The key to maintaining success through rapid growth is sustainability. Box understands this better than anyone. In Silicon Valley, doubling your headcount every 6-12 months is not unusual. Startups must strike a balance between remaining a "startup" and becoming a grownup.
Companies need to implement processes to remain efficient and competitive - but what amount of process is okay? How much flexibility should they maintain? How will the company's goals, vision and values be effectively communicated so they become the employee's goals, vision and values?
Employee surveys at Box used to mean “Welcome to Corporate America”. Before Culture Amp, it was believed surveys would be sending the wrong message to employees.
“We’d been using things like attrition as an indicator of company health, but that was misleading, and put us in a reactive position,” says Evan Wittenberg, SVP of People. Attrition wasn't giving them the data they needed. “It’s a trailing indicator,” he continued, “We wanted to be ahead of any problems, not behind them.”
For Box, sustaining high-performance is what matters most. However, they didn't want to fall into a trap of just replacing burnt-out employees. Wittenberg says, “We want to sustain high performance over a long period of time. If people in the organization are less and less energetic overtime, that’s a sign of a problem.”
In order to do this, they needed a platform that would enable them to collect data about their people. Access to this data on a regular basis and how that data looks over time, would show them where to take action.
Wittenberg says “Culture Amp is intuitive and the survey design made it easy and enjoyable for employees to participate – we got great feedback on that.” Plus the results were delivered in real-time, as they were completed.
Box used the data to build a heatmap of the entire organization. This let them understand how the scores were distributed in different areas, which made it easy to plan how best to focus and address question of engagement and culture.
Box scored highly on high-performance questions like “I have the energy needed to perform the hard tasks”. However, these were also paired with questions like “I wake up feeling rested and prepared for the day”. This raised interesting questions for Box around how to keep their staff healthy; as well as informed about how their physical health may affect their performance.
“Those are the kind of things that allow us to do more forward-looking management. That’s something we can track over time. We don’t want to lose our velocity as an organization,” Wittenberg says. Culture Amp is the platform that keeps Box proactive and informed about fluctuations in performance, engagement and company health.