Maintaining the Work Culture as You Scale Up

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91springboard Culture

This is the final post of our three part series that talks about how to create, implement and maintain a work culture that works for you. Here, we will look at how our founders plan on maintaining this work culture as we scale up even further. We’re now 100 employees strong and will be well over twice that number before the year ends.

Q. How do you plan to maintain this culture as you scale up. Since you have 3-4 times the number of hubs planned in the near future, what are the new challenges you foresee and how do you plan to tackle them?

Anand: The new challenges start with the fact that we are now at 100 people. For the first time we have a layer in the organisation. Earlier it was us (the founders) and everyone reported to us, but now we have a layer of mid management. So how does that culture get translated? Typically, everytime a layer is added, there tends to be some dilution of the culture and the message. How do you continue to translate the culture to the new people who will join us in the future, that’s the key challenge and for that we’re relying on:

  • Regular communication from our end (the founders) and being transparent and clear about what kind of a company we want to build, consistently.
  • Our core team; we’ve been lucky enough to have a great initial team. The first 20-25 and increasingly the 100 we have now, have bought into the culture and fully believe in it.

So, for the next 100 joinees it’s not possible for the founders to sit next to each them for 8 hours a day. However, this core team, these are the people who are empowered and will carry forward that culture and way of working, of this we are confident.

Varun: So, let’s be honest, we aren’t going to be able to preserve the exact culture that we have now when we are an organisation that’s 200+ people strong. However, we can guarantee that our culture will evolve and that the core of it will always remain the same, regardless of the number of employees or hubs we have. Since our work culture is a direct reflection of our values, it’s one thing that’s set in stone! This core includes things like:

  • Teamwork
  • Trust
  • Ownership
  • Freedom to do what’s best for the customer, in your opinion
  • Frugality

Pranay: Part of it is ensuring that the values and culture are both communicated explicitly. If and when someone goes against the core values, it’s our job to make sure it’s pointed out, looked at more consiously and affects a change in behaviour. Another very important thing is hiring. We hire people only if they are a good culture fit. Like everyone else, we’ve made a few mistakes in the past but we’ve identified and rectified them as soon as they’ve been spotted.

Another very important point is that just because they don’t fit our culture doesn’t make them bad people or bad at their jobs. They may be great at their jobs, but are not the right fit for this particular job on account of the culture mismatch.

Here at 91springboard, being a right culture fit is just as important as being good at your job. It’s the religion we follow here and if maintaing the right culture costs us a few great employees, it’s fine, we’re willing to take that hit.

Thoughts and words by Anand Vemuri, Pranay Gupta & Varun Chawla, co-founders, 91springboard. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series on work culture and were able to pick up a few pointers for yourself. Speaking of hiring right, we’re currently on the lookout for sharp, young and talented individuals who’ll work hard, smart and be the right culture fit. So if you think you are, or know someone who will be, simply apply here.

Read the previous posts from this series here:

Work Culture and How to Go About Creating It

Work Culture: How to Maintain It as You Start Growing?

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