In an era of job hopping, these employees are staying put

August 7, 2017
fuze2
Photo via Fuze

Millennials are frequently called the “job-hopping generation,” and for good reason — studies show that over 60 percent of them are open to new and different job opportunities, while over half report feeling disengaged in their current workplace.

This helps explain why employee retention is one of the biggest challenges employers face in 2017. Retention cuts down on training costs and lost productivity as new employees ramp, and helps companies retain key institutional knowledge.

But how do you foster a company culture that encourages employees to stick around? We spoke with employees at four Boston tech companies to find out.

fuze1
Photo via Fuze

Naum Kaluzhny, sales operations

With Fuze since: 2014

What drew you to Fuze?

While interviewing with many different companies, it quickly became clear to me that the black and white cubical corporate world was not for me. When I came in for my interview with Fuze (formerly Thinking Phone Networks), I immediately felt the difference. The employees were all excited about coming to work and all shared common goals: to learn and develop their skills while having fun and making friends along the way. Since we were in the early days of the startup, my role consisted of many different responsibilities which impacted all the departments. I saw this as a huge opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of a business while exploring what aspects interest me most.

What is it about Fuze’s culture that keeps you sticking around?

The Fuze leadership team wants their employees to enjoy their work and the people they work with. Throughout its growth, the company has maintained its startup culture, making employees feel like they are part of something special and unique. The open floor design makes it very easy to meet new people and to collaborate on cross-departmental projects. Everyone is eager to help each other succeed at their tasks, because everyone understands how interdependent they are for achieving the company’s goals.  We still have weekly social events and monthly parties that bring all the departments together, making it easier to develop healthy working relationships. Also, the beer on tap certainly helps after a long day.

What has it been like to watch the company grow over time?

Fuze has matured a lot over the last four years. It was very exciting being part of a booming sales team; receiving world class sales training while smashing our numbers quarter after quarter. While some of the growth was very quick, it kept me on my toes and I was always looking for ways to improve processes. The growth has taught me a lot about what drives success and how to adapt in a rapidly changing environment. It has been very exciting to be part of this journey and to watch Fuze go from an unknown startup to a fierce leader in the UCaaS industry.

 

3play
Photo via 3Play Media

Claudia Rocha, director of operations

With 3Play Media since: 2010

What drew you to 3Play Media?

After working at larger, staid companies, it was refreshing to join a young company with enthusiastic founders and to be a part of a growing, innovative company. Additionally, knowing that we're producing work that tangibly helps improve our clients' lives is rewarding. I love 3Play's commitment to innovation, most recently shown by our expansion into audio description.  

What is it about 3Play Media's culture that keeps you around?

The enthusiasm of the employees and their dedication to make the company and its products better. Being part of a team that is inventive and creative is important to me, as is the openness of management to listen and often incorporate suggestions on ways to improve the company and culture.

What has been like to watch the company grow over time?

It's been an enriching experience to be part of this company as it grew from a few employees and contractors to having a bigger, but still lean, internal team with over 1,500 contractors. Personally, it's been challenging and rewarding to be so involved in product development and to have my role expand as the company grew. I'm excited to see the changes as the company continues to grow, and I look forward to being a part of that for years to come.

3play 2
Photo via 3Play Media

Andrew Schwartz, director of engineering

With 3Play Media since: 2013

What drew you to 3Play Media?

3Play uses technology I was very interested in continuing to learn. The small company feel was something I was definitely after, while 3Play also boasted more stability and profitability than many similar companies in that regard.

What is it about 3Play Media's culture that keeps you around?

You make friends quickly in our tight-knit group. The social culture feels very natural and unforced, which I definitely could not say of every company I've worked with. The work itself continues to present ways to learn new skills and technologies from web development to machine learning, and the folks here in the development team are ever eager to learn them. This enthusiasm is really self-reinforcing and fuels a very enriching experience working here at 3Play.

What has been like to watch the company grow over time?

It's a little unreal to have seen the company more than double in size from the thirteen employees when I started. The continued growth in our market always feels good and gives you confidence that you're contributing to something real, while the pace of growth has never felt out of control or unsustainable. 3Play manages to strike a great balance in that regard, which I personally find pretty inspiring and think contributes to a lot of confidence in the company.

ellevation
Photo via Ellevation Education

Mark Johnson, software architect

With Ellevation Education since: 2012

What drew you to Ellevation?

I was looking for an opportunity that allowed me to leverage and expand my experience developing large-scale web applications while serving a just social cause. I had spent most of my career in healthcare, so education and Ellevation, in particular, was the next logical step. I had worked for a very small company many years before and enjoyed the chance to be apart of building a product from the ground up.

What is it about Ellevation's culture that keeps you around?

Ellevation isn't a big bureaucratic organization where decisions come down from an ivory tower. Developers are encouraged to recommend and affect change. We all work together, across disciplines, to provide the best possible experience to our customers. We also still have our traditions from the early days, where Friday's are a day where we get to let loose a bit with donuts, fast food and sports jerseys.

What has been like to watch the company grow over time?

When I started we had a space a little bigger than my college dorm room. I've moved furniture, hung whiteboards, disassembled cubicles and worked on migrating a remote data center at 2 a.m. from our CEO's kitchen.  We're a far cry from those days, with a large modern office space and weekly snack deliveries, but it's fun to look back to see how far we've come, and what a great company we've built.

klaviyo
Photo vi Klaviyo

Brian Whalley, director of product marketing and operations

With Klaviyo since: 2016

What drew you to Klaviyo?

The company leadership drew me in — they had a clarity of vision and enthusiasm for the business that is uncommon. Klaviyo was about 25 or 30 people when I joined. Andrew (CEO/co-founder) and the other leaders in the company had a clear ideas of where the business could go, and why we different from our competitors in the ways that mattered. Their energy and enthusiasm for the business made me want to be a part of it.

What is it about Klaviyo's culture that keeps you around?

I'm having the most fun at work when everyone is excited about learning and growing.  Everyone here is committed to getting better at what they do, and then getting better again. There are people at a range of places in experience and careers, and everyone on that range knows where they are today, what their goals are, and how they want to get there. That kind of culture keeps everyone excited and engaged in finding out what they can accomplish next.

What has been like to watch the company grow over time?

It's been thrilling to watch all the different ways we've grown up over the last year. We've been adding new customers, expanding our operations and becoming more sophisticated, and finding ways to solve the problems that challenge any growing business. It's always exciting to have the opportunity to define what our future will be as a team.  

klaviyo2
Photo via Klaviyo

Chris Conlon, developer

With Klaviyo since: 2015

What drew you to Klaviyo?

What initially drew me in (and away from the other jobs I was checking out) was the platform itself. I interviewed with Andrew Bialecki and a few other engineers at Klaviyo, and as soon as Andrew gave me a demo of the product at the end of our interview, I was sold. I was really impressed both with the maturity and complexity of the platform that I'd be contributing to, along with the challenges ahead that anyone who decided to join Kalviyo that Andrew was putting the onus on to solve.

What is it about Klaviyo's culture that keeps you around?

I'm not the same person I was two Halloweens ago because working at Klaviyo has pushed me to learn and adapt every day. I see it all around me: everyone is learning, everyone is stepping up to solve the task at hand. It’s been constant.

What has been like to watch the company grow over time?

It’s been pretty cool, to be honest. I've seen two offices fill up with brilliant people, to the point where sharing desks was almost becoming a reality. We traded the Boston Common for the Greenway by South Station and now for Post Office Square. The platform has changed too. Code that I have written has both stuck around for years and been depended on, but even better, it has been rewritten, refactored, or removed by other engineers constantly improving our platform.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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