Two Sevens Capital had few things on its side in March 2020 when most physical workplaces changed for the foreseeable future – we were already a 95% remote working business, and our company culture already had a strong foundation. So how did we maintain it? Here are a few points we live by.
- Communicate, and then communicate again.
- Company Values…we live them and breath them.
- Strong remote software solutions.
- Emphasis on Productivity.
- Encourage cross functional support.
COMMUNICATE, AND THEN COMMUNICATE AGAIN!
Thankfully when most of the world was closing physical offices, we were already a company very adjusted to working remotely and communication was high on our priority list. However, what we were not used to, was working with our entire family home with us. Kids were now at our feet looking for meals, activities, and help with ‘homeschool’. Our company is built on the foundation of family first, and we adjusted our Zoom calls to having little faces in the frame at times, having to put the microphone on mute more often than not, and being agile enough to move call times around as needed.
One thing that did not change for us was our 9am Team Huddle. As a company that was already 95% remote before COVID-19, we already had a few things in place that kept us connected as a team. Continuous communication is the key to staying connected, and it has always been important to us to start each day this way. How do we do that? At 9am every morning we jump on a Zoom call and ‘check-in’. Our call is not a long exhaustive call, its 15mins to say our Good Mornings, share any positives from the day before, and throw out any items on our individual plates for the day that require time from one another. Sometimes the calls are quiet while we drink our coffee and get the day moving, and sometimes those calls are joined by little ones wanting toast, but whatever is happening that day, we share it with each other, and that small call at 9am connects us for the day. We are mindful of both our commitments to the family at home and our family at the virtual office.
COMPANY VALUES – WE LIVE AND BREATH THEM!
Here is the thing with a new company and having a former HR professional on the team. All those ‘things’ that HR tries to implement when a company has grown enough to require an HR member, are very hard to implement after the fact. Stepping into an organization that has been operating for 5+yrs without HR, and then asking those people to create company values and start focusing on them is hard. It is an uphill battle. All levels of the business – from the C level to the entry level, have already been working their own way for years and implementing change is hard (trust me). So, to be able to build Two Sevens Capital with a well seasoned HR Professional right from the start has served us well. Our values are already established, and we live by them…. literally. How do we do that? Every Wednesday at our weekly meeting we take time (it is an agenda item) to recognize each other for achievements throughout the week that demonstrated our Company Values. We each take turns giving praise to things we have seen that supported our values. In addition, we align ourselves with other companies that we feel share our values and recognize them. This way it is not only an internal process, but an external one as well. We keep our values top of mind day in and day out. They drive us in decision making and keep us connected as a team.
STRONG REMOTE SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
Yes, we are all using Zoom these days, it has literally taken over as the new conference room. Companies hold team meetings on Zoom, one on one meetings with employees, and external business meetings. But what are we using to replace the hallway chats? Where is the new lunchroom? How are we having our water cooler exchanges? Our virtual hallway at Two Sevens Capital is Slack. What a great piece of technology, and what a great way to keep our chit chat alive without flooding the Inbox. We can connect quickly with one another, and throw out the quick comment or question, providing us with the sense that we are together each day. Although we may not be in the same physical place, we are most definitely in the same workplace each day working towards a common goal.
EMPHASIS ON PRODUCTIVITY
We have always enforced the fact that we do not need to hear from you every minute of the day, and that your day is yours to manage as you see fit. The only thing that we ask is that you manage your sh*& and meet expectations. So, if you are the early bird who loves to crush work at 5am, then go for it. If you are the person who loves to buckle down at 1pm and smash work, then go for it. Whatever your workday looks like is ok with us, as long as you are meeting expectations and clients and business partners have what they need when they need it. No one is clock watching here, we hire entrepreneurial minded individuals that share our common goal – when you win, we win!
ENCOURAGE CROSS FUNCTIONAL SUPPORT Our company is small and there is no secret that we are still in start-up mode, and with that we require all hands-on deck. We do not have jobs that are pigeonholed to one function. Each of us provides support for one another. We recognize different strengths in one another and lean into them as required. So, you will never see someone in our company throw their hands up and declare “that’s not my job” – that attitude does not exist here. We truly function as a team.
So as most companies have had to try and carry their culture into a new remote setting, we have always been building our culture in a remote environment. We have moved every function of our business to a completely remote environment – from legal docs and bank deposits, to our virtual events. We are thrilled to be launching our 3rd virtual event and hope our investors and potential investors enjoy what we have come up with. Of course, virtual will never fully replace the need for direct human contact, but I think in a time where we need to embrace a virtual world, we have done a pretty good job of both internally and externally preserving our culture and what we stand for.