NEWS + ADVICE
Culture Fit: Is Metronome Right for You
Good, bad, or indifferent, every organization has a culture. But in many respects, the “best” culture doesn’t have a single answer. As a job seeker, it’s up to you to decide what kind of culture best fits your needs, personality, and professional goals. You won’t find much satisfaction in your new role if the environment is not compatible with your work style, so consider what is most important to you when making decisions throughout your job search. Research potential employers online, talk to your network, and ask questions in your interviews about teamwork, values, expectations—whatever cultural aspects are most important to you.
To learn more about company culture in the government contracting world, we spoke with Rebecca Woolson from Metronome, a woman-owned small business in the Information and Technology sector that provides service in the areas of Cybersecurity, Cloud Development, Application Migration, Infrastructure and IT Management, Mission Support Services, and Rapid Recruiting. As Director of Culture and Engagement, Woolson is involved in organizational and team effectiveness, learning and development, communications and marketing, and engagement programs and events.
Over the years Metronome has done a great job keeping programs going. For example, Metronome’s website has back issues of its quarterly magazine that go back over four years. Take a peek behind the curtain and find out the inside scoop about Metronome’s company culture.
How do you maintain such a high level of commitment to your programs
Our mantra is to be dependable, valuable, and inimitable. We seek to provide dependable communication and support to our employees, which drives us to maintain consistency in our programs. Of course, as a small business we need to balance our resources and sometimes priorities shift. We do our absolute best to maintain what our employees have come to expect.
Another aspect of this is that we continually seek to improve. We solicit feedback so we can learn what is working, what is not, and how we can make our offerings better.
Which programs do your employees particularly enjoy
A couple of the big hits include our annual holiday party and annual picnic. Throughout the year, we also have Culture Clubs, which are periodic events we host on-site. Our HQ employees bring in lunch or other goodies and mingle with our amazing Pulsers (employees)!
Is a positive culture strictly about having fun
No, it’s not just about having fun. I think that is the window dressing people commonly confuse for corporate culture. Edgar Schein likens an organization’s culture to a lily pond. “On the surface, you’ve got leaves and flowers and things that are very visible. That’s the ‘how we do things around here’ but the explanation of why we do things in that way forces you to look at the root system, what’s feeding it and the history of the pond, who planted what.1” If you don’t dig down to the roots, you’re looking at the superficial level and won’t really understand why an organization operates as it does.
When Metronome throws events, having fun is a big plus. However, what is fun for one person may not be for another. Ultimately, we strive to host events where employees can bring their whole selves and make human connections. When you have that mindset, I don’t think there’s a message to be balanced – it’s all about the people who are the core of our organization.
What’s Metronome’s company culture like overall
The best way to describe it is through the words of Company President, Virgil Virga:
“Our strategy is driven from the heart. Our dedication is to our people and their growth. We adhere to our core values. These tenets have created a special culture that our employees, (AKA “Pulsers”), deeply love. Our culture and the love in our company has allowed us to do what we do. Our company growth has shown the success that is possible with this inside-out approach. With a strong core, almost anything is possible.”
How did this culture start
It was developed on purpose. “Leadership and company culture were the first two items added to the Metronome business plan 9 years ago,” adds Virga. “I am proud that we acknowledged that these two items would be critical to the vitality of our company, but I could never have envisioned the journey those things would take us on from then to now.”
How did Metronome begin promoting culture on social media
There was never a definitive decision to promote Metronome’s culture on social media. It was more of a decision to get more active. We experimented with different types of posts and content and noticed that the posts getting the most activity were our culture-driven ones. Metronome is a people-oriented organization, so it makes sense that our most popular posts are focused on our people.
How can company culture reach employees working off-site
Communicating an organization’s culture is a little more complex when it comes to government contracting. Many of our employees work at Government sites, which have their own unique cultures. Each team has a unique culture as well. The key is to understand each candidate’s wants and needs, so the recruiter can match the person to the best program for them. We also communicate to candidates the experience and support they will experience from our headquarters and management team. From the moment new candidates walk into our HQ, they know their employee experience will be different from what they’ve previously experienced in the industry.
Does an active culture impact retention
I believe the culture and the relationships our employees build can result in deep loyalty and fondness for the organization. Even when employees leave for other opportunities, we like to keep in touch and have many great stories about boomerang employees who end up coming back to Metronome.
What’s on the horizon for 2020
Our Executive Vice President of Growth, Matt Carabia, is leading Metronome’s expansion into new markets and locations. In 2020, we are looking forward to awards for many of the bids we submitted in 2019. As we continue to grow, we must also continue to tend to and cultivate our culture as we add to the team.