Quantum Workplace, a developer of employee engagement software that improves employee engagement, retention and performance, is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. Over the years, the company has established themselves as a leader in conducting software-based organizational assessments, but when they first started out, most of their industry peers were still working off-line.
“We started in 2002 as a custom survey development house,” said Greg Harris, CEO of Quantum. “This was at a time when simply moving what the world was doing with pencil and paper [to digital] was still a novel differentiator.”
In late 2003, they made a deal with American City Business Journals (a network of local news journals) to create a Best Places to Work program. Thousands of companies across the country took the engagement survey Quantum created. Quantum then scored the surveys according to a metric they created and delivered the ranking lists to the journals.
“That was one of our early products, but it was interesting in that it gave us this laboratory of data with which to start sharpening our voice about workplace science,” said Harris.
Not only were they collecting data in a new way, but they were also thinking innovatively about what the data could tell them. Harris said that Quantum saw that data as a metric with more value than just a measure of employee engagement.
“We thought if we could gather the collective intelligence of people, that we could actually make predictions about their success,” said Harris. “We thought that this thing called ‘employee engagement’ was actually a leading indicator of success as opposed to a traditional financial metric, which is a lagging indicator.”
These days, Quantum is hired by HR departments to not only measure engagement but also help managers drive it.
“About five years ago, we realized simply measuring employee engagement wasn’t a full solution,” said Harris. “It didn’t execute on our mission of making work better every day. We needed to build tools that our clients would use every day of the year to impact the universal drivers of engagement.”
Those drivers were identified as employee recognition, creating visibility for company, team and individual goals, one-on-one relationships between managers and employees, and continuous feedback channels within organizations.
Quantum knew the importance of those drivers and applied them internally to their own employees, building a strong and vibrant company culture in the process.
Harris said that Quantum’s culture isn’t just a fun attitude they promote with their signature orange walls and games of dodgeball at work, it’s the shared mission of making work better.
“We use all of our product features, so we practice what we preach,” said Andrew Zetterman, Head of Technology. “Our core values are pursue, team over self, be you and revel in work.”
“In our last engagement survey, 91% of our team agreed or strongly agreed to the item that says, ‘I believe we are executing on our mission,’” added Phil Haussler, Head of Product. “Execution on mission is a very important component of culture.”
The Quantum team is currently 56 employees strong and preparing for a move into a larger office in February.
Harris said they’re also looking to hire 25 new employees, including developers, salespeople and product managers, to accommodate company growth as they execute an aggressive product development phase and move into cross-selling new tools to clients.
Growing their headquarters out of Omaha has given Quantum a unique perspective in the market––something they’ve learned through surveying companies around the country.
“Building in Omaha has been awesome,” said Harris. “Work-life balance is something that the Midwest scores stronger on than on the coasts.”
“I think the Midwest aligns well with our core values, especially two of them: pursue and team over self,” said Haussler. “While the labor supply is really tight in Omaha, especially for key roles like developers and product specialists, we’ve had really good luck keeping the people that we’ve found and building a really great team.”
Haussler said that as Quantum has grown, they’ve moved to squad-based work, especially in product development, to keep teams small and maintain a startup mentality.
“We have these small, autonomous, cross-functional teams that are trying to recreate the magic that a startup feels with five employees in a garage working on something important,” said Haussler. “We’re trying to maintain that startup spirit even as people outside of us tell us we’re not a startup anymore.”
“We’re the forever teenager. We’ve been profitable for a long time but we still identify with the startup culture,” added Harris. “To us, startup isn’t size or age, it’s nimbleness, agility and ability to challenge our own thinking, and be thinking of what’s next.”
Harris believes that mentality goes a long way towards retaining diverse and talented employees that revel in their work.
“Revel in work means appreciating fun and actually wanting to have a career that you care about, where you want to be invested,” said Harris. “We’re not workaholics necessarily, but we enjoy what we do. I was accused by my teenage son of being giddy on Sunday nights because I know Monday morning starts a new week.”
This content is sponsored by Quantum Workplace.
Quantum Workplace provides an all-in-one employee engagement software, serving 8,700+ organizations to help managers drive workplace culture, build effective teams, and increase engagement.