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Whole Person Organizational Cultures©

Gerald R. Wagner, PhD.
March 2017

Table of Contents

HomeAdvisor: Cultivating Success Through a Collaborative Culture

Employees participate in Climb for Kids to fundraise for Children’s Hospital

Cultivating Success Through a Collaborative Culture

What do pie-eating contests, paddle boarding, scenic hikes and superheroes on bikes have in common? They’re just a few of the ways HomeAdvisor — a leading online marketplace connecting homeowners with home service professionals — celebrates teamwork, community and success, the principles at the heart of everything we do.

At HomeAdvisor, we’re laser-focused on setting people up for success — from helping homeowners complete home improvement projects, to giving home pros the tools they need to grow their businesses, to ensuring our team members have the support they need to accomplish their goals every step of the way. We succeed when our customers, our coworkers and our communities succeed. And it’s authentic leadership, limitless opportunities and a collaborative culture that keep us coming back for more.

Below are the points that make HomeAdvisor’s Culture Unique

We’ve maintained a startup mindset through unprecedented growth.

When it comes to culture, we like to say that we mix the profitability and stability of a major corporation with the scrappiness and culture of a start-up. We started as ServiceMagic in 1998 and rebranded as HomeAdvisor in 2012. And, in just the past five years, we’ve grown our business  from 720 employees to nearly 2,000 and expanded from one flagship office in Golden, Colo., to make room for 788 new employees in five new offices located in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lenexa, Kansas; Indianapolis, Indiana; and New York City.

Remarkably, we’ve maintained a collaborative; work hard, play hard approach that defies the daily grind along the way. And we’re happy to report that, despite the growing number of employees on our campuses, our employees still rank a feeling of workplace family and camaraderie among their favorite things about working at HomeAdvisor. In fact, the Denver Post has named us a top workplace four years in a row!

Two employees play shuffleboard on their break

We defy the daily grind.

In our offices, you’ll find foosball tables, arcade games, hula hoops and Ping-Pong. You’ll also find a focus on health and wellness and a strong sense of pride and connection to the cities in which we work and recreate. To encourage employees to stay healthy and enjoy our scenic Golden campus, for example, we host a monthly Wednesday walk series and provide a basketball court, a bike share program, showers and on-site yoga classes. And, to encourage collaboration and creativity, we have regular team huddles and a cooperative workspace environment.

HomeAdvisor’s New York game room

Employees play Connect 4 at annual SummerFest event

We know we’re fortunate to have attracted the intelligent, diverse and dedicated team that we have, and fostering an energetic atmosphere in which employees know that their contributions are appreciated is important to us. Some of the unique events we host include themed work days, food truck Fridays, movies in the park, an all-company March Madness tournament, a stellar Trick-or-Treat Street, ugly holiday sweater contests and the best summer picnic imaginable (think pie-eating contests, stand-up paddle boarding, live music and more).

We make it a priority to invest in our employees’ success.

We know that our employees aren’t looking for a job; they’re looking for a career, and we make it a point to grow and promote talent from within. First and foremost, we aim to give our employees the tools and resources they need to realize their career goals – whether it’s in the form of manager mentorship or feedback, peer learning, or additional on- or off-site training.  Additionally, we offer tuition reimbursement for relevant continuing education to all full-time employees, whether it is for an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. And our organization has created an employee development group focused on retaining quality talent and providing employees support in the areas of job skills, business knowledge and professionalism to facilitate career growth.

We genuinely love rewarding hard work.

At HomeAdvisor, we relish in giving our employees the recognition they deserve, and we acknowledge success and show our appreciation in many ways. First, we love a little healthy competition. On our sales floors, we host quarterly competitions in which winners receive all-expense-paid vacations to destinations like Costa Rica and Hawaii. And we also host regular competitions in which employees can win cold hard cash (we’re talking upwards of $1,000) or tickets for local sporting events and playoff games. In fact, we sent one happy employee to the Super Bowl just last year!

One lucky sales employee won tickets to Super Bowl

Second, we love a good party. We revel new product launches, awards won and goals achieved as often as we can. Frequently, to recognize and thank our sales teams for a job well done, we’ll cater food, hire a DJ and gather in the courtyard for an afternoon of games and celebration. And, our senior vice president of customer care presents several personal recognition awards in quarterly Customer Service “Care-emonies” for accomplishments ranging from rookie of the year, to most calls made, to most innovative, to lifetime achievement.

Third, we love loyalty. Every employee is recognized both individually and company-wide when they celebrate an anniversary. An employee profile is posted to the company’s Intranet and a personal letter is delivered from their director. On one-year anniversaries, employees are given a company vest, and on five-year anniversaries, employees are given a company jacket – earning their sleeves, so to speak.

Employee pie eating contest

Employees in stand up paddle boarding in annual Summerfest event

We get lots of opportunities to give back to our communities.

At HomeAdvisor, we place tremendous emphasis on community engagement and corporate responsibility, and we launch charitable drives several times a year to support programs such as Dress for Success, Denver MiCasa, Food Bank of the Rockies, Junior Achievement, Special Olympics and Children’s Hospital. In fact, Children’s Hospital named us Community Partner of the Year in 2014. Additionally, we participate in ongoing fundraising events and public awareness campaigns such as Bike to Work Day and Movember, and we host walks each fall to raise money for Thanksgiving meals for the homeless. Our company is also very proud to offer a volunteer benefit that allows employees to take a paid day off to volunteer each year with a nonprofit of their choice. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of employees have given their time and talents to local communities and charities they feel passionate about. In fact, last year, our employees provided a total of 1,600 volunteer hours.

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No Job too Small for Vibrant’s CEO

Last week (February 8, 2017) Matt McCombs, Vibrant’s CEO and President, could be found overseeing the completion of a successful merger but today he’s outside shoveling the walkway.

McCombs truly believes in leading from the ground up. Whether it’s shoveling the sidewalk, setting up for marketing events, or working the teller line — McCombs has done whatever it takes to best serve the credit union’s members.

“The atmosphere and type of leadership Matt’s developed here at Vibrant is uniquely one of a kind.” Steve Ducey, Vibrant’s Chief Experience Officer, said. “Our employees genuinely want to be here and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Matt’s willingness to always help out with whatever needs to be done.”

At Vibrant, employees are not just a face in the crowd. McCombs not only knows each and every 180 employees, but has yearly one on one meetings to discuss potential growth and address any concerns employees may have. Of course, employees are encouraged to also reach out to McCombs throughout the year at any time — his door is always open, just check his calendar first, he’s a busy guy!

McCombs’ lead by example type of attitude has created an award winning team. Vibrant has been recognized as one of the top 5 Credit Unions to Work for in the United States and the top place for Young Professionals to work in the Quad Cities. To top it all off, this team is here to stay. According to an internal survey conducted by Vibrant, 74% of Vibrant employees see themselves working at Vibrant for their entire career. The employees genuinely like coming to work everyday and are in it for the long haul.

Financially speaking, as of December 2016 Vibrant’s assets have grown to almost $562 million and Vibrant ranks in the top 8% in the country for overall return on member value. The award winning team has been recognized as a true partner to its communities and membership in proving there is a better way to bank.

Vibrant was also featured in the May, 2016 issue of Culture ROLE MODELS.

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