Popping Bottles: The Penny Hoarder Ranked No. 2 on Entrepreneur’s List of Best Culture

Entrepreneur and CultureIQ teamed together to find the best office cultures in the United States. They narrowed the list to 50 for each company size -- small, medium and large -- and unveiled the winners for 2017.

I’m proud to announce The Penny Hoarder earned the No. 2 spot on the list of small-size companies!

What the Survey Measured and Why Culture’s Important

Employees anonymously participated in the survey several months ago. From there, Entrepreneur and CultureIQ measured the results in 10 areas “predictive of high-performing cultures,” such as innovation, communication, work environment and mission alignment.

A good company culture is important for a variety of reasons. For one, I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your company. It's also not bad for recruitment, which tends to make or break new companies!

But you can’t just “will” culture into existence by dropping it in the employee handbook -- it’s something you have to work on and exhibit every day.

Here’s how Andrea Huspeni and Jason Feifer described it in the March 2017 issue of Entrepreneur:

“Good culture doesn’t just happen -- or if it does, it’s fleeting and fragile. A truly strong one is nourished and grown, like any relationship.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

8 Ways We Nurture Our Culture

Here are some examples of what works for us at The Penny Hoarder:

  1. We have a shared mission to help people make and save more money. Everything gets discussed through that frame -- Will this post idea fulfill our mission? Will this advertiser fulfill our mission?
  2. We set companywide goals and then display them on TVs throughout the office. When we hit these goals, we offer a companywide bonus.
  3. We have a two-person Employee Happiness department that hosts monthly events so we can get to know one another.
  4. We hold regular team and management trainings, so the entire office can grow.
  5. We distribute decision-making power. The goal is for every single employee to have decision-making power over something in the company.
  6. We’re transparent. We share our yearly 30-page strategy doc with the team and revenue numbers on the TV in our main office area.
  7. We hold a regular Lunch & Learn, where a different employee speaks each week about their background and experience, and we can learn from one another.
  8. We support ongoing career development through a learning budget, book club and quarterly meetings with employees and their supervisor to discuss a growth path.

Celebration Time

You can’t rank No. 2 on a list of best company cultures and not celebrate, right? Pretty sure that’s grounds for getting dropped from the list altogether.

Last week, our team gathered at nearby Pass-A-Grille Beach after work to celebrate the honor. We kicked things off with a prosecco toast at sunset and later grabbed dinner together.

(We have a number of beaches in the area, too -- just sayin’. P.S. We’re hiring!)

As our company doubles in size this year, we’re going to do our best to make sure the culture we’ve worked hard to create stays intact.

What are your thoughts on company culture? Are you rolling out any new initiatives to improve your culture this year? Let me know in the comments!

Kyle Taylor is the founder and CEO of The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites with 15 million-plus monthly readers. In 2016, the Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder the 32nd fastest-growing private company and the №1 fastest-growing private media company in the United States. You can read his latest article here: “5 Things Managing Political Campaigns Taught Me About Being a CEO.”

Image credits: Cover photo, Khiem Nguyen, The Penny Hoarder; (1) Sharon Steinmann, The Penny Hoarder; (2) Entrepreneur Twitter’s account; (3) Khiem Nguyen, The Penny Hoarder

startup lifeKyle Taylor