Scaling Culture: How we Grow 100% Year-over-Year Without Losing What Makes Us… Us!

Acorio Summit 18

Editor’s Note: A huge thank you to our VP of People, Jen Miller, for sitting down and sharing her thoughts about The Vibe.

It’s no secret that in order to grow and scale a successful company, you need to scale your culture alongside your revenue.

Culture, and how it is defined and measured, is different for each company, which is why successfully developing one is so difficult. It’s not an easy 10-step plan, but more of an ever-changing recipe. For example, an employee engagement activity that may have worked with a 10-person company may not work, or achieve the same goals, with a 100-person company.

So, how do you figure out what initiatives work for your company? For the Acorio team, we test, then test some more.

The Vibe: Our Culture Cultivators

In order to really capture a company culture, you need to hear the voices that matter – your employees! So while your HR team can put everything in place, it’s important to get the opinions and ideas of the people who understand the day-to-day motivators and challenges. 

At Acorio, we have a team, called “The Vibe,” consisting of representatives from all corners of the company to help grow our culture. Each person, demonstrating the values our culture code, brings a different perspective, alongside a willingness and passion to be involved.

The team identified five central employee engagement pillars, and now drives initiatives to incorporate these pillars further into the culture. The pillars consist of: wellness, philanthropy, diversity & inclusion, engagement, and culture innovation.

Learn, Share, and Demonstrate

Beyond just implementing certain ideas and initiatives, the Vibe is also constantly talking about what is happening in modern workplaces today. By reading articles, studying trends, and learning about other company’s best practices, the team looks for what works – and what doesn’t work – for our company.

Some of the recent article topics shared and talked about in our Vibe slack channel include methods of empowering employees, gratitude tips to help improve our relationships and performance at work, lessons on how to spot and take action on work “burn out” – plus how we can help prevent it.

The Vibe Impact

Here are just some of the cool developments that have emerged from The Vibe:

Charity of the Month

Our team firmly believes in gratitude, giving back, and bringing awareness. All of these values drove us to create “Charity of the Month,” when Acorio sponsors a charity (of an employee’s choice) to donate money to.

One of the tools we use at Acorio to thank and show appreciation to our colleagues daily (well, hourly really) is Bonusly. Bonusly is a peer recognition system, which exchanges earned points to actual dollars, gift cards, etc. Rather than exchanging points for Starbucks or Target gift cards, employees now have the opportunity to donate their bonusly points. For example, an employee can donate 100 points to give $10.

At the end of the month, Acorio matches the donations to the selected charity. Another cool part? Whoever donates the most bonusly points gets to pick next month’s charity!

Picked by Reynolds Corea, this month, we’re featuring the Grameen Foundation. This global nonprofit defines their mission as “empower the poor, especially women, to end poverty and hunger, [creating] breakthrough solutions – spanning financial, agricultural, and health services – that leverage digital technology and local partner networks to bring people opportunities they need to help themselves.”

Acorio Culture Code

This past September, we officially rolled out our company culture code – a set of cultural beliefs Acorio truly lives by. You can check that out in the slideshow below!



The Mirror: An Employee “Spotlight” at our Company All Hands

Eager to show off the incredibly diverse team we have at Acorio, the Vibe started a new tradition at our monthly All Hands meetings: The Mirror.

We get the chance to find out just a little bit about of one of our employees, who we may not all work with on a daily basis.

Some of the past questions have been: what’s your favorite word, what is your life motto, what advice would you give to your 18-year-old self, etc.

Here are some of our favorite answers:

  • Advice to your 18-year-old self: “Don’t spend time with toxic people” and “Don’t do it”
  • Life Motto: Constant adaptation
  • Most treasured possession: Acoustic Guitar

Annual All-Team Summit

The Vibe also worked tirelessly on helping plan our company summit, our annual 4-day company retreat. Summit is when the entire company gets together from all over the country (plus Australia) to go over our role in the ServiceNow ecosystem, where we are, and where we’re going. Plus enjoy friendly faces and fun activities!

Team Photo

We actually just returned from this years’ summit just a few days ago, this year in San Diego, but you can read more about that in a later blog post!

Maintaining Acorio’s Heart-First Culture

In the end, The Vibe cares deeply for each employee – including their job performance, satisfaction, and commitment to the organization. We research cultures trends, implement lots of different initiatives throughout the year and get constant feedback to make sure everyone at Acorio feels heard and that we implement things that people care about.

And we think we’re on the right track, working hard to design and cultivate the special alchemy that is “us” – which has enabled us to celebrate certain accomplishments, like winning the Boston Globe’s Top Place to Work in 2017.

We’re so fortunate to have an awesome committee of employees to be a part of cultivating this amazing company and we can’t wait to see our culture continue to grow stronger as our company grows larger!

Thank you to The Vibe members (from left to right, top to bottom): James Hamilton, Max Dore, Tom Sweeney, Patrick Donlin, Sean Duhaime, Johnny Walker, Jesse Nocon, Steve Socha, Ryan Gillespie, Meghan Lockwood, Jen Miller, Dale Meyer-Curley, Devon Clarke, Laurel Hurd, and Kristin Elliott

Not pictured: Garrison Ball, Sarah Carley, Joe Childers, Amy Petkanas, and Meg Whyland.

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