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The 3 C’s of Successful Company Culture

When it comes to awards, there’s no doubt that this year’s been one for the books for Pardot. In January, Pardot was rated “Best Overall Value” among marketing automation vendors by respected industry analyst firm Gleanster; March found Pardot ranked among AlwaysOn’s list of OnDemand 100 Top Private Companies, and only a couple of weeks ago, Pardot made the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s List of Top 50 Fastest-Growing Companies in Atlanta.

But the award that captured the most press attention and inspired COO Adam Blitzer to state that he is “more proud of this award than any other we’ve been given,” came when the Atlanta Journal Constitution named Pardot the number one small business to work for in Atlanta, as well as number one overall for best work-life balance. And we think that this award, recognizing our outstanding employee satisfaction and positive company culture, goes a long way towards explaining all the others: “We believe that the respect and appreciation felt by our team at Pardot translates into better service for our clients,” said Adam. “and directly contributes to the overall success of our business.”

On his blog, 10,000 Startup Hours, Pardot CEO David Cummings discusses some of the points he focused on when building Pardot around a unique company culture. We’ve highlighted a few Pardot secrets to success here, particularly focused on fostering an attitude of team unity amongst employees (although the perks and benefits Pardot offers employees individually don’t hurt either!):

Conduct checks in the hiring process. At Pardot, job candidates must pass a “culture check” to determine if the candidate has the positive, self-starting and supportive attitude that will thrive in an atmosphere like Pardot’s — and these qualities may carry more weight than a sky-high GPA or impressive, advanced skill set. As David explains, “we hire people that already fit our style and recognize that the way we operate isn’t for everyone.” By ensuring that each new employee is not just talented but a team player, Pardot is able to maintain an cooperative and amenable work environment that translates into outstanding customer service, and a general feeling of mutual respect and support among employees.

Communicate consistently. For a business to communicate effectively with their customers, the communication must be there internally as well. Pardot looks for any opportunity to get co-workers together to bounce around ideas. Whether it’s morning departmental check-ins, weekly company-wide meetings, cross-functional lunches or quarterly off-site team events, Pardot employees have plenty of opportunities to get to know one another, understand what other teams are up to and build friendships. They also have plenty of opportunities to communicate with leadership, and are able to submit anonymous questions to be answered at weekly company-wide meetings by David and Adam.

Celebrate success together. You got there as a team, so celebrate as a team. You know that moment when a sports team wins the championship game and gathers on the floor or field to hoist up their trophy, and suddenly all the training and practices seem worthwhile because they earned this moment as a team? It may sound corny, but that’s the feeling of team unity you want to capture in your employees — that’s the feeling that’s going to give your employees a vested interest not only in their personal success, but in the company’s success overall. So set aside some budget to do something fun — Pardot holds quarterly celebrations with the sole purpose of celebrating the company’s achievements and showing appreciation for the team’s hard work. And who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? As Adam says, “Life is short. You spend most of it working. Make sure you love what you do.”