Flexibility, support, lifestyle and a preference towards team achievement over simple task completion have been paramount to the culture and growth of eLearning specialists, eCoach.
While the LMS and online learning company may only boast a staff of 21, recent expansion and a prevailing focus on personal and professional growth has seen eCoach establish a workforce across 4 cities and two continents, with no plans to take their foot off the gas yet.
“The culture at eCoach is very much one of support” said eCoach CEO Ryan Macpherson.
“That’s easy to say, however at eCoach, this culture has been built over time. As a past teacher running a company that offers an educational product, we tend to hire staff that like to assist in the transfer of knowledge, and often the biggest gains at eCoach are staff growth and development.”
Macpherson claims that team growth is at the core of eCoach’s culture. He’ll admit that, as a young company, it can sometimes feel like they’re building the plane while they fly it, but it’s this agile yet supportive approach that seems to attract the right candidates to join the team.
“Culture is something we speak about weekly – we’ve always set out to create an environment that allowed for personal and professional growth, while creating a space where people actually wanted to come to work.”
A regional business with a global focus
Although based in Newcastle, the eCoach team is growing. Leaders in the world of digital learning, the company has bucked the conventional water-cooler office approach, with staff in Sydney, Melbourne and now Los Angeles, as they continue to take on the US market.
As a signal of just how fast eCoach are expanding, the company, who has more than tripled its workforce in the past 12 months, and have seen over 300% growth in their US business in the past six. Attending worldwide eLearning vendor convention DevLearn in the US for the second straight year, eCoach facilitated online training boot-camps for over 30 companies (including beverage giants Coca-Cola) and as a result, are now on boarding 30 new clients.
While these business results represent an amazing tip to the iceberg, it highlights the fact that below the surface at eCoach, things are going swimmingly.
“Our recent growth wasn’t a single project but instead a team effort, with each team member taking ownership of our success” said Macpherson.
During the last team expansion at eCoach, GWG Partners were engaged to find four vital team members whose expertise and cultural fit were just right – Heads of Marketing, Digital and UX, as well as a front-end developer. While these additions to the SaaS business were no doubt crucially important in achieving recent results, eCoach are now looking forward, and a further round of recruitment is approaching.
Charmaine Piper from GWG Partners claims it’s easy to see why eCoach’s growth continues, as the company pays attention to the big and small things when it comes to workplace culture, but perhaps more importantly, they walk the talk, unlike so many other employers.
“Everyone is a vital piece to the puzzle in the eCoach team, there for their expertise, hard work and teamwork. The flexibility they offer their employees is something a lot of organisations will espouse, but very few deliver the way eCoach does.”
Small team – more ownership
Because eCoach is a business in growth, any addition to staff numbers needs to be considered carefully. eCoach’s focus is delivering the best outcomes for their many clients, so upon joining the team, staff experience a high level of trust and autonomy as subject matter experts.
According to Macpherson, this is one of the biggest things eCoach has going for it as an employer – if you’re part of the team, be part of the team.
“We give our staff the independence to run their own projects and complete the work that has the biggest impact on the business. The result is that we see staff truly value their role, and impact, and their ability to make decisions that affect the future of what we do here.”
Ensuring the right cultural fit
With any workplace that allows employees such high levels of ownership and input comes a more pronounced need to focus on cultural fit. With every round of talent acquisition, eCoach not only add areas of expertise vital to business growth – they open themselves up to the prospect of dilution of a workplace culture years in the making.
“Cultural fit was the most important thing when recruiting for eCoach” said Charmaine Piper from GWG partners.
“It can be so easy to look at someone’s technical ability, but if they aren’t a team-player, aren’t prepared to shift their own perceptions, listen to others and contribute, it can be really detrimental to the organisation, and to success.”
Piper claims that the great thing about eCoach is that once candidates are shortlisted, the process of establishing whether or not someone will be right for the workplace culture is as easy and personal as a cup of coffee with the CEO, Ryan.
“eCoach move fast, but are very calculated in their decision making. Ryan and the team just want to see team players with an understanding of others. People that want to take ownership of their roles and be part of creating something amazing.”
It’s also important to note that, like all successful workplaces, once a team member comes on board with eCoach, their contribution to the culture of the business really begins. While a lot of employers simply introduce candidates to the existing culture during recruitment, at eCoach, the culture is a living thing, evolving daily through the actions and interactions of employees and clients.
Says CEO Ryan MacPherson:
“Culture never sleeps. Whether it’s how we communicate on Slack to each other, how our team talk about their job at a weekend BBQ, how we drive to the next pinnacle of performance or face the tough months – everyone plays a part in its success”