Culture Update

SocialSurvey Culture Update with John Jackson and EmmaM

THE WOW 100

SocialSurvey is hiring 100 WOW-creators—we’re scaling at amazing rate and opening a new location in Nashville this quarter. We’re excited about the growth, but know we have a big challenge to keep our Create WOW Culture in tact as we ascend to serve more deserving people and companies around globe.

John Jackson, SocialSurvey’s Chief People Officer, caught up with EmmaM to discuss plans for hiring, goals for culture and what to expect in 2019.


SocialSurvey is Hiring in 2019!

100+ New Hires
We have big plans for hiring in 2019. With over 70 new teammates for our San Ramon, CA and Nashville, TN offices, and 30 offshore new hires, we can’t wait to grow with WOW! If you know someone WOWworthy who would be a great fit for our team, please send them our way. To review our current list of open positions, check out our new careers page.

SocialSurvey loves Nashville
On February 1st, we’re launching our Nashville presence. We’re going to ease into our new office in Nashville with six new hires, and by the end of December we’ll have 30 WOW-Creators in our newest location.


Creating a WOW Employee Experience

We’re building out foundations to scale to accommodate our growing team. This year, our culture gurus are designing SocialSurvey University (our new Learning Management System), along with an internal recruiting platform and leadership development tracks.

Stay tuned for updates on our fast-tracked growth!


Full transcript here:

John- I’ve been with SocialSurvey for about a year and a half now… and the really incredible journey that we’ve been on. As we have kind of grown, we call it “bootstrap” to this point, but have added a lot of really wonderful team members to our personnel and our culture here. To watch our culture begin to thrive in that way has been exciting. But, it’s a really cool point for us right now, as we’re about to just really kind of explode here, bring in a lot of new talent – lots of people that are going to help us diversify, expand our culture and add more color and flavor to it. So, we’re excited about it!

Emma- How many new hires do we have in the next 12 months, John?

John- Oh wow, stateside we’re looking at 73, by the end of December.

Emma- Oh, that’s up from my knowledge.

John- Yeah, it kind of grows everyday.

Emma- I thought it was 67. Now we’re at 73 in the next 12 months, WOW.

John- And, we’ll add another… probably… 30, offshore. So, we’re looking at over 100 hires here in the next 11 and a half months.

Emma- We have a pillow right there, if you need a nap. Just so you know…

John- It is very busy around here these days!

Emma- In the new office we are actually having a sleep room, so…

John- We’re going to need it.

Emma- We will need it. You just need that little 15 minute nap in the middle of the day to be up there-

John- Yeah, absolutely.

Emma- …to keep doing 12 hour days.

Emma- Excellent, so yes, we have nights to the side, it’s okay everyone. So, let’s recap the end of 2018, and how we’re moving forward in 2019.

John- Yeah, we do this now annually, we kind of cap our years. We bring our whole company in for a holiday celebration. It’s a little bit of forecasting for what’s coming in the future year, but also just an incredible time for team-building. We had an incredible experience this year; lots of really cool things that we did that brought us together as a team, sharing that time. And that kind of launches us- now we’re all these different departments, carrying out these cool ideas. So, 2019 is off and running.

Emma- Awesome, I’m just waving to some of the people that are joining us. Hi! So yes, the end of year event was so much fun-

John- Yeah.

Emma- And we did an escape room, which I hadn’t done before! And we did a couple of painting exercises, with these lovely ladies that came in, and-

John- That was awesome.

Emma- That was great. And no one really got messy, so that was good, too.

John- Yeah. I’m not a painter. I didn’t know what to expect, but the way they brought us together, and made ’em real cool team-building experiences was awesome.

Emma- Do you remember what that was called? Art, was it Art Blanc?

John- I think so, yeah.

Emma- Hi Art Blanc! So lets-

John- If that’s who you are.

Emma- Yes, if that’s who you are I’ll tag you somehow. So, what are the big challenges that you are tackling in 2019?

John- Well, obviously, when we talk about adding 70 stateside, 30 offshore employees, there is a ton of work behind that. We’re actually building a recruiting platform internally for our company, even as we speak right now, and putting in all the procedures that are necessary to accomplish that. So, there’s just tons of activity going on; lots of reaching out and recruiting, networking and those kinds of things.

