Sugar was created in 2019 to provide finance to the games and app world – no small task. Knowing that we need to build a great team culture sits front and centre of our priorities. The management team has both big corporate and startup experience, so we have seen it all when it comes to company culture! We know that happy people do a far better job for the team and the customers and they enjoy it more too. As a result, we have three core values:
- Work smart
- Aim high
- Communicate openly and effectively
Work smart means that you should have the right work life balance, whilst producing your best work. Results count, facetime doesn’t. Balance your work with your life and make sure you’re productive. You don’t need to be glued to your desk (office or home) from 9am until 6pm – we’ve been in jobs like that and they aren’t fun! We trust you to do what you need to do in the agreed time.
Don’t miss a deadline, but definitely don’t miss your kid’s nativity play or your new sofa delivery either. Just remember to send us some pictures! You don’t need to tell us if you need to go to the pharmacy or the dentist. You have a life, we get that.
Back when I was in the corporate world, I was so compromised when my kids had awards days or a school play and I felt like I had to be at my desk. I put work first and missed some big moments. So at Sugar, you do what you want to do; run in the dads’ race at sports day – but make sure you stretch off first! Finish early to have an anniversary – just make sure you take flowers and a card!
Aim high means setting high standards for your work. Do your absolute best for our clients, colleagues and suppliers. We’re a small company, so we spend a lot of time together. Let’s have each others’ backs, do the best job we can and go the extra mile when needed. It won’t always be easy, but hard work and a bit of sweat usually produce great results.
One thing I struggle with and am constantly working on is my tendency to question everything. How is our product? Is the website good enough? What about the onboarding process? Did we do right by customers? The sentiment is right, but it’s unhealthy to obsess too much. I trust our Sugar team to do a great job, the best they can. My job is to take a deep breath, lead from the front and feel secure that the business is in our capable hands.
Communication is a big one for us too. We like to talk. That doesn’t mean we spend all day drinking herbal tea, eating cake and putting the world to rights. But it does mean that we discuss everything openly. Don’t hide any issues and challenges; let’s share them and hopefully find solutions.
More importantly, let’s celebrate the good things we do. If you did a great job on a piece of marketing, a loan, helping a customer, then let’s all hear about it. And I don’t mean by email, or Slack – tell us face to face so we can celebrate it.
There are lots of other good things that we do that make for a friendly company culture. The easy wins are things such as take your birthdays off or work from home when you need to.
My favourite is “F*ck Up Friday” – where we all openly talk about our biggest mistake from the week and what we learnt. There’s no shaming, it’s about sharing and developing.
Above all, as long as we get the work done, deliver what we say and keep doing best by our customers, then let’s have a bit of fun and be humans along the way.