How does a company keep its culture united through a merger that could affect hundreds of employees across international time zones?
Just ask Pushpay.
In December 2019, the church donor management software provider merged with its long-time partner Church Community Builder (CCB). Employees at Pushpay’s Redmond and Auckland, New Zealand offices joined the staff at CCB’s Colorado Springs location to lay the foundation for the large, combined team it is today.
To unite its dispersed teams behind a unified culture, Pushpay cemented all aspects of its company values — starting first with empowering employees to grow their careers and evolve as people, Front Desk Coordinator Sable Parker said.
“Pushpay’s culture is one of growth as a company and for associates as individuals,” Parker said. “It makes for an exciting environment because we’re always looking to what’s next on how we can improve our products and our teams.”
Pushpay is going to try to create as many pathways for success for you as possible because they let us know we’re not expendable.”
Professionally, employees can take advantage of a formal mentorship program and internal skills development trainings. Pushpay also encourages team members to apply for open internal roles that suit their interests.
“Pushpay is going to try to create as many pathways for success for you as possible because they let us know we’re not expendable,” Sales Development Representative Chris Schiller said.
Personally, team members lead employee resource groups (ERGs) dedicated to celebrating racial diversity and women. Additionally, Pushpay employees drive the culture at their local offices through unique traditions, and also don’t shy away from lending work or empathy-driven support across international water. This includes virtual team happy hours and bonding events, as well as company-wide syncs.
Below, Parker, Schiller and Rocky Munoz, a technical data services professional, describe the company’s growth culture and why they love being a part of it.
Pushing for holistic growth
When Munoz joined the company in a customer support role, he didn’t know anything about the software development industry. Over time, however, he received on-the-job training, a budget toward online courses and financial help for a coding boot camp.
“Actions like this make me feel like I’m valued for who I am and the potential that my leaders see in me, not just for what I produce,” Munoz said.
Other Pushpay members reflect on their growth journeys.
Schiller: I can strategize with my manager on how to approach a call with a specific church. Or I can collaborate with account executives to focus on how to prepare before a call. We have a “masterclass” where an experienced SDR will break down the things that they do on a daily basis to be successful in the role. We also have group role-playing sessions where we explore different strategies to make sure we’re comfortable with them in a live-call scenario. There’s also individual coaching. After listening to a call, a manager or a colleague may provide tips on how I could have capitalized on opportunities left on the table.
I’m valued for who I am and the potential that my leaders see in me, not just for what I produce.”
Parker: Away from work, we have ERGs that provide opportunities to have larger conversations about our company culture and the world we live in. We have WLEAD, which is women’s leadership, exploration and development. And we have RAC, which is our race and culture ERG. We host events that discuss different cultural holidays and a lot of what went down in 2020.
I’m grateful for WLEAD. They host a lot of events throughout the year that bring in successful women in tech leadership inside and outside the company. They talk about women in the workplace and managing work-life balance. It’s been really helpful knowing that there’s space for us to be full human beings.
The encouragement to change teams
Pushpay’s growth culture is driven in part by an emphasis on hiring from within. An internal job board helps employees keep an eye out for new opportunities that pique their interest, and Sable said teammates encourage one another to apply for new positions that align with their career goals — even if that means they’re no longer working together.
Sable: There’s no sense of competition, and we all support each other no matter where someone goes with their career. Rather than seeing it as, “It’s a bummer our team is losing this person,” we say, “We’re excited another team is gaining that person and receiving the talents.” It’s encouraging because if there’s something you’re interested in, our culture removes any hindrance from going for it.
Schiller: Let’s say you’re trying to gain traction in a new internal role but you’re struggling. Pushpay is going to make every effort to strengthen you to see success. However, if it’s not the right fit, they’re not going to say, “Have fun looking for another opportunity outside the company.” They’re going to encourage you to apply for other positions that better suit your gifts. Pushpay is going to try to create as many pathways for success for you as possible because they let us know we’re not expendable.
We all support each other no matter where someone goes with their career.”
Sable: And we see that sentiment even in our recruiting process. Someone may be interviewing for a specific role and maybe they don’t quite fit but they’re a great candidate. It’s not uncommon for us to say, “We have a different role that we think would be a great fit for you.”
Within my first week, people asked me, “So, what do you want to do after this role? Where do you want to go in the company?” It was exciting to know I can dream and that I’m not expected to stay in the role I was hired for. We’re all expected to grow with the company and grow with new skill sets.
Maintaining culture from anywhere
Uniting such a large, distributed team behind a central culture can be daunting, but Munoz, Parker and Schiller agree that Pushpay manages this task well by balancing the local with the international. Each office has a unique culture, and local teams build their own traditions and connect at in-person events. Meanwhile, company-wide meetings, tools like Slack and ERGs rally employees behind shared ideas no matter where they are in the world.
Munoz: The company asks, “How do we take our values and make sure they’re spread well across associates at all our locations, while also allowing the different pockets of culture in each location to flourish?” It’s a difficult dance but Pushpay does it well.
Schiller: On a broader level, we have breakout sessions during large online meetings with the whole company or specific teams where we break into small groups so people can connect virtually. We share our backgrounds and day-to-day experiences and those are always great opportunities to meet other people within the organization.
There are ways for us to step outside of our roles and be participants in our own — and one another’s — personal and professional growth.”
Parker: These weekly meetings, where all three offices meet to go over company updates and announcements, help to encourage a sense of oneness despite being across three different time zones.
Additionally, our ERGs present a lot of opportunities for camaraderie as well because those events are for all of the offices. There are ways for us to step outside of our roles and be participants in our own — and one another’s — personal and professional growth.