3 things that surprise new starters at Culture Amp

At the moment we're adding about 10 people a month at Culture Amp, which means every other week I'm meeting five or six new people that have joined the company (read more about our hiring process here). I often ask new starters about what surprised them most about their first few weeks Culture Amp. Here are the three things that are mentioned the most.

 

1. The learning curve

It’s a running joke at Culture Amp that people feel like they’re attached to a fire hose in their first few weeks. There’s an incredible amount that new people have to learn and consume about the space, our product, and each other. As Damon Klotz, Head of Industry and Public Relations, noted, “It’s been the steepest but most important learning curve in my career to date.”

This is a function of several things. In Australia, not many people have had the opportunity to be part of a company that's doubling in size every year. Fast-growth companies are more common in the US, but even there it’s still hard to deal with.

We’re very cross-functional, and that adds an extra layer of complexity for new people to learn about. For example Bailey Edgell, Customer Success Coach, said, “I’m really enjoying team of teams - it’s so nice to be part of a practice and have the opportunity to learn from the expertise of CS folks driving towards a shared goal.”

2. How fast our space is changing

Not only is there a lot to learn, but everything is changing rapidly. The industry is moving fast and our product is moving even faster. People who are new have to work out how to make sense of all that change so they can land on their feet and start doing their job.

Damon, who has been with Culture Amp for three years commented, “I had no idea what I was signing up for. Culture Amp was just getting ready to grow at a pace that they’d never experienced before, with this came a lot of diving into the unknown, tackling challenges for the first time and being ok with constant change.”

People often measure themselves by their ability to go faster than the people around them. But when you come into an environment where everybody's going really fast that can be quite challenging. The key is for people to recognize the opportunity - we want them to grow faster with us than they could anywhere else. From a career perspective, that's a good thing, but it can also be very challenging.

3. People are deeply genuine

The thing I'm most proud of is that everybody says they can't get over how genuine people are at Culture Amp. I've actually had some people tell me that it took them a few weeks to realize that it wasn’t an act. People aren’t just being friendly because they want something, they’re genuinely friendly, interested in helping and nice. I'm really proud to have hired people who've created such a lovely environment for others to join.

For example Matt Orozco, Lead Enterprise Account Executive, said: “How genuine everybody across the company is was unexpected and an excellent reinforcement of the brand promise made during the recruitment process.”

People are so genuine at Culture Amp that it can actually be quite confronting for new people. One person said she felt like she had PTSD from her previous role. She walked into meetings ready to fight and it took her time to realize that’s not how we worked at Culture Amp. She had to learn that people were genuine and she could seek them out to help her.

I’m really proud of how many people say that we live our values. For example, Letian Wang, Data Engineer Intern, said, “The company values are embodied by everyone rather than being just slogans.”

One of our values is about amplifying others and this comes through in everything we do. We have a props bot in Slack where people can say thank you to others and many people make time to do this. Josh Berman, a recent hire at Culture Amp has been running workshops to teach the difference between recognition and appreciation. We’re starting the process of modifying our Slack profiles to include everyone’s preferred method of appreciation.

As much as possible, everyone is fully invested in the community that we’ve built and we all care for each other.

If these aspects appeal, we’re always hiring (you can check out roles here).

About Culture Amp

Culture Amp helps you make your company a better place to work. By making it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback, we enable HR leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact, and turn company culture into a competitive edge.

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