You cannot always see culture, but most people know when it’s right because it feels right. Over the years, the beanfield culture has drastically changed while staying strong. To say that we are in the middle of an explosive growth period is an understatement. Three years ago, there were thirty of us and now we have over eighty employees. How do we pull off maintaining company culture when most staff are new? Well, for starters, the individuals and not the organization maintain our culture. Though our culture is a reflection of our values and beliefs, there is no employee handbook dictating company culture.
From the moment I stepped through beanfield’s door almost nine years ago, I knew I made the right decision. The two company owners (Chris and Dan) were as unconventional as they come. That said, they were passionate, determined and extremely motivated. They didn’t listen to what other people told them was ‘right’ (and they still don’t!). They listened to their hearts and were driven by the desire to make Beanfield a real alternative to the big telcos. Money and power were certainly not a motivating force. I can honestly say that has not changed. Our culture at Beanfield starts here.
Though the executive and management teams influence our culture, every beanfield employee contributes to it every day. It’s evident in the way we communicate with each other. For example, as I write this post – there is an email chain being sent around the office about our coffee machine being broken. Hilarity ensues with suggestions on building a redundant coffee machine to match our redundant fibre network. It’s these little every day things that build our culture
I’m a big believer that company culture cannot be bought. You can’t just throw a ping-pong table, beer keg or employee lounge in the mix and expect company culture to follow suit. The truth is actually in reverse. It’s the culture of the company that allows an environment like this to flourish. Lucky for us, our office is located in the beautiful historic Toronto Carpet Factory. We have a fantastic dog friendly office space with breathtaking views of downtown Toronto. That certainly doesn’t hurt!
When I think of Company Culture – Google lights up in my brain like a light bulb. It’s well documented that Google has fantastic company culture. When you look at the photos of their many work environments, it’s hard to imagine how they get any work done at all. I can only assume that with all the analytics Google has – they know what they are doing. Not every company has the luxury of Google’s deep pockets, but you don’t have to spend that kind of money to possess great culture. At beanfield, it’s the little things that matter; the people make all the difference. This is hands down the best place I’ve ever worked, and I believe nearly every employee would say the same. Not only are the perks and the daily challenges motivating, it’s the people. I’m excited to come in each day and interact with everyone to the point where we often pursue activities outside of work ranging from yoga, camping trips, video games, and dining at some of Toronto’s many fantastic restaurants. There are a lot of foodies here!
Employee retention is high. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of employees who have decided to leave the beanfield family. Our culture has its ups and downs but that’s because culture is alive – it’s a real thing that doesn’t stay stagnant. It changes and evolves. It’s far from perfect; mistakes have been made, but it’s my mission and goal to make Beanfield the best place to work in the industry.
Some may say company culture is all well and good but is it practical? At beanfield, we know that positive company culture means happier employees, and happier employees are more productive. Make no mistake; company culture has an impact on the bottom line. I’m proud of the culture we’ve maintained and I’m excited to witness its growth for years to come.
We are always on the look out for new Beans. We look for passionate people. People who work hard and have that natural inclination to be successful. We don’t just hire people based on their skill set, we hire people that will make a great addition to the family. We may not have fancy hammocks, slides, or beanbag chairs, but we have us – the people – and we’re pretty great.