Startup life moves fast. Like, really fast. One minute the whole team can squeeze into a moderately sized canal barge, with ample room for beer rations, the next, it’s spread across the continents, with offices in 12 major cities around the world – and counting. Eventually, there comes a point where you have to look at yourself in the mirror and own the fact that you no longer work for a startup – things have scaled up somewhat.
Having more colleagues is great. For one thing, it means more birthdays, which is directly proportional to the rate of free treats in the office each week. But maintaining the spirit upon which a successful startup’s success is founded is no piece of cake. Luckily, here at Tiqets, our unique company culture has survived the expansion, and continues to reflect the diversity and stimulating fun of the cultural attractions we offer. It’s a pretty special thing.
Here are just some of the ways we’re keeping the flame of startup life lit in scaleup times.
Smells like team spirit…
It’s not by happy happenstance that the working atmosphere at Tiqets is so chilled out. In each department, a big emphasis is placed on recruiting people who fit our company culture. We don’t just look for the best talent, but the people who bring infectious energy, creativity, and openness to the table, along with their impressive resumés.
Our eagle-eyed recruiters and department leads have an uncanny knack for spotting and lassoing the brightest people who complement the overarching team synergy. We might have outgrown our fledgling startup shell, but our recruitment philosophy is more than ever about finding natural fits, who, after one week, seem as though they’ve always worked here. The result is an office culture that is laid back, supportive, collaborative, and a genuine joy to be a part of.
Donut be Strangers 🍩
The push to create a company-wide feeling of togetherness doesn’t end once new recruits are hired and issued with the trademark Tiqets jacket. With new Tiqeteers joining the team on what sometimes seems to be an hourly basis, it can be tricky to keep track of everyone’s name and role.
To compound matters, Tiqets is made up of an assemblage of assorted departments, located on different building floors, or even in different countries, whose workflows don’t always intersect directly. All of the above would make it difficult for people to get to know all of their colleagues, were it not for the unifying power of the humble donut. Yep, donuts!
Donut is a Slack plugin. Once a month, it pairs together colleagues from different departments at random, and invites them to meet up to share a donut, a coffee, or any other type of edible treat and chat for 30 minutes in order to get to know each other. It’s been a huge success so far at Tiqets, and is the ultimate ice-breaking inter-departmental networking initiative.
As well as helping people from different departments to mingle socially, it’s also great for creative cross-pollination and getting fresh perspectives on projects. The local bakeries and donut mongers are firm supporters of the initiative. Our waistlines, not so much.
Push it to the limit!
Bonding with colleagues doesn’t always have to involve deep-fried rings of sugar-coated dough, though. In fact, new research has shown that it’s possible to team-build, while also burning calories. How you ask? By taking part in some of the many regular sporting activities organized at Tiqets.
Always harbored an unquenchable urge to sport short-shorts and keep a volleyball airborne with the kind of graceful suave only ever seen in Top Gun? Tuesdays are your chance to go hog-wild. There’s a volleyball court a minute’s walk from the Amsterdam HQ (10 minutes if you run in dramatic slow motion).
More of a twinkle-toed football fanatic? You’ll have plenty of opportunities to dazzle us with your fancy footwork at Tiqets. Games and mini-tournaments are organized all the time at various pitches and indoor halls around Amsterdam, with impromptu barbecues often breaking out afterwards too.
If you want to get seriously shredded, the weekly bootcamp sessions on Wednesday or the globetrotting climbing club are a great way to turn that afternoon donut splurge into chiseled abs of steel. You might be hobbling around the office on Thursday, mind!
Beer and Pizza™
Expansion into new regions, partnerships with the Louvre and Google, restless tech teams hellbent on streamlining the ticket-buying process – there is always something new and exciting happening at Tiqets. Always. With new people joining all the time too, it’s important that everyone is up to date with what’s happening around the company, to keep that one-big-happy-family feeling alive.
Hands up who looooves a good Powerpoint presentation at 5 o’clock on a Tuesday? Anyone? Anyone? Now, picture if you will, the waft of piping-hot pizza leading you floating by the nose across the office. A frosty cold one appears in your hand. A presentation begins, but it feels more like… hanging out… This is how you do company updates. At Tiqets, we refer to these bi-weekly presentations as Beer and Pizza™. Remarkably, everyone manages to stay updated on all the latest news!
Beer and Pizza™ is great for providing a snapshot of ongoing projects and developments within tickets, and donut meetings are wonderful for sparking interesting conversations between people from different departments and backgrounds, but when we really want to get the creative juices flowing across the entire company, Creative Week is where it’s at. The idea is simple. Four times a year, everyone in the company is invited to come up with and share an idea about how Tiqets could improve. And then we make it happen.
Whether it’s ideas for new features to help make our website and mobile app more engaging and easy to use for our end-users, or simply novel ways to make our own work and workplace more streamlined and fun, successful Creative Week projects require only a good idea and a plan about how it could be implemented.
Ideas are then pitched in front of everyone, Beer and Pizza™-style on Monday, and democracy decides which ideas are pursued. We then are given one week to assemble teams, collaborate, and build a working model which will then be showcased on Friday. Winning ideas have included personalized homepages, flexible ticketing options, smart cross-selling, better review-mining insights, and lots of others.
We endeavor to avoid hackneyed mottos like Work Hard Play Hard here at Tiqets, but it’d be remiss to suggest that this company doesn’t fit the description pretty accurately. We know how to have a good time. Every Friday, the Amsterdam HQ becomes a veritable fiesta, with free beer, snacks, fussball, and extremely cheesy music.
The parties get themed with the seasons, of course, with Halloween adding a fancy-dress competition, summer taking things to the great outdoors, and winter seeing us hit the ski slopes. With tech summits, Online Travel Agency (OTA) conferences, and special events at our venues occurring on a rolling basis, not to mention our expansion and growth into new regions, there are also tonnes of travel opportunities and fun networking events to attend throughout the year as well.
There’s never a dull moment in the mission to make culture more accessible, and as the company grows, that’s as much the case as ever. But we’re keeping that fun, energetic startup spirit very much alive. And we are hiring!