Why OwnBackup Wants to Be the ‘Best Job You’ve Ever Had’
If you’ve ever interviewed at a startup, you’ve probably had a tour of the office space. Your interviewer walks you by a fully stocked kitchen, a new beer on tap, maybe even a recently remodeled yoga room.
It all looks cool — really cool — but a nice office isn’t an indication that a company has given thought to cultivating its culture. Put another way: Let’s say there’s a pandemic and all of those sweet amenities vanish. What are employees left with?
It’s something that is top of mind for Martina Yonushonis each time she’s interviewing a candidate for her team.
“You strip perks away when you're interviewing remotely, and it’s not about the snack bar anymore,” Yonushonis said. “Don’t get me wrong, those are great. But it’s now an opportunity to explore more authentically. The reality is that we won’t be able to assemble the dream team and retain it if our values just hang on the wall and we aren’t living them.”
Those lived values seemed to leap off the Zoom screen at Yonushonis when she interviewed with OwnBackup in 2020. Drawn to the emphasis on meaningful relationships, collaboration and support, accepting an individual contributor role was an easy decision. Now, just over a year later, she leads a team of six, which she says is a testament to the trust OwnBackup places in its team.
Yonushonis wasn’t alone in her quest for a great company culture. During a time that HR leaders are calling “the great resignation,” employees across the country are pursuing new professional opportunities for a myriad of reasons. Maybe they’re looking for a different team dynamic, better support or more rewarding projects. OwnBackup is mindful of these needs as they develop and onboard talent to grow and scale.
This means continuing to invest in people and building an environment where employees thrive. In fact, according to OwnBackup Human Resources Director Laura Pinto, building a solid employee experience, including culture, is as important as their business results. To Yonushonis’ point, it is easier to move fast and execute projects with a “dream team” that’s excited to come to work every day. And for Pinto, there’s much to be excited about.
“One of our OKRs is to make this company the best job each of us has ever had,” Pinto said. “It’s really the opportunity of a lifetime to build a career, take on meaningful work and learn new skills that will all contribute to the hypergrowth of this company. It’s what gets me up and excited to go to work in the morning, even on a Monday when it’s raining.”
OwnBackup’s company values
- Culture is as important as results
- We take our work seriously, but not ourselves
- We care about everything we do
- We build trust through transparency
Let’s talk about all that growth.
OwnBackup is a leading cloud data protection platform, focused on empowering customers to own and protect their data on any cloud platform. OwnBackup has so far focused on providing backup and recovery solutions for Salesforce, but is now beginning to expand to other clouds, starting with Microsoft Dynamics 365 later this year.
With a recent $240 million Series E funding announcement and new $3.35 billion valuation, there’s no doubt the company is growing and that product fit, as well as focus and teamwork, have all contributed to its success. According to Pinto, OwnBackup has been growing 100 percent year over year for the last six years.
Building a solid foundation for new hires.
Each role at OwnBackup is equally important as the next. One of the company’s values is “we care about everything we do,” which is why they want each employee to understand why OwnBackup was founded in the first place and the immense value the company provides to the SaaS ecosystem.
To accomplish this, each new hire goes through Bootcamp within their first fews weeks of being hired regardless of their role. OwnBackup has different Bootcamp tracks set up for all the different departments to ensure everyone has a customized onboarding experience. After each track, every new employee understands OwnBackup’s ecosystem, products, messaging, culture and much more. According to Pinto, this “brings us together as a company and builds the culture we’ve already perpetuated.”
In addition to the Bootcamp experience, OwnBackup also implemented a new Sales Readiness platform via Brainshark, a top learning management system. In recognition of these efforts, OwnBackup received a “Top Coaching Program of the Year” award from Brainshark in November of last year.
REMOTE EMPLOYEES NEED CULTURE, TOO.
How important are company values, anyway?
Yonushonis joined Ownbackup during the early days of summer 2020, an undeniably fraught time. One thing she was looking for was a genuine company culture — which isn’t always easy to suss out via Zoom. Regardless, she said choosing OwnBackup was a “no-brainer,” given the empathy and transparency she’d experienced from leadership during conversations. She and Pinto agree those very traits are carefully nurtured by the company and are on display long after the offer letters are signed.
Yonushonis: We approach everything with empathy. That makes it really easy to be transparent: It makes providing and receiving feedback a gift, as opposed to a conversation to agonize over. Feedback is critical to growth at all levels and across all functions.
Joining any new team last year might have been a gamble, but in its own special way, the back to basics nature of interviewing remotely allowed for a more natural and mutual exploration. I can say now that the alignment in values that attracted me to OwnBackup then are lived today and that our culture continues to blossom as we grow. We’re an authentic group of people and we’ve got incredible leadership anchored in what it means to be a team.
Pinto: One of our values is “trust through transparency.” Our leaders do a fantastic job of living this value. We have monthly town halls, where we share all of the details about how the company is doing. We also have “ask me anything” sessions where our CEO answers employee questions. We conduct surveys and roundtables to hear what people are thinking and how they’re feeling. Then we make changes in policies, processes and benefits based on that feedback.
UNLIMITED PTO FOR EVERYONE. YES, EVERYONE.
Individual development helps fuel companywide growth, too.
What good is a rocketship startup if there isn’t also room for growth on an individual level? Or at least, that’s the perspective OwnBackup holds. Yonushonis said the company’s focus on upward trajectories has allowed employees to work their way up the ladder in ways that align with their own interests and skills.
Yonushonis: We look at personal development beyond the next level. This means understanding and remaining aware of what every individual aspires to be, what motivates them and what success means to them long-term. An important part of being an advocate is having that support throughout the organization. So, if a member of a different team is curious about a future in product marketing, we can open that door.
Culture is more than just fun perks — but there is plenty of fun to be had.
When it comes to the employee experience, working hard and getting rewarded is key. But the power of fun isn’t to be downplayed, either. Pinto said fun is a major element of the company’s success. It’s just easier to collaborate with people who support you — and who make you laugh.
Pinto: When you have the kind of working environment we have, human connections happen in a very natural way. The next time you need to work cross-functionally, for example, those relationships are already established. It’s so much smoother to get together and work on something when you already have that connection defined on a personal level.
Having fun at work does have a return on investment. You have a workforce that is engaged, performs better and stays longer.