SpareFoot: Culture Drives Employee Engagement


SpareFoot is a moving and storage website that allows you to compare pricing for storage facilities in your area and helps you rent a space online or by phone.  They ranked #15 on Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures in the medium category, and The Austin American Statesman has named them one of the top workplaces in Austin for the past 5 years.

Jodi Holzband, a writer and editor at SpareFoot, says this recognition is a result of “creating an exceptional culture that drives employee engagement, exceeds employee expectations and directly impacts company success.”  But how exactly do they cultivate such a culture?  Let’s take a look at their core values.

First, SpareFoot asks that their team members always stay hungry, continuously striving to better themselves and the company so their clients can have the best possible experience.  Another core value is playing well with others.  Employees must put the team first without exception.  This means not just accepting, but valuing your colleagues’ perspectives and opinions, regardless of how different they are.  It also means spending more time pointing out coworkers’ strengths than your own.  SpareFoot also asks team members to embrace change, always looking forward to the next challenge and taking the initiative to meet it.  Their final core value is passing what they call the champagne test, which means not taking yourself too seriously and being someone people want to be around.

CEO Chuck Gordon proclaims “The first step as a CEO is to believe that culture is important.  That means believing that it drives results, even if the ROI is hard to measure.  We’ve built a really strong culture that enables our team to execute well and also helps us recruit and retain awesome people.”  He believes company culture should be treated just like a product, with constant strategy evaluation and progress monitoring.  Therefore, SpareFoot regularly conducts in-house culture surveys and discusses the results at their company-wide meetings.  “We work hard to build and maintain a highly collaborative environment where everyone knows where we’re going, how we’re going to get there, and what their individual role is in making that happen.”

Participating in these surveys and meetings not only holds employees accountable to the core values, but gives each of them a sense of ownership in the success of the business.  By cultivating this collaborative atmosphere, management is showing team members of every level that their feedback matters and their ideas are valued.  Because these employees feel appreciated, they go above and beyond to make SpareFoot successful.

Sources: Entreprenuer and SpareFoot

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