Introducing the A-Team: Building Company Culture at Aiwyn
This month honors both Global Company Culture Day and International Week of Happiness at Work. Building the a start up is a huge undertaking, but a major priority for the cofounders was to ensure that the environment and values stood true throughout the entire business.
Building the foundation: Aiwyn's cofounders put a lot of time and effort into distinguishing the core values that they wanted their business to represent, not just externally, but internally as well. They have planted roots by incorporating foundational values in which they hold themselves and their employees accountable.
After much consideration, Aiwyn has built the following core values for their culture:
Building the team: Finding the right employees was a critical part of Aiwyn's growth. The co-founders needed to be confident that employees encompassed the core values, had unique skill sets, and would stay motivated on Aiwyn's demanding but incredibly rewarding journey. It goes without saying that those who accepted the challenge to join the Aiwyn family have been pleasantly surprised at just how genuine this company is.
Sofia Di lorio, Operations Manager at Aiwyn shares: “I've never been in a room with people more intelligent and more passionate than at Aiwyn. This team truly cares about each other and the company we’re building, but in a radical way, not just surface-level regard for employees. It’s the freedom to be vulnerable--from our celebrations and new ideas, to difficult decisions we have to make. It’s attending meetings where we’re encouraged to challenge and question each other in order to transcend the conventional and achieve what none of us have before. I’m proud to say that I work for a company that personifies our values daily: in our culture, in every decision we make, and in the way we constantly dare each other to be better.”
Chief of Staff, Jessica Beebe, couldn’t be happier with her decision to join Aiwyn as a leader. "Trust is one of the core values our company was founded on and I continue to be impressed by how our leadership exemplifies this value themselves and how this value is woven into our daily life at Aiwyn. Everyone on our team was intentionally and carefully chosen for their cultural fit and professional strengths. We each bring a unique skill set that allows us to flourish as leaders while also learning from each other. It’s more than just a team, it’s a work family.”
Building the culture: Building a team of A-Players is only just the beginning: having the right people in place is an important start, but teams really thrive where they are cultivated. Our General and Administrative (G&A) team has made it a priority to create a company culture that is fun, while encouraging empathy and collaboration.
With such an exceptional group of people in once place, the team knew they couldn't continue referring to ourselves as "employees". To take our team to the next level and unify us even more, G&A and Marketing teamed up to poll the employees: on a team name. After a company-wide vote, the "A-Team" was born. A-Team is now an integral part of our culture: it's how we refer to each other, it's on our social media, and it's present in every company meeting.
For some after-hours fun, the A-Team joins together once a month for happy hour, which gives us an opportunity to get to know each other outside of work. In these happy hours, colleagues meet up virtually or at our HQ office in Charlotte and play games, chat about the week and beyond, and share a few drinks.
To catch up on company-wide updates, the A-Team joins a weekly All Hands meeting. During this time, departments share wins and exciting updates, as well as dedicate a portion of the time to employee spotlights, where members of the A-Team are nominated for outstanding contributions and thanked for their efforts.
Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) might be buzzwords in businesses everywhere, but CEO Justin Adams wants to make sure this is not just a box to be checked. To focus on this priority, Aiwyn developed a task force to recommend policy development and lead education and awareness on these three crucial topics, with a goal to create an environment of acceptance and awareness among employees. Some of the ways Aiwyn weaves DEI into day to day life is through guest speakers, recruiting efforts, and upcoming educational newsletters and volunteer opportunities.
Beyond offering ways to lean into our culture, Aiwyn prioritizes a work/life balance for the A-Team and encourages employees to take time for their family and friends. We believe that in order to sustain motivation and focus daily, employees need to unplug and recharge outside of work. Some ways that we make this happen are by offering unlimited PTO and an increasing travel bonus that begins at the one-year work anniversary.
At Aiwyn, we see that the parts are greater than the whole and that our people are the most important part of who we are. We motivate and challenge one another daily to learn and grow individually and as a team. With employees living all over the world, from San Francisco to São Paulo to Jerusalem, one of our top priorities at Aiwyn is to make sure our A-Team feels included, supported, and part of a mission bigger than just a "job".