The Startup Trust Fund

Earlier this week, we made a new addition to the Appcues employee benefits package. While some startups try to woo new hires with catered lunch and nerf guns, we enjoy being fun in a different way.

That’s why I’m proud to announce the Appcues Trust Fund, a budget for building relationships outside of the office.

Reactions from the team

Ok, so I may have deceived you a bit, but hear me out. Unless your startup is composed exclusively of lifelong childhood friends, odds are you could benefit from getting to know each other better. By understanding someone as a full person, not just as a coworker, we better understand their actions and motivations. We build empathy, the foundation of trust.

Legendary mens basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, aka “Coach K,” invests heavily in his team’s trust:

“Trusting relationships serve as a reminder that you are not doing it alone, that someone else believes in you and that you can believe in them.
If you are wondering whether or not you can “get it done” and someone you trust tells you that they believe in you — that is a powerful thing.”

At Appcues, trust is essential to our work, and we already do many things to build that trust. Week-long team retreats, spontaneous off-sites, elaborate birthday celebrations and weekly team lunch, to name a few. In an effort to further build trust with each other, we added the Trust Fund to the mix.

The Trust Fund

The concept is simple:

$50 when you hang out with 2+ Appcuties outside of work.

To encourage everyone—including those who feel guilty spending/borrow money that is not theirs—we converted the funds as $50 pre-paid VISA gift cards that sit out in the open at the office. No need to fill out expense reports or ask permission (“No Permission Needed” is an Appcues cultural value). Just grab it and go.

There is some fine print involved:

  • Must be outside of normal working hours (lunch at Chipotle can only be so fun).
  • Give some kind of indication when you’re grabbing one (“Keep no Secrets”, another cultural value). Bonus if you post photos in Slack.
  • Use good judgement.

It’s still early, but it’s been a hit with the team.

Never trust someone who calls himself, “Guru”

Have a creative culture idea? I’d love to hear it.

Love what we’re doing? Join us! Appcues is hiring.

Shoutout to our Head of Sales, John Sherer, for the idea.