showcase these each month in our “Culture Alert” newsletter that goes out to each of our employees worldwide.
We also integrated our teams very early on, with reporting lines throughout our brands and across locations. To enable us to work as effectively as possible, the business has invested in tools like Slack, Zoom (for easy cross-team meetings that are recordable for those in different time zones), and regular travel to various offices to allow teams to work in person.
Tell me a little bit about our global “Giving Back” program.
Our employees are as diverse as our customers. That diversity means we’re passionate about many different causes, and, as a company, we’re committed to giving back to those diverse causes by providing paid time off for our employees to get involved in our global community. Our Giving Back program allows us to do just that!
Here are the basics:
- Each of our employees receives up to 4 days per year of paid volunteer time to go help out at a registered nonprofit.
- We encourage team volunteering and individual volunteering (especially for our remote folks).
- We host fundraising events throughout the year at each of the offices.
Giving Back is an integral part of our culture at Campaign Monitor, with regular events happening each month throughout our global locations. So far in 2018, we’ve supported 18 charities globally with volunteering and fundraising events that have covered homelessness, food security, rehabilitation services, animal welfare, diversity (LGBTQIA, disability services, Women in IT), medical research, and the environment.Some of the specific nonprofits we’ve worked with include Glide SF, Foodbank SF/Nashville/Sydney, Cerebral Palsy, Northcott, RSPCA, Muttville, and Meals on Wheels.
At present, we have 25 teams participating in Steptember for the global charity Cerebral Palsy Alliance. We’re always looking for new ways to get our employees involved!
What’s a “Culture Club,” and how have they helped build a strong culture at our individual locations?
Each of our offices has its own “Culture Club.” Each group includes representatives from different parts of the business, and together, they come up with fun monthly events to celebrate our successes and recognize our people. The events usually incorporate some of our favorite things: delicious food and drinks, great company, some competitive fun, and lots of laughs.
This initiative is driven by our employees, and the group includes people that want to be involved in running culture events and have insights into the culture of their teams (rather than HR or management directly). Each Culture Club is specific to that location, although we do try to incorporate global themes such as June Pride (for diversity) and Steptember (through our Giving Back program).
How have you developed shared values across the company?
Following the joining of our different brands—each with their own set of original company values—it was important for us to set a goal to formulate a new set of shared values as a blended team.
To tackle this challenge, we invited employees from each brand and location to join and to form a “Values Committee.” The Values Committees have played a key role in being the representative and voice of our colleagues.
First, the committee designed and sent an employee survey to gather input and feedback from all employees globally. Since then, the committee has reviewed all survey responses to help formulate our new shared values.
It’s been challenging getting the committee together over various time zones (for instance, Nashville and Sydney are 15 hours apart), but it’s also been a hugely rewarding project that we believe has helped drive meaningful discussion and employee engagement. It’s not often you get to be a part of defining a global company’s shared values! We’ll be rolling those out to the entire company soon.