Right now I am working on taking a long presentation and breaking it down into smaller, more easily digestible pieces. I don’t mean dumbed-down pieces, but focusing on one idea at a time.

The presentation, given as part of the Inspired Business Culture series, is about how to shape a workplace culture that’s great for people (and good for business). Benchmarks are a key tool in this endeavor.


When we started our business lots of people advised us to “get awards!” They would make us look big and important and help us attract clients. At least, that was the theory.

In practice, they turned out to be quite useless and in some cases downright toxic to our culture. Lots of other companies could claim these same “awards” and, at best, they told the world that we were maybe as good as the rest of them. But they didn’t make us distinct or remarkable in any way.

We were very fortunate to instead discover two benchmarks that have been key to our success so far,

  • Great Place to Work (GPTW) is an annual survey that measures cultural practices
  • WorldBlu measures how aligned a company is to a given set of principles.

We’ve done well in these benchmarks (i.e., ranked Top 20 for several years in a row) and the public recognition is nice, but their primary value for us has been the ability to compare our performance from one year to the next. We’ve been able to zoom in on our weakest areas and work to improve them year after year.

They have also given a great boost to our brand and have helped us to consistently attract talented engineers who speak up, self-direct, and show initiative is essential to our success. For example, just recently I asked a client about a couple of new people in their team, and this was his response,

We’re very happy with their progress. Yeah they seem to be pretty self-reliant, good quality with minimal oversight, which is great.

Helps us scale!

Well, it helps us scale, too.

The Beat to the Dance

Benchmarks are essential to shaping and improving your workplace culture. They are the beat to the dance that can bring forth a culture that’s great for people and good for business.

GPTW and WorldBlu have helped us do this as well as to attract and retain responsible, talented people. And that is “money in the bank” for Nearsoft and its clients.