Introducing the SDR Culture Committee

As our company has grown, we’ve realized the importance of taking a deliberate approach to building and maintaining our company culture. In this series, we’re exploring the different facets of having a culture committee to help with those goals. In the first post in this series, Director of Employee Experience Melanie Oberman introduced the culture committee’s purpose, structure, and main activities. In this second post, SDR Team Lead Rebecca Shesser shares why her team decided to start the SDR Culture Committee and what they've gained from the experience so far.

About a year ago, I was nominated to be a representative of the Sales Development Representative (SDR) team on Greenhouse’s culture committee. The committee meets bi-weekly and is comprised of 12 employees nominated by their department leadership. It operates based on the goals of giving each department a voice on office and culture matters, sharing office and culture updates with all departments, and advising the Executive team on culture ideas. (You can learn more about the culture committee in this blog post.) 

I was incredibly excited to be asked to be a part of the culture committee. It's a key initiative for the maintenance and progress of Greenhouse’s company culture, and my part in this committee was an important opportunity to give a voice to one of Greenhouse’s larger, lesser heard from teams.

The nature of the SDR world at Greenhouse, however, is fast moving and ever-changing—in short, it’s hard to keep a pulse on the cultural perspectives of the team. I needed to find a way to consistently check in on 20–25 SDRs who are constantly heads-down focused on crushing quota. After brainstorming with other members of the Culture Committee and meeting with my managers and director, we decided to create the SDR Culture Committee.

[Editor’s note: While this post shares the specifics of the SDR Culture Committee, you can apply a similar approach with any large team within your organization.]

Starting an SDR Culture Committee (also known as the "SDR CC")

The SDR CC was born out of a need to stay on top of the cultural needs and wants of the SDR team and the first challenge was getting to the root of what those needs and wants were. I announced the first meeting of the SDR CC via Slack as well as during our monthly all hands and planned out the first meeting with my manager and director.

We decided that the first meeting was going to be a 30-minute SDR Culture Retrospective where we asked ourselves: What are the cultural roadblocks between where we are now and the ideal vision of a high-performing SDR culture? When the entire team showed up to the first meeting, I knew that some great things were going to come out of it.

How it works

Here are a few of the guiding principles of our committee:

• We meet bi-weekly for 30 minutes. 

• Running the committee is a shared responsibility. 

• Each meeting has one volunteer leader and one notetaker. The person who took notes at the previous meeting will be responsible for leading the next meeting.

• The meeting is designed to motivate all SDRs to promote change company-wide and help them feel comfortable sharing their perspectives.

Choosing our focus

From our first meeting’s retro, we identified three key areas that we wanted to address in this committee: 

1. Improving collaboration on the floor

2. Getting channels in place for voicing cultural concerns 

3. Increasing the number of social events for SDRs and AEs to foster camaraderie

What we accomplished

From this first meeting alone, we managed to add a recurring weekly workshopping session to enable SDRs to collaborate more effectively, we created a Google Form with the goal of staying accountable to culture committee initiatives, and we began the process of planning a sales-wide bowling event at Chelsea Piers Bowling Alley.

During our second meeting, SDR Mike Cibelli took point on planning a company-wide March Madness Bracket competition, complete with a Bracket Filling happy hour to foster interdepartmental bonding.

During our third meeting, SDR Camille Seda charged forward on an initiative to get music blasting on the floor. A few weeks ago, the sales-wide “Bowling and Brews” event took place after weeks of planning by SDR Parker Young and myself. These are just a few examples of the type of action we’ve been able to set into motion as a result of the committee. I’m confident in the continued output by this committee—each meeting, SDRs come ready to propose ideas and solutions, and when it comes time to volunteer for responsibilities, the room is never quiet.

What’s next

What began as an attempt to speak for 20+ people has turned into a powerhouse of motivated individuals taking control of their team’s culture and culture initiatives. It has allowed us to streamline communication with management over planning events and setting up trainings and jam sessions.

It also has successfully given me insight into what was most important to my team and how to work those themes into conversations with the bigger culture committee. Because of the inconsistent nature of the SDR team, a lot of the concerns around team attitude, departures, and inclusion in important work-affecting decisions are not top of mind for departments outside of the SDR team. By being able to provide this unique perspective to the bigger cultural committee, I am better able to help my team navigate our unique cultural landscape.

If you're thinking of creating department-specific culture committees, here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Give everyone the option to participate (but don't make attendance required!)

• Rotate responsibilities so it's not always the same person doing the same tasks

• Create a space where everyone’s voice feels heard and where everyone feels comfortable sharing!

Have you found effective ways to maintain a flourishing culture at your company? Leave us a note in the comments section to share your experiences!

You can join in on the fun, too—Greenhouse is hiring! Check out our open roles here.

Rebecca Shesser

Rebecca Shesser is a Team Lead, Sales Development at Greenhouse. When she's not selling Greenhouse and thinking of fun ways to connect with other SDRs, she's performing improv comedy around NYC.

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Company Culture