This is a guest blog post by Jack Saville, Online Marketer at Bynder.
When a company grows from tens to hundreds of employees in a short period of time, there are bound to be growing pains. How do people meet and work closely together? How does company culture thrive? At Bynder, a digital asset management provider, we faced these questions head-on—growing from 50 to 250 employees in two years.
As hard as growing can be, we’ve found some simple ways to scale our business and maintain our core values. Here are some nuggets of wisdom we’d love to share.
1. Whether here or there, face-time is key
Ok, so you’re not within shoulder-tapping distance of all your teammates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect face-to-face. At Bynder, we use HipChat’s group video chat and screen sharing to meet with members of our team from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Boston.
Our ability to have a face-to-face calls with members of our teams wherever they are means we can continue to work together in a cohesive way, regardless of how fast we grow and where in the world we grow.
Video chat tips:
- Use the “raise your hand” function so everyone is heard and not interrupted.
- Don’t explain, show. Start screen sharing with one click from a video chat to show your screen or window.
- Add anyone missing from the video chat by sharing the invite URL.
2. Have a single source of truth
Company announcements are simple with a small team. Announce it during a daily standup, tell people in meetings, or just scream it across the room. But as teams expand, important announcements can diffuse or get lost amongst the numbers.
As we grew, we wanted to make sure we had a single source of truth for all important announcements. For that, we created a specific HipChat group chat room. When something is announced, everyone knows immediately and at the same time, leaving no room for a confusing game of “telephone”.
Instead of sending an email to the team that some team members may or may not get in a timely fashion, a team member just comments in the group chat, quickly and easily notifying the whole team. As a company that prides itself on being agile, we were all happy to see the back of the endless email tennis!
Group chat tips:
- Add Alias Bot so you can mention specific teams or groups within rooms.
- Use @all to mention every person in the room (beware of time zone differences—this will notify everyone, regardless of whether they are online or not).
3. Onboard new employees with ease
Having a dispersed team can sometimes mean that people are left in the shadows. We use group chats to introduce new team members to the rest of the team.
New employees get added to group chats as soon as they start—which allows the rest of the team to welcome the new employee, even when they’re not in the same country. This also makes sure that the new recruit is instantly immersed in the team and can jump right in to whatever’s being discussed at that moment.
On a new employee’s first day, their HipChat account is made at the same time as their work email account. This makes it clear from the word “go” that HipChat is where teamwork at Bynder takes place.
- Add new employees to HipChat on their start date so they feel instantly welcomed.
- Invite them to any HipChat rooms that make sense for their role.
4. Maintain company culture
Having an enjoyable and friendly workplace is key for us at Bynder, and we use HipChat to add to that sense of togetherness. By discussing important things in an informal manner, we’re able to communicate more naturally (partly because communication has become more fun for us).
Emoticons help us get sentiment across while adding those moments of fun. We use HipChat bots to add to the company atmosphere, Like Giphy Bot. If pictures are worth a thousand words, GIFs are worth two thousand.
- Make your own emoticons! Every team has their own inside jokes. Let them come to life with custom emoticons.
- Add bots for nerd and fun credit. Try Karma Bot to give kudos to teammates.
Regardless of how many new people join the company, everyone at Bynder is well-connected and included. The four steps above are not hard to implement and make a huge difference in the cohesion of your team.