Emma- Now, something that is BIG that’s happening, which I’m so excited about is… John lives in Nashville… and John, do you want to-

John- I was going to say, I’m saving that for my next note there, but-

Emma- At our, sorry, at our stand-up meeting each week, John goes last amongst all the leadership, and at least two people always take his thunder by announcing-

John- Yeah.

Emma- Someone’s birthday, or a new hire, or a promotion, and-

John- I get stepped on all the time.

Emma- So, I’m not going to step on your toes. Platform’s yours…

John- One of the huge sides in all that hiring that we’re really excited about – February the 1st, we’re launching our presence- our new office in Nashville! Six hires, six new employees as we open the door there. We’re going to kind of ease in, let Nashville know that we’re there, and by the end of December, about 30 of these hires will be in Nashville. So, lots of challenges here as we kind of grow up a little bit as a company and begin to have two locations, cross-pollinating culture back and forth to make sure that Nashville feels like San Ramon, and San Ramon feels a little bit like Nashville, and that our team is really connected through that process. So that’s another huge goal that we have in front for 2019.

Emma- And so, in preparation for that, I’m just going to put my order in because I have to create social around Nashville, of course. So, you know… I need a wall there, at least.

John (sarcastically) It’s such a horrible city; no one wants to come from San Ramon to visit.

Emma- It’s pretty cool, right? We’ve picked, like, the two greatest cities-

John- Absolutely.

Emma- In America!

John- East Bay and Nashville. NashVegas, it rocks.

Emma- There you go, there you go. And, we lost our screen. There we go. Okay, so… any other big goals for 2019?

John- Um, wow, those are kind of big. We got lots…

John- Yeah, we’re doing some leadership development internally this year that I think is going to be really exciting and help us… again, that maturation process for us as a company. We’ve got really talented, gifted people here, but these are just massive expansions to the demands of their leadership. And so we’ve put some things in, internally, to resource all of our leaders to help them to grow in their leadership skills. They’re bringing in all this new talent, and we want to lead them with excellence. So, that’s another internal thing that we’ve got going on. Maybe one other thing I’d throw out here, just another small project that we’ve got going is we’re launching an LMS (Learning Management System) this year. We’re calling it SocialSurvey University, so there’s lot of work behind the scenes right now. We’ll start filming here, some of the videos and training seminars in the next 30-60 days, but we’re going to build an in-house tool that’s going to, every time we bring on somebody, that we make sure that we funnel them through that, and everyone gets the SocialSurvey stamp as they come through.

Emma- You know, what I love is that we not only drive to Create “WOW” for our customers and drive our customers to Create “WOW” for their customers and employees, but you and Laurie and Gaby really drive to Create “WOW” for our team members, as well, which is pretty cool.

John- We really do. We try to work really hard on that. You know, when you’re doing a startup, sometimes you just gotta get stuff out there and get it rolling. But as you grow, and as you’re able to put some footers down and start building, what we really want to do is not only Create “WOW” for our customer base, but even in a hiring process when somebody’s hiring in with us… it’s a different process from everybody else’s…. that we Create “WOW” with potential recruit. And then internally, the way that we, from an HR standpoint, deal with our people- that we’re Creating “WOW” for our team members, as well. So it’s our company brand, it’s our company promise, and it’s what we strive for every day. We don’t always hit the target, but we’re going to keep shooting for it, no less.

Emma- You had a really good sound bite there, and then you just kind of deflected from it.

John- You can cut that part out maybe. That’s what editing is for.

Emma- Yeah, not on Instastory live, but we’ll download it and edit it later. It’ll sit on here for 24 hours, you’re fine darling.

John- I need lots of editing.

Emma- No, you’re fine, you’re fine. So, what about you? You are our driving force, our compass if you like, at SocialSurvey. What’s happening for you this year?

John- Oh wow, working on a book, I’m going to be writing a book on culture, and scaling culture. So, in my spare time, based on all these things we’ve talked about, I’m putting a lot of effort and energy into that. I’m trying to do some writing in periodicals, as well. So, just some development of sharing what we’ve learned in this journey of culture. My background is 30 years of developing cultures, so I love that. I love pouring into people, developing people and seeing organizations grow to where they’re really healthy. Organizations in the way that they function with each other, interdepartmentally, and all these different aspects. So, just lots going on. I’m a leader, so I’ve gotta be a learner. So, it’s a year of reading and growing and trying to share, and pass some of those things on to other people in the process.