Want to Galvanize Your Team? Give Them These 2 Things

by Alton Zenon III
June 25, 2020
A diverse Team galvanized around a company mission

Keeping employees engaged is not as simple as putting an inspirational poster next to the coffee machine. Every individual has to feel like their day-to-day responsibilities contribute directly to a company’s purpose. Leaders at LA tech companies DISQO and Anduril said there are two key ingredients for inspiring your team: transparency and ownership.

To give employees visibility into how they contribute to the bottom line, leadership at marketing tech company DISQO built a framework that drills down how each team member’s efforts further the high-level goals of the business. Each employee’s contributions can be directly traced to a specific mission-enhancing objective.

Meanwhile, at defense technology company Anduril, employees often see their creative projects get turned into actual products, allowing team members to play crucial roles in building upon the company mission. This level of self-efficacy gives employees a unique sense of ownership in the organization. 


Tiffany Chelsvig
VP of People Operations

How do you translate DISQO’s mission into specific actions for both the company and individual teams? 

Our mission is to engage people to share their opinions and behaviors openly to help our customers make the right decisions. To make this mission meaningful and actionable, we distilled this mission into five top priorities for 2020. We developed a framework to define objectives and key results based on each priority as they pertain to our people, product, audience members, clients and shareholders. By defining individual team objectives within this framework, people can clearly see how their efforts will contribute to our collective goals.

For instance, when an engineer makes progress on our enterprise dashboard, they know they are helping us achieve a product-related objective toward our ad measurement priority. That work will then help our clients make the improved decisions mentioned in our mission statement.

People can clearly see how their efforts will contribute to our collective goals.”


What aspect of your company culture or values most reflects your company mission? 

By creating a culture of open collaboration, we fuel discovery and innovation internally. This idea is seen in all facets of our organization, from companywide all-hands meetings and regular cross-team stand ups to informal “taco talks,” where people share what their teams are working on.

Just as we strive to help our clients make the right decisions through accurate insights, we take a data-driven approach to every project and initiative. If there’s a way to measure it, we will. And the lessons we learn help us adapt quickly and innovate smartly.


What role do your team members play in building your company mission?

The company mission is strengthened when people have a sense of self-efficacy, team unity and transparency. The impact goals of every individual and team are created from the ground up within the framework of our company priorities, ensuring each person feels like they are part of what we are building.

To provide transparency and unity, we share the progress of every company objective at each all-hands meeting. Everyone can regularly see where we are succeeding, where we need to focus and how the company is performing overall in its mission.

To celebrate our wins, we also promote both the use of our #shoutouts Slack channel and virtual high-fives in our OKR management tool. These celebrations are public within DISQO, ensuring continued open engagement across teams and strengthening our collective mission through tangible moments.


Trae Stephens
Co-Founder and Chairman

How do you translate Anduril’s mission into specific actions for both the company and individual teams? 

We all know that the harder we work, the more quickly we can deploy our products and help serve our mission. Because that mission is to update a decades-old industry, we’re always looking for outside-the-box solutions. There can’t be any sacred cows. While not every idea ends up making the cut, we pride ourselves on the fact that no suggestion is too zany to consider. 

I find it fun to walk around the office and check out what the engineers are tinkering with. A good deal of it has no relation to existing products, which I think is the best sign of a healthy creative culture. Most, if not all, of our product development starts as a partially-formed idea that morphs into a weekend project, which then evolves into a team research effort before becoming a prototype and moving through production.

People are encouraged to engage in intellectual debate about the merits of what we’re building.”


What role do your team members play in building your company mission?

It all starts with being clear and transparent. Nobody — inside or outside of Anduril — should have any doubt as to what we stand for. One of my primary roles is making our mission as clear as possible to outside stakeholders. We don’t hide behind our executive team. We encourage our team members to take ownership of the mission when they talk with loved ones, potential recruits, customers and the media.

People are also encouraged to engage in intellectual debate about the merits of what we’re building. We want them to think through the ethical challenges that are ever-present when dealing with defense technology. We have made a conscious effort to employ people of diverse backgrounds so we can benefit from their unique perspectives.


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