Career Advice

Why Core Values Transform a Tech Company

We’re all familiar with the basic corporate American experience. You clock into work, perform your required tasks, and leave at the end of the day.

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We’re all familiar with the basic corporate American experience. You clock into work, perform your required tasks, and leave at the end of the day. Maybe you talk to a few coworkers throughout the day, but it’s certainly not expected. If anything, it’s considered a distraction. You’re a cog in the machine, doing your work as required. It’s nothing more than a job.

When job searching, this was the kind of cold scenario I expected from a tech company. Boy was I wrong.

One of the first things that caught my eye was Metal Toad’s requirement to read and agree to the Core Values. It’s right there, at the top of the job description. That unusual requirement piqued my interest, and so, I applied.

Metal Toad Core Values

After being hired for the job, I expected a brief reiteration of these policies, but once again, I was wrong. Understanding and applying the core values is a huge part of the onboarding process. Every thirty days, I meet with different members of the company, just to get to know them and share interests. It’s part of my job requirement. Let that sink in for a second. It is my job to get to know the people at this company and connect with them on a human level. I was baffled.

It doesn’t stop there. At every weekly company-wide stand up meeting, Joaquin begins by reiterating the core values. They’re at the forefront of the meeting, the message behind all the metrics and updates. There are weekly and monthly sigs where company members discuss important issues and connect (monthly Covid lunches, DEI sigs). We have slack channels for particular interests (#darkhumordarktimes, #cute, #fridayfunchallenge). There are shoutouts and fistbumps at weekly meetings, and a special Slack channel dedicated for this purpose. People applaud one another for taking time off, rebooting, and returning to work as a healthy, supported co-worker.

ASL applause during company shoutouts

This is drastically different from what I expected, and to me, it’s part of the reason why Metal Toad is so successful. People come first, technology second. It promotes community and support, fostering motivation and confidence in the individual.

As I said, part of my job is to interview different members of the team and get to know them. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “How did you end up at Metal Toad?” So far, every single one of them has had the same answer. It was so different from everywhere else I worked – it put people first.

It’s the exact opposite of America’s now standardized unhealthy work ethic. I’ve worked at many places where leadership members have considered implementing company standards like this but consider it unaffordable. They figure that if they make space for non-necessary activities, then the necessary work won’t get done. Well, I tell you this. Consider how much more productive your employees will be when they don’t feel like work is a chore. They won’t want to escape at the end of the day because they will have a community at work. They will be motivated to do better work. They will feel valued. When you add that into the mix, work time becomes at doubly efficient. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and Metal Toad is doing well not just because of the services it offers, but because of the people behind it. Take that into account when considering what your company can afford. Redefine what should be necessary for the well-being of the company.

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