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A Great Place To Work: Our Commitment to Another Form of Office Well-Being

Picture of Jean-Louis Benard By   Jean-Louis Benard  

Sociabble has just been declared a “Great Place To Work.” Yes, some are probably thinking, just another startup that has obtained a desired label, nothing new to see here. However, this certification, with a Satisfaction Index of 90%–far above the required 65%–has a very special meaning for us. It tells the world, in its own modest way: Yes, you can be a company where it is good to work, without giving in to the pressures of the crazy startup world. And yes, even at work, there will be people who’d rather take the road less traveled, than trudge along a well-worn path.

When we created Sociabble, we bet on our ability to build a global company, one that could be self-financing and grow at a responsible pace, in an ecosystem which, on the contrary, tends to favor hyper-growth financed at a loss.

Not just another low-end company, which could eke out a living in a difficult environment, but rather a company where the bar is set at the highest level, one that can excel at every stage of the game.

Indeed, after eight years of swimming against these startup currents, Sociabble already has three years of profitability behind it, while maintaining a growth rate of more than 25% per year. We are present in Europe, North America and APAC. Our SaaS solution is referenced by American analysts as one of the major platforms in our market.

This wonderful adventure has been the result of the hard work of our various teams. No, not all Harvard or MIT graduates who cut their teeth at GAFAM. Far from it, in fact. Normal people who, when faced with incredible challenges, turned out to be extraordinary. French, American, English, Indian, Canadian, Spanish, and so much more: at Sociabble, more than 13 nationalities are represented. All driven by a desire to progress and succeed. However, the question that had to be answered was: Is this company actually a good place to work?

The general notion of well-being at work has also been influenced by hyper-growth startups. Free meals, unlimited holidays, personal trainers, dream offices . . . nothing is too much when it comes to welcoming armies of employees in record time. Faced with the madness that has become the new normal, how can you even make it, when you believe in something completely different? Is it even possible? Well, the “Great Place To Work” test was the perfect opportunity to answer this question, even though we have just crossed the 80 employee threshold.

In this context, obtaining a certification with a score of 90% in the Satisfaction Index, far above the necessary minimum threshold of 65%, resonates in a very special way. It unequivocally answers the question posed above. Yes, it is possible to build an environment in which it is good to work, without giving in to “unicornian” pressures.

Of course, the framework, the operating principles, etc., all play an important role. But the key point for us remains recruitment. We only recruit people who are fully aligned with our values. Not three or four words written on a poster, but a very precise set of beliefs, which combines personal values, interpersonal values, and work principles. We never lower the bar. Even if it means waiting months and delaying our growth. We are masters of our own destiny, and the quality of our people takes precedence over everything else. Because a company where it is actually “good to work,” whether in the office or remotely, is above all a company where you truly feel at home, both in your role, and among others.

Our mission is not necessarily an easy one. The image of the more difficult “north face of the mountain” is often used. This is the path we have chosen. But only because it is the one that motivates us every day; that makes us progress, and surpass our own expectations. We can honestly claim that we do just as well, and sometimes even better than other companies that deploy financial resources ten, even a hundred times greater than ours, and who try to crush the competition without worrying about the sustainability of their approach.

For all entrepreneurs who are wondering: the path of self-financing does not mean you won’t be able to gather talented employees. You don’t have to join the constantly escalating game of superficial “perks” for your workforce to be satisfied and engaged. There are many other ways to be a “Great Place To Work.” And there will always be those who would rather take the road less traveled and embark together on a great adventure, than trudge along a well-worn path.

 

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