Catching the culture bug:
My journey from CultureIQ fan,
to customer, to employee

In 2013, I made a career switch.  After almost a decade of working on the tech side of Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact Measurement, I joined Lloyd Group, an IT outsourcing firm based in New York City.  In my role as Community Relations and Marketing Manager, I organized Thought Leadership events.  We’d pick a great topic, a fun venue, and invite prospects and clients to attend. Lloyd’s CEO had suggested that for our first event, we do a panel on “Culture.”  He asked me to invite Greg Besner to participate on the panel because “he’s starting a culture measurement company.”

Well, every part of that sentence was interesting to me. I’ve always loved understanding and nurturing the cultures where I worked.  I am a secret data nerd and love using data to see what’s making an impact.  And, holy cow, a start up! I had been binging on all the entrepreneurship and start-up podcasts I could get my hands on.

Coffee and culture

The 2014 event was a great success, and after hearing Greg speak about his vision and goals for CultureIQ, I was even more intrigued.  A few weeks after the event, Greg and I met for coffee, where I bombarded him with questions about CultureIQ and with information about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, because my gut told me that companies that were investing in CSR programs would also want to be intentional and invest in other aspects of their company culture.

When CultureIQ launched their first product, Lloyd Group quickly became a client and was a joyous early adopter of the tools and services.  We gained valuable insights into what our employees thought of our company and our culture.  We celebrated our high scores and worked diligently to move the dial in the areas where we wanted to improve.  CultureIQ was a great partner and made my job as the “owner” of culture within Lloyd Group so much easier!

Then I had the opportunity to return to the technology side of the Corporate Social Responsibility as a sales executive for YourCause, a fast-growth startup. I continued to see the connection between using CSR as a tool for engaging employees and the impact of this on a company’s culture.  And I remained a huge fan of CultureIQ.  I met with Greg and the team to share with them what we did at YourCause and we talked more in-depth about these connections.  I even wrote a guest post for the CultureIQ blog.

Culture IQ sales team gathering 2019
Susan Pollara, front row, left, with the CultureIQ sales and support team in summer 2019

Over the 4+ years that I was at YourCause, I became more and more intrigued about the realm of company culture and how it can impact a person’s sense of purpose in their role, as well as the bottom line of a company.  I kept diving deeper into these ideas, exploring them through reading, podcast listening, and discussing them with my amazing network of friends, coworkers and mentors.

Then, whether it was the universe, or algorithms, a CultureIQ post in my LinkedIn feed caught my eye.  This led to a visit to the CultureIQ careers page, which led to a super excited email to Greg, which, led to some great conversations and a job offer. Which I happily accepted.

Meant to be

My career path has been winding, for sure, but no matter where I land, or the role I have, these important threads have always stitched everything together:

  • I believe in the company’s purpose (does the company actually make a positive difference?)
  • I feel that sense of purpose in my role (do I actually make a difference at the company and for my clients?)
  • I am connected to the organizational culture (do the people and culture inspire and fuel my passion?)

CultureIQ hits this trifecta, so I suppose I was destined to join the team. In a few short years, I went from fan, to client, to employee. And it feels like I’m in the perfect place.

–Susan G. Pollara is an Account Executive at CultureIQ