Failure isn’t an option at most workplaces.
That’s not the case at Spiceworks, which provides information technology services. Workers there say bosses encourage them to take risks when it comes to developing new products and enhancing existing ones. If they succeed, great; if they fail, workers say that’s just fine, too.
Based upon employee surveys, Spiceworks ranked second on the list of midsized businesses in the American-Statesman’s 2013 Top Workplaces project.
“We’re able to try things and see what happens,” said Jen Slaski, the company’s executive director of marketing communications.
“If you’ve got an idea and want to run with it, everyone’s totally fine with that.”
That freedom to push the envelope, employees say, is ingrained into Spiceworks’ culture, making it a rewarding place to work.
“We never want to lose our culture. It’s something our co-founders really value,” Slaski said. “Culture is one of those things that, when companies start growing, can be easy to neglect.”
Even with recent growth – the company, founded in 2006, now has about 200 employees – Slaski says Spiceworks CEO Scott Abel still interviews all job candidates to make sure they’re a good fit.
“We have personalities here, not politics,” she said. “We’re looking for like-minded people.”
Abel also has regular pizza parties to keep his finger on the pulse of the company, Slaski said, in addition to hosting other team-building events such as field days and parties.
“The leadership team is extremely invested in making it a great place to work,” said Jon Pafk, the company’s senior marketing and communications manager. “They’ve unleashed everyone to use their creativity and passion to shake things up.”
Employees are encouraged to take ownership of projects, online event producer Abby Stone said, even if that means stretching beyond their typical job duties.
“We get creative freedom, artistic license,” she said. “It’s really cool to get in and touch a bunch of different areas.”
“You get to do a lot of good stuff that’s outside of your job description,” said Jeff Grettler, who works in internal operations. “That’s really unique.”
What it does: Information technology
Austin employees: 188
Austin office: 7300 RM 2222, Building 3, Suite 100
WHAT EMPLOYEES SAY
- “Spiceworks leaders do an exemplary job at open and free sharing of ALL information, good, bad and ugly.”
- “I work with cream of the crop sales people. Learn something new from them every day and I love it!”
- “I love that our goals are directly aligned with our users – we don’t charge money from our users, so our main goal is to make users’ lives simpler and easier.”