21.01.2021 How Field Effect’s culture contributes to cyber security success

by Andrew Milne

The secret ingredients? Shared values and passionate, driven people.

Beyond the difficulties and hardships of the global coronavirus pandemic, 2020 introduced major cyber challenges for businesses of all sizes. With new threats, increased cyber attacks, and growing attempts to target remote workers, the team at Field Effect has been working hard to help businesses secure their operations during unprecedented change, all while continuing to innovate.

At the start of the year, we laid out an ambitious plan to become leaders in our field and to establish offices in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, meanwhile we’ve more than doubled our team’s size, built new partnerships, and increased revenue.

“When the pandemic started, we had the discussion of, ‘Okay, how do we deal with this?’ Do we go with our original plan, slow things down, or do the status quo?” recalls Matt Holland, Field Effect’s Founder, CEO, and CTO . “We actually put our foot on the gas and accelerated.”

A major contributor to the success and growth we’ve seen over the last year stems from our culture at Field Effect — the shared values, commitment, attitudes, and overall vision that shapes our company. We’re proud of the culture we’ve created — and how it drives our internal collaboration and daily work with customers.

Recognized as one of Ottawa’s top employers

Back in February 2020, Field Effect participated in Invest Ottawa’s Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) Benchmarking Pilot Program. The program measured how likely an employee would be to recommend working at their company.

The average score across all Ottawa businesses was 56, already well above the typical “good” score between 10 and 30. But when the results for Field Effect’s eNPS score came in, we were blown away. 91% of staff completed the survey, totalling Field Effect’s eNPS score at 72 and placing us among the top three employers in Canada’s capital.

“Field Effect’s 72-point eNPS score establishes the company as one of Ottawa’s top three employers.”

So how did we get this awesome score? Matt joined Invest Ottawa’s AccelerateOTT webinar to reveal a few of the secrets to our success.

Creating a clear vision for a company

A major driver behind our growth, not to mention our eNPS score, is our clear vision: we’re committed to simplifying and improving cyber security for business and organizations of all types and sizes. We’re the world’s only holistic intelligence-grade cyber security provider of managed monitoring, detection, and response services. That means we provide the tools, technology, and support you need to not only identify threats but understand the action needed to stop them and continually improve your security.

That vision is reflected in everything we do, and it drives a sense of shared responsibility, accountability, and transparency — not to mention collaboration.

“If we weren’t living our values on a day-to-day basis, I don’t think we would’ve achieved the success that we’ve had this year,” says Matt.

We live and breathe cyber security, and our team’s dedication to working together and collaborating to provide cyber security tools and technology that help businesses is what pulls us all together, but that shared responsibility and accountability are what keeps us moving forward.

“As the Founder and CEO, it’s my responsibility to set that culture,” he adds. “One person won’t always have the right answer, so you need to be willing to bounce ideas around and have those discussions.”

“It’s everyone’s responsibility in the company, once the culture is set and propagating, to continuously push that, because that’s how it stays alive and real,” says Matt.

Putting employee voices front and centre

That culture is definitely propagating. It’s one thing to encourage a collaborative workplace, let alone one that’s thriving remotely during a global pandemic, but another entirely to have staff feel empowered to act on the ideas they have and run with them.

“Our biggest thing, is empowering every employee to be a leader in the company,” shares Matt. “What we really try to do is get barriers out of people’s way so they can succeed and make confident decisions.”

“That’s really key for two reasons at this point in our history: one, given there’s so much work-from-home happening, you need a workforce that’s confident in what they’re doing and in their own decisions without having to reach out to their supervisor or their colleagues all the time.”

This also helps team members get invested in the company. “The second reason that’s really important, given our company is in the process of a heavy growth stage, the people we’re hiring right now are the people who will be the foundation once we hit 1,000 people or 2,000 people. The confidence to make decisions and be a leader in the company is huge.”

That extends to employee experience and recruiting new talent. “I’m typically the world’s laziest recruiter, but I love working with geniuses,” says Matt. To help incentivize bringing in new talent, Field Effect offers a $5,000 bonus to any employee who brings a new employee on board — as a result, the majority of new hires (or new geniuses, as Matt puts it) in 2020 have come from referrals.

“Now, we have a company that trusts each other, loves working together, has positive attitudes and lots of energy — because if you have someone in the past who you really enjoyed working with, you’d want to bring them on board,” he adds.

Building a workplace that works for you

That shared culture and vision have helped Field Effect ramp up in a big way this past year. Still, it’s not without its challenges. Despite the benefits of working at Field Effect — flexible hours, great perks and benefits, and a mentality of “make the job work for your life,” to name a few — it can be tough to stay connected and to feel that shared connection, especially as companies around the world are facing unprecedented uncertainty.

That’s why, back at the start of the pandemic, Matt and the executive team hand-delivered catered meals by local restaurant North & Navy for a socially-distanced company dinner. “I think [that] raised spirits quite a bit and brought back a sense of normality,” says Matt.

“Success ultimately comes from letting people know they’re valued — your company is your people.”

On top of that, the team also implemented a secure, virtual social meet-up every Friday. “Every Friday, the entire company gets together to have a beer, have a chat, and talk about things that we’ve been doing,” says Matt.

This helps break down silos and reminds people that they’re all part of the same team. It also gives new team members an opportunity to introduce themselves and get to know their colleagues, even if everyone’s working from the comfort of their home office.

“We also take an opportunity to recognize a few people each week and give them a formal award for doing something awesome, so everyone is aware there’s continuous success within the company,” says Matt.

“It’s quite cool, because we have employees all around the world, so sometimes these socials have gone well into the night, which is a neat thing to see that people are really just wanting to talk and engage with their coworkers,” he adds.

Team members share what they’ve been up to professionally and personally, in some cases staying up so late that UK-based staff sign on to say good morning (“What happens on the Friday social stays on the Friday social!”)

So, what does Matt ultimately attribute to the company’s success? “Letting people know they’re valued. Your company is your people.”

Interested in a career at Field Effect? Check out our open positions and apply today!

Find out more about the cyber security products and services our amazing team is building, from sophisticated monitoring, detection, and response made simple to easy-to-deploy virtual cyber security training. Check in with the team at hello@fieldeffect.com.

 

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