Creating A Culture Of Feedback At Medallia
You know that feeling you get when you’re in on a really good secret? A secret that sweeps you up, overwhelms you, and inspires you in unexpected ways?
That’s how I felt when I found out about Medallia.
It’s been over a year and a half since I started my journey here, but it feels like yesterday. When I started, we had just 450 employees. Today we’re at roughly 900, with offices all over the globe. In the last year alone, we hired two new leadership team members, received a fourth round of funding, and topped it off with a spot on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list, a testament to our culture and company values.
And while our brand remains kind of a secret, how Medallians feel about coming to work every day is very much public. Our people are at the heart of everything we do. We drive the company forward, and it’s our voice that dictates how our culture, and therefore business, grows and thrives.
Creating a culture of feedback
It’s no accident that employee feedback has been a major part of our growth. Our Co-Founder and President, Amy Pressman, emphasizes that as a start up, change is inevitable — it’s how we act on it that defines who we are. We use our own product internally to get a regular pulse of the entire organization and survey all final round applicants to better understand the candidate experience. As a recruiter, nothing has been more challenging for me than getting negative feedback from a candidate and having to sit down with the hiring manager to help them understand what went wrong. Yet it’s difficult conversations like these that now feel second nature because Medallia really does make vulnerability so real for everyone here.
Being yourself at work matters
When I first started here, the line “bring your whole self to work” felt like just that — a line. It wasn’t until I saw firsthand how our leadership team walked this talk — sharing personal stories to highlight a piece of advice, for example — that I began to believe it. Medallia also coaches people on how to give and receive feedback effectively. As a callous East-Coaster, this kind of idea felt pretty touchy-feely at the beginning, but after a year and a half here I’ve seen how deeply it affects our company culture and makes people feel safe taking risks and learning from their mistakes.
Medallia has encouraged me to give feedback and enabled me to own the company’s success just as much as our Co-Founders. Our rich Glassdoor feedback is a result of practicing what we preach; by sharing feedback and learning from it, we foster a culture of vulnerability that enhances the relationships we have with one another. The Glassdoor Best Places to Work award, in many ways, validates the efforts we’ve made towards encouraging, collecting, and responding to feedback. The snacks in our kitchen might shift, but our core values won’t. I can’t wait to see what changes and excitement are in store for 2016, and how Medallians will continue to learn, grow, and thrive through them.