October 21, 2016
At PointSource, we place a serious emphasis on culture and we value it highly. This might sound cliché because culture has become such a buzzword in the business world but at PointSource, our culture has a twist. The twist is this; our culture isn’t an end in and of itself, it has a purpose. It is a means to something larger. Our culture is a culture on mission.
Culture on mission means that we see our culture as a means of fulfilling our company mission. And our company mission is “having fun making real change with great people.” So the purpose of culture here at PointSource is to make sure our mission statement is both felt and upheld. We want our employees to have fun, to make real change and to be great people. Being intentional with our culture is one way of making those things possible.
What does this look like in our office? The answer to that comes from our core values. At PointSource we have six core values that support and qualify our mission statement. These values are: Be Authentic, Strive for Balance, Partner With Clients, Do The Hard Work, Live Outside The Box and Remember To Laugh. So from a cultural perspective, everything we do grows out of our core values and is a means of fulfilling or exemplifying our company mission. This is a bird’s-eye view of the intentionality and dynamic of culture at PointSource, but let’s put some wheels on the ground and look at some real-life examples of this culture on mission in action.
The “having fun” piece of our mission statement might seem easy enough to fulfill but the truth is, there is an important element of intentionality and meaning fueling the fun we have. A great example of this would be the Office Olympics that we recently held. Concurrently with the real Olympics, our office had challenges and games every day at lunch and the closing ceremonies during Beer O’clock. Our people formed their own made-up nations, designed their own national flags and assigned anthems to represent their country. The games ranged from trivia and throwing playing cards into watermelons, all the way to shaving balloons and knocking over water bottles with tennis balls inside pantyhose on people’s heads. But this wasn’t just fun for the sake of fun. We had recently hired several new team members and we wanted to provide an opportunity for team cohesion and new cross-departmental relationships. These Olympics, while being incredibly fun, created the space and opportunity for our people to unite, rally and make new memories together.
“Making real change” for us means that our employees feel connected to the real-world impact their work has. We want our employees to know that their work doesn’t terminate when the last line of code has been written or when the last design element has been implemented. Rather, their work culminates in the impact felt by the people utilizing the products of our clients. Andrea Shipman is a great example of this in that her favorite project to manage, created an incredibly useful tool for people and insurers to use in the midst of a natural disaster. This is real-world change that we are constantly trying to remind our people of and celebrate their crucial contribution. We do this by public recognition, fun magnets awarded at company All Hands meetings and employee spotlights that highlight our people’s efforts and victories.
Lastly, “with great people” simply means that we want our people and clients to know the caliber and quality of the people they get the privilege of working with. We have such an amazing group of people with a truly unique perspective here, that we want to celebrate them as individuals as much as we can. So when Doel Gonzalez finished his doctoral degree, we cut up his dissertation into spirit links and decorated our Cafè with it while we awarded him with his new name plate that had “Dr.” before his name. And when we learned that Emory Ball, one of our User Experience Designers is a cyclist, we asked him to host a Lunch N’ Learn on cycling. And when we knew that our Digital Experience Manager, Kristin McPeak, was leading a discussion on collaboration at the Women In Tech Summit in Raleigh, a big group of our employees went out and attended and cheered the loudest. This celebration of our employees is an essential element of our culture and is part of what makes our culture so unique and powerful.
This is the “why” of PointSource culture. We believe that culture is one of the most important and influential means of not only exemplifying our company mission, but fulfilling it. We strive to create the space and opportunity for our people and clients to experience what it means to be a part of PointSource culture. The result is an incredible, rare, meaningful and robust tribe of amazing people who utilize their unique perspective to affect industry and real-world change.