Today is my one-year anniversary at Text-Em-All. In the weeks leading up to this day, I’ve been reflecting on everything I’ve learned during my time here and how much I’ve come to appreciate the culture that the company lives out daily.
When I first accepted the position at TEA, I was somewhat apprehensive. I read all about the company culture online before I applied, and when I visited the office, it solidified my decision, but what if it was all just a marketing tactic? What if I walked through those doors on Monday, and it was all a facade? Were long hours, ridiculous deadlines, and people who couldn’t care less about me in my future?
I’m incredibly grateful to share that after a year at Text-Em-All, the culture they claim externally is 100% true, and I’m still uncovering new reasons why the culture is so beneficial for employees every day.
But I don’t want you to just take my word for it, so I interviewed four of my co-workers from various teams over the last few weeks to get their personal perspectives on Text-Em-All’s culture. I chatted with 3-year employee Brittney Barnes, 7-month employee Breeyae Hogue, 9-month employee Darshan Modha, and 1-year employee Lisa Lopez.
After our conversations, I compiled a few common themes that popped up repeatedly throughout our discussions, and I’ve listed them here. If you’re a prospective employee, I hope you enjoy seeing what could be in store, and if you’re not, I hope you can take some pieces of this back to your own company.
We Take The Word “Teamwork” Seriously
At Text-Em-All, each employee is a member of not only their organizational team but the collective Text-Em-All team as well. We don’t work as a group of siloed individuals, but rather, we work together to come up with solutions, be proactive in our problem-solving, and make our product better than we ever could alone.
To achieve this level of team-oriented success, it’s part of each employee’s job to get to know their co-workers. Getting to know each other is essential to the core of our culture, and it’s so important that the company pays for “Get-To-Know-You” lunches that employees take with 1 or 2 individuals they want to learn more about.
The same goes for in-office interactions. We truly believe that magic happens around the water cooler, and it’s not looked down upon to take time to connect with your co-workers throughout the day.
This focus on teamwork and “getting to know” each other creates a solid support system and foundation built on trust. Our employees aren’t cogs in a machine but real people. We know that each individual at Text-Em-All has a life both outside and inside of work, and we want to make sure we can support each other when times are tough and when things are going great.
Lisa said her team always tells her to take time off if her mental or physical health is suffering. She feels trust and support radiating from her team and knows that she can share what’s going on in her life without judgment.
“If you have a bad day, week, or month, no one tells you that you need to pull it together. Instead, they come alongside you to support you and make sure that you get the time you need to rest.” - Lisa Lopez
Brittney shared she appreciates that she not only has team support but support from the top down as well. It’s rare for leadership to be involved with each employee’s life, but our leadership team takes it a step further. Our annual reviews (which we call Anniversary Chats) are a conversation between Brad or Hai and our manager, and we lead the conversation! And that’s just the beginning. Leadership at Text-Em-All cares about each individual’s needs and is empathetic to what’s going on in each employee’s life.
“I’ve really seen my worth as an employee. There are just some things you don’t have to settle for.” - Brittney Barnes
We Have FULL Transparency
It might be surprising, but each employee at Text-Em-All knows the nitty-gritty details of the business’s financials, and we dive into them as a company weekly. We all gather together over lunch on Wednesday and practice open-book management in a meeting we call “Scoreboard.”
The purpose of the Scoreboard meeting is three-fold:
- To get to know team members you don't work with every day.
- To create transparency across the company and allow everyone to see what’s happening. The metrics help us better understand what teams are doing and why they’re doing it and allow others to give input.
- To provide a dedicated space for us to discuss important topics or issues. As metrics are presented, everyone is encouraged to ask questions and challenge one another. We welcome ways to problem-solve or improve numbers as a company.
These metrics allow us to be aware of trends and changes in real-time so that we can adjust or correct them before it’s too late. They provide future and historical perspectives to show us where we’ve been and are.
“The honesty and transparency we have in terms of data is honestly refreshing. People should know how the company’s doing, and I enjoy working together on the data with everyone.” - Darshan Modha
Now, you might be asking yourself: “How do you know your employees won’t leak that information or use it against you?” and the answer is simple. We have a foundation built on trust. We truly believe everyone should understand these metrics, and we’re all treated like business owners who should be able to have access to and challenge the data.
Generosity is Woven Into Our Culture
Generosity in a company is rare. Often enough, corporations become greedy, and everyone beneath leadership suffers. At the most, it’s expected that you’ll only receive the exact benefits outlined in your contract, and not a cent more. However, at Text-Em-All, this isn’t the case.
Generosity oozes out of this company, and leadership truly wants to see all employees and their families taken care of, as well as the community beyond the company. These manifest through our quarterly contributions, quarterly profit sharing for employees, broad benefits, and various programs we’re involved in throughout our community and beyond.
For example, each quarter, we have profit sharing throughout the company. At the end of Q2 2022, leadership announced that we would have a new profit-sharing structure moving forward (that benefits the employees even more), and instead of waiting until Q3 to implement it, they retroactively applied it to Q2 for the good of the employees. Quite honestly, how cool is that?
“Text-Em-All truly cares about their employees. There are many right ways a company can use its money, and not every company chooses to share its success and profits back with the employees. The generosity here is like nothing I’ve ever experienced at other companies.” - Breeyae Hogue
Outside of the company, we allocate $1,000 each quarter to each employee and allow them to distribute their donations across our collectively chosen areas of interest however they see fit. In addition, we strive to be a positive impact in our community by serving organizations around Frisco. This looks like packing lunches at Frisco FastPacs, giving Christmas gifts to the seniors at Senior Source, hosting the ReactJS Dallas Meetup every month, and more. Each employee is also encouraged to take 5 days of VTO each year to give their time and talents to an organization they care about. This time does not count toward their PTO.
To say the least, my first year working at Text-Em-All has been surprising in the best way, and saying yes to the opportunity was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I haven't felt the "Sunday Scaries" in an entire year, and truly I feel like I'm a part of something that impacts my co-workers, our customers, and the community. Text-Em-All is a one-of-a-kind company, and a great example to any company looking to create a fantastic business with well-supported, happy employees.