Company Culture
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How 5 hiring orgs encourage collaboration among individuals and teams

These companies’ cultures focus on communication and teamwork to help them succeed.

Working together at Susquehanna International Group. (Courtesy Susquehanna International Group)

The organizations appearing in this article are Technical.ly Company Builder clients.

It may be a cliche, but it’s also true — teamwork does make the dream work. And if your dream is to build innovative tech products and services, collaboration is essential to achieving that goal.

Organizations that encourage open communication and emphasize common goals not only have a greater chance at success, but also foster a strong workplace culture and sense of camaraderie among employees.

When looking for a tech role, jobseekers may be curious about how a company approaches collaboration, as it can be an indication of overall organizational health and how they’ll be expected to perform.

Here’s a look at collab cultivation practices at several of the orgs Technical.ly works with across the region.

(If you like what you see, follow the links to their Directory Pages to learn more and explore ways to connect.)

Berkadia

Berkadia is a leader in commercial real estate (CRE); it sells, finances and services properties on behalf of multifamily and commercial property clients, and its innovation team is shaping the future of CRE by leading the evolution of the industry’s technology landscape. With a significant investment in technology and proprietary data gleaned from properties and markets across the country, it has developed a unique and fully integrated platform that marries local real estate expertise with capital markets knowledge. This platform empowers Berkadia’s advisors to deliver actionable insights gleaned from decades of proprietary data — powered by the most innovative technology — to maximize returns on their clients’ investments.

“At Berkadia, our approach to collaboration is centered on understanding and addressing the needs, objectives and challenges of each individual and team. We foster an environment where employees are encouraged to learn from one another, lift each other up and utilize each other’s strengths. This has evolved significantly over recent years, particularly with our increased investment in innovation and technology.

“Berkadia Innovation has implemented tools and technology to support every aspect of the business — from our servicing department to our production platforms — enhancing our ability to work together effectively and foster a collaborative environment where strategy and execution intersect.”

— Eglae Recchia, senior vice president, chief product officer

CubeSmart

CubeSmart is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded self-storage companies. Its mission is to simplify the organizational and logistical challenges created by the many life events and business needs of our customers — through innovative solutions, unparalleled service and genuine care.

“We believe that collaboration across CubeSmart is critical to our success and our ability to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We also recognize that collaboration works best when we are all working toward a shared mission and clearly defined goals. There is no question across our organization that what sets us apart is our focus on delivering unparalleled service to our customers.

“In addition to unifying behind that shared purpose, our Marketing, Revenue Management, Data Science and IT teams are all part of our larger operations team reporting to our Chief Operating Officer, Joel Keaton. One larger team working together on shared goals, priorities and efforts results in the delivery of many innovations that enable us to tailor our solutions in a personalized way to the modern customer. This collaboration and innovation has resulted in productivity, revenue and margin growth!”

— Amy Cross, SVP of information technology and revenue management

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Fastmail

For as little as $3 per month, the Australia-based independent email provider offers completely ad-free products and services — unlike “free” email providers that get paid by selling your data to advertisers. Your inbox stays clear of unwelcome solicitors, and your privacy intact.

“Fastmail, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with an office in Philadelphia, has embraced agile approaches over the traditional waterfall method to improve collaboration. This method includes regular sprints, efficient stand-up meetings and the usage of tools like Slack and Linear, all of which are designed to respect our team members’ time.

“We create cross-functional teams and do retrospectives to encourage open feedback and ongoing improvement, ensuring that our teams are aligned and well organized.”

— Roland Nichols, head of partnerships and marketing

Susquehanna International Group

Susquehanna is a global quantitative trading firm founded by a group of friends who share a passion for game theory and probabilistic thinking. This approach is integral to its culture, where you will find relentless problem solvers within each of its core disciplines: Trading, Technology, and Quantitative Research. From offices around the world, its employees collaborate to make optimal decisions and are driven by the desire to achieve winning results together.

“We build systems that are fast and efficient. Technology at Susquehanna moves at the dynamic pace of the market, adapting to our environment and changing our patterns based on whether we’re working on tactical or larger system development.

“Quants, traders and technologists work consistently in partnership with each other. Technologists work side-by-side with quants and traders to understand the problems we’re tackling so we can build reliable platforms and innovative strategies that allow us to capture trading opportunities.

“Our approach is to create a ‘version 0.1’ quickly so that we can iterate on that until we eventually reach our first prototype. Turnaround times can vary from a few hours to a few weeks. A quant can create a signal on our platform, and we can show it to a trader within hours. We maintain rapid feedback loops between these teams by having regular meetings and check-ins.

“Our physical workspaces — open areas and meeting rooms — are designed to promote collaboration.

“We embed this approach into all facets of our company. Our drive for delivery and collaboration guides the way we work within teams and across the firm every day.”

— Jay, trading systems development manager

Vanguard

Vanguard is different by design. Built in 1975, its radical ownership structure remains unique in the industry to this day — Vanguard is owned by its funds, which are owned by Vanguard’s fund shareholder clients. Its more than 30 million clients worldwide trust Vanguard to safeguard their investments.

“Vanguard fosters a culture of collaboration to solve business problems, improve processes and elevate our client experience, so that we can enable our mission of providing our investors with the best chance for investment success.

At Vanguard, we focus on behaviors and mindsets that encourage breaking down organization or team silos to help drive bold outcomes and enable our crew to lead and contribute to their fullest potential. More recently, this has manifested in our digital product space, where we have cross-functional product teams with members from various disciplines (i.e., IT, business, design, data, etc.) who bring their individual expertise and perspective to the table. They work together toward a common goal, share knowledge and celebrate the successes along the way. Our teams embrace a sense of community, respect one another’s strengths and have a desire to help one another develop, all with a client-first mentality.” — Andrea Stutman, senior program manager, digital product management


Seeking collaboration in your local tech community? Check out other companies in the Technical.ly network here to find out about their missions, cultures and initiatives.

P.S. If you’re curious about Technical.ly’s services for your own org, find more info here and connect with us.

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Companies: Susquehanna International Group, LLP / Berkadia / CubeSmart / Fastmail / Vanguard
Series: Technical.ly Company Builder Monthly Prompts

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