Culture is a set of beliefs and values that guide social norms. Establishing a company culture is no easy feat. At fast-growth tech companies like LogicMonitor, a distinct culture is incredibly important to driving success. Culture defines your company’s personality, the characteristics of the employees that are likely to be successful in it, and impacts customer experience. It’s established early (whether you like what you’ve created or not) and requires attention and investments in process and people, to be sustained and to thrive.
Ben Horowitz wisely wrote “Culture isn’t a weekly yoga class.” However, it’s often and easily misconstrued as that. Here at LogicMonitor we do offer weekly yoga (I know, cliché!). We also play hoops, host team lunches and sneak away for the occasional beach day. Our holiday party includes the company founder doing his best imitation of Eminem on the karaoke mic. Functional teams are mandated to take a quarterly offsite day to work on team priorities and to team-build over activities like rock climbing, cooking class, paddleboarding, and hiking. These activities are not ‘the culture’; instead they are the realization of a key element of our culture: balance.
Usually balance means exercise but sometimes it means letting off steam! Start-up stress is severe and continuous, so exercising your body helps maintain mental stamina and creativity. At LogicMonitor you won’t get any sideways glances if you return from lunch late because you attended an exercise class. Retaining your sharp edge allows you to think more clearly, solve more problems, and do more, faster. This intense balance makes you love your work and love your life. This is the personality of LogicMonitor and certain types of people thrive here as a result.
If you wander around our offices in Santa Barbara, Austin or Chengdu you’ll find open workspace. Pods of desktops are pushed together to foster personal interaction. Each office has common work area, a lounge and a game room. It’s space that lets people collaborate, but is also suited for head-down time. We don’t frown on our CTO’s occasional nap at his desk, or his long walks to work through tough problems. And we encourage activities that keep people fresh and creative.
The people who work at LogicMonitor are all shapes and sizes, from disparate backgrounds and cultures. There’s no pretense at LogicMonitor. Show up in board shorts and a tank top to work (as long as you aren’t going to see a client!) and no one will judge you. What binds us is our dedication to our mission: simplifying technology management for humankind.
We demand that our employees have a thirst for learning, working smart, taking initiative at all times, and that they always surround customer experiences with helpfulness and sincerity. We don’t demand that a customer is always right, we don’t copy competitors, and we don’t fire people for trying and failing. We try hard to select for fit in our hiring process. Occasionally we miss in the hiring or we find that an employee doesn’t keep up with the progression of the business. Either case usually becomes obvious fast, and we treat people with respect and move them on gracefully. Just because someone doesn’t excel at LogicMonitor doesn’t mean they can’t do great work elsewhere. But I’d argue that if you work well here – a place where you have to do your best work at a sustained pace – that you can ultimately work just about anywhere (and demand a premium for your talents).
Our customer experiences are fed by our culture. Two examples are our technical support and our pre-sales process. Our in-app chat support is staffed by IT engineers. Customers use chat to understand the LogicMonitor platform and also to troubleshoot monitoring their infrastructure. Our engineers work with clients to solve their problems, and clients regularly tell us how much they love the level of support. Our pre-sales process involves a white glove approach to a proof of concept. LogicMonitor is built to monitor the most complex infrastructures. By definition of the infrastructures they manage, our customers are technical, bright and under performance stress. We work as a partner to ensure prospects understand the platform and we let the product and its value do a lot of the selling. Our pre-sales team is well-trained, technical, and genuinely loves solving customer problems. Many of our customers don’t even know that we have a sales team.
We don’t do business this way because we have to. We do it because it’s who we are. It’s our culture.
This post was a team effort. Kevin McGibben is CEO, and Yasmeen Farukh is People Operations Manager at LogicMonitor. If you’re interested to join the LM team check out our profile at Glassdoor.com.