Culture Chronicles: An Eclectic and Eccentric Company Culture

Nextiva is pioneering the ‘UCaaS’ or ‘Unified Communication as a Service’ industry by offering everything a business needs to communicate with customers and internal teams in one single, cloud-based platform.

This past year, Nextiva found themselves ranked 20th on Comparably’s Best Places to Work. The emerging tech contender achieved an A+ Comparably score across 18 core culture metrics.

Comparably’s data also demonstrates a consistent perspective from one department to the next.

(Comparably.com)

It is evident that Nextiva has cracked the code to a successful culture.

Stats like that beg the question: ‘What are they doing differently?’

When asked the question directly, Nextiva responded “We hire eclectic people.”

Here’s how the philosophy “Hire Eclectic People” has led to a company culture that drives a competitive advantage:

Acquiring Eclectic

At Nextiva, cultivating a strong culture starts with the first interview.

Instead of focusing on the skills listed on a resume, Nextiva places their interest in the interests of their candidates. Some of the questions asked during the interview are:

  • What is your latest Passion Project?
  • Do you have a side hustle?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What failures have you experienced?

These questions act as a probe to discover a candidate’s soft skills as well as a way to discover the most eclectic hires possible. Atypical characters who possess resilience, unique interests and self-motivating qualities are the end all be all.

This type of culture ultimately leads to scenarios such as this in the context of reality:

Nextiva’s CMO is getting his haircut when his barber begins to detail his trials with Google Ads.

In an attempt to boost the barber shop’s website traffic and SEO, this intuitive barber became a self-taught savant of the online advertising platform.

The Nextiva exec and barber get to talking and as luck would have it, the exec walks away with a sleek haircut and the barber finds himself onboarding for a Nextiva marketing role two weeks later.

Retaining & Structuring Eclectic

Once their unique candidate has proven him or herself just “eclectic enough” to join the team, Nextiva works assiduously to cultivate a culture that brings out what makes him/her different while also contributing to the company’s greater purpose.

Nextiva has adopted a progressively matrixed work environment. Having a half dozen offices and a healthy percentage of remote workers can be difficult for any organization but Nextiva keeps every stakeholder aligned with ease through a few strategies:

‘North Star’ Metric

Every employee is given one unique ‘North Start Metric’ to reach. An individual may have many more goals to meet throughout the year. However, this one north star metric carries more weight in terms of performance and keeps all team members aligned to the company’s strategic objectives.

Customer Centricity

While every Nextiva employee has one metric to place their focus, the entire organization has a true north as well: Customer Centricity. Delighting their customers is at the heart of the Nextiva enterprise. With this overarching strategic objective in mind, transparency, honesty and empathy are demonstrated daily to create not only a positive experience for their customer but a culture built on trust above all things. 

No Barriers

In keeping with the theme of transparency and trust it is important to mention Nextiva’s  barriers to leadership, or lack thereof. At first glance, when walking into a Nextiva office it would be a challenge to identify who is a member of the leadership team is. This is by design. In an effort to establish collaboration and transparency there are no barriers between the C-Suite and all other members of the organization. The level of trust an atmosphere of this nature produces is critical to Nextiva’s bottom line. When employees feel valued, innovation spreads like wildfire and it shows in the quality of their products.

Nextiva Cares

Each month the Nextiva team partners with a local nonprofit organization. By giving back to the community, the organization simultaneously architects a sense of community within their own culture.  Here is a glimpse of Nextiva’s 2018 volunteer contributions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Nextiva.com)

Benefits of Eclectic

What may seem “eclectic” to you is what gives Nextiva their competitive advantage.

For starters, Do you remember that barber they hired? Well, he has not only excelled in his role but brought an enormous value to Nextiva’s marketing efforts, regardless of having no proven software experience.

Nextiva is able to defy odds with their “Hire eclectic people” philosophy. In the past ten years, the cloud-based platform provider has grown from a 10-person startup to an organization over 1,000 employees strong and currently servicing over 150,000 SMBs and Enterprises.

With that said; Stay ‘eclectic’ Nextiva!