Shopify Ecosystem

Preserving Culture – Navigating Rapidly Growing Teams At Recharge

preserving-culture-–-navigating-rapidly-growing-teams-at-recharge

How do you preserve the empathetic and innovative culture your company forged through years of bootstrapping as it now rapidly grows and scales? What values act as your company’s north star, guiding you through smooth seas or stormy waves?

Those are the types of questions we’ve kept top of mind here at Recharge as many departments have doubled (or in some cases tripled) in size over the last year. How can we keep and continue to build on the culture we’ve spent years honing as we grow and scale?

We asked several Recharge employees to share from their own personal experience, working across various different departments, the insights they’ve gleaned over the last several years as our company has grown while remaining focused on preserving our culture

Here is what they had to say—in their own words.

Preserving company culture

Alexandra Dupuis Potocki – Launch Specialist Manager 

Back in 2019, I was the second person to join the Solutions Consultant team at Recharge. We were running full-cycle sales, from business development all the way through implementation and launch. 

Today, that same process consists of five different teams (Business Development, Account Executives, Sales Engineers, Launch Engineers, and Launch Specialists) and over 60 people – that’s not to mention the supporting teams such as Ops and Enablement!

Now, I lead the Launch Specialists team, which provides launch support for merchants who are looking to get live with subscriptions quickly. In the last 3 months, I’ve created and scaled the team to 5 people. We’ll likely double in size in 2022. 

Watching the growth of our teams has been incredible from a variety of angles; the success and revenue growth of the business, the opportunities for impact that emerge for myself and my colleagues, the increased efficiency and expertise that are afforded by more focused teams being a few of note. 

It’s also been uniquely challenging – taking the tribal knowledge that existed within our small teams and transferring that to scalable documentation and training is one example of an ongoing project. 

One thing that I’ve appreciated about Recharge since day one is the focus on hiring people who embrace our company values: ownership, empathy, humility and a day-one mindset. This has continued to be instrumental in scaling well. I’m grateful to be surrounded by ambitious, curious, empathetic, and decisive leaders and team members while we continue to grow.

Scotty

Last year around this time (Autumn of 2020) we’d welcomed our seventh member of the marketing team to our department. Now, we’re four times that size, with plans on hiring more team members before the end of the year.

From a scrappy crew who wore many hats, to a unicorn herd of creative writers, designers, partner marketers, developers, PR professionals and operations specialists—we look a little different now (that’s an understatement). 

What we’ve worked hard to keep through our expanding team is the culture we’ve built (and continue to build). I think that’s one of the most important parts of a good company culture. Flexibility. Understanding that what worked for a small team of 5, doesn’t necessarily work for a scaled team of 25.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for our Recharge team members. That hyper focus on bettering the lives of our company employees comes straight from the top.

During our biweekly Town Halls, Oisin O’Connor, Recharge’s Co-Founder & CEO, will often reiterate one of the founding principles Recharge was started with:

“We are dedicated to the success of our merchants, partners, and employees.” 

Oisin O’Connor, Recharge Co-Founder & CEO

That’s not a tiered ranking. That is all three on equal footing. 

Speaking from my own personal experience, this is the best culture I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve seen team mates consistently be recognized for their accomplishments. I’ve been granted opportunities to grow and empowered to create things never done here before (like our subscription ecommerce podcast, Hit Subscribe).

We’ve also been repeatedly encouraged to take care of our physical and mental health. To take meetings, if appropriate, while walking, to work when we feel most productive (a boon to a night owl like myself) and to actually take advantage of our unlimited PTO. 

Here’s a list of more tangible examples of how we keep our culture here at Recharge as we’ve experienced hypergrowth:

  • Bi-weekly Town Halls bring the whole company together for updates from SLT and departments as well as concluding with an anonymous AMA. 
  • We dedicate fifteen minutes before Town Hall for a new hire meet and greet that anyone in the company is encouraged to join.
  • We have dedicated remote-life stipends to cover health and wellness, coworking spaces, home office equipment and subscription products from our merchants.
  • Being a fully remote company we understand the importance of team and company retreats so that team mates get a chance to meet each other in person and bond. Past locations for these have included Vail, San Diego, Seattle and Orlando. 

Jack Perejuan – Data Analyst

My first day at Recharge coincided with the company’s first data analytics hire. A data engineer who piqued my interest in data analytics. Almost 3 years later, our team is 23 people strong.

I had taken an unconventional path into analytics, from Customer Success over to Engineering. I made the jump when analytics started growing and needing more support. When I was hired, I was the internal analytics team. That is now one of three teams within the analytics organization, and instead of just me, I have 8 others to back me up. 

Growing this rapidly has tested the bounds of our scaling, and pushing our processes to their limits. It has meant we consistently refine our onboarding, so that our new hires know what is expected of them, and how we work together as a team. It has meant that our review processes are extremely thorough, which means we send out the best possible work.

The best part of it all, is the incredible talent that we continue to bring onboard. So many different perspectives and experiences. This is evidenced by the difference in quality between the 2020 Physical Subscription Commerce report, to the 2021 State of Subscription Commerce report. The first had two analysts work on it, the latter had 10+. Next year’s report will be even more impressive.

Scaling this rapidly has meant that leadership really had to step up. Maintaining a good culture is hard work. At the helm, Joe Mosby has had the team triple in size on him. This has meant new managers have had to step up too. Ryland Rigby and Fiona Stripe now manage the internal and merchant analytics teams, respectively, while Joe directs the analytics organization as a whole. 

Good leadership, making sure our new people feel welcomed and know what they’re doing, and an ongoing commitment to making a consistently better product. Our team will more than likely double again. 

I look forward to it. 

Company culture is what defines you

What defines your company’s culture? What do you value as a collective? Identifying these core traits that represent your people and your brand are vital to permeating and preserving your culture. It’s what makes you great. What makes your business different from your competitors. 

These values are what you can fall back on when the seas get rough. Identify, instill and protect good culture. Let it act as your compass, guiding you to success no matter what stage of growth your business is in.

Special thanks to our friends at ReCharge Payments for their insights on this topic.
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