How Procore Scaled Their Company Culture Along With the Business - Glassdoor for Employers

How Procore Scaled Their Company Culture Along With the Business

Building a great company culture is hard — but maintaining that culture over the years, all the while undergoing hypergrowth, is even harder. Growing quickly often comes at the cost of losing what made your organization so great in the first place, leaving longtime employees pining for “the good old days.” But every once in a while, a company captures lightning in a bottle and gets it right.

One of those rare organizations is Procore Technologies, makers of cloud-based construction management software based in Carpinteria, California. But don’t just take our word for it — that’s coming right from the employees, who made Procore one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work twice: once on the list for small and medium-sized employers in 2017, and again in 2019, this time appearing on the list for large employers. Despite their rapid growth, though, Procore has consistently managed to put people first, and it shows. In Glassdoor reviews, employees rave about the culture.

“Procore is a culture driven organization, unlike anything I've ever seen,” says one review.  “Love the atmosphere of positive language and pushing growth and improvement,” says another.

So how exactly did Procore get to where they are today, and what have they learned along the way? We turned to Steve Zahm, President and COO of Procore, to find out.

Glassdoor: How would you describe Procore's culture in its early stages vs. today?

Steve Zahm: When Procore started to scale rapidly, we knew it was important to define our values so that we could focus on “hiring for culture” rather than just demonstrated skills and qualifications. We conducted a two-day offsite in order to dig deep and define what the early team members valued most about working at Procore. Through this exercise, we identified three core values that we wanted to use as both hiring criteria and as our preferred way of working: openness, optimism and ownership. The “three O’s” became the core of our culture, and they have focused our recruiting efforts as Procore has grown. We defined our culture before 95 percent of our current employees joined the company, and because we relied upon the values as key hiring criteria, the entire company has a predisposition to work with the core values in mind.

[Related: How to Ensure Hires Are Values-Compatible]

Glassdoor: What about Procore's culture has stayed the same as you've grown, and what's changed?

Steve Zahm: As we grew, we recognized the need to create a common understanding of how Procore drives performance and growth for the company and its employees. Our values remained the same, but we decided to introduce an additional element we refer to as foundational promises.

We drew inspiration from author Daniel Pink’s observation that providing employees with mastery, autonomy and purpose leads to a more engaged workforce. This became key to clarifying the partnership between Procore’s business goals and our employees’ goals and the factors that drive strong intrinsic motivation. We established a set of mutual commitments: Procore is committed to providing employees with mastery, autonomy and purpose, and in return, employees commit to bringing intellectual curiosity, their best work and passion to their roles at Procore.

Glassdoor: What were some of the challenges you encountered in maintaining company culture as Procore grew, and how did you overcome those challenges?

Steve Zahm: In 2013, Procore consisted of 75 employees in one office in California. By the end of 2018, we were at over 1,300 employees working across 12 offices, including four international locations. When a company is growing at that pace, it can be challenging to ensure the culture and values are ingrained in that many new employees. To make sure that our culture scaled along with our headcount, we expanded the length of our employee onboarding from two and a half days to five full days so that every new employee starts with a strong baseline of what it means to be a part of the Procore team. We’ve also taken a few tactical approaches such as all-company updates and expanding our leadership team and departments across offices, but our overarching approach is to focus on the thing that connects us all — our values.

[Related: New Hire Onboarding Checklist]

Glassdoor: What advice do you have for companies that are encountering rapid growth at the moment — what can they do to engage their employees throughout this time of transition, and continue to build their great company culture?

Steve Zahm: It is important to ensure that employees feel connected to the company’s mission, vision and values and that they see where the work they’re doing aligns with those statements. The key for Procore has been to constantly communicate to all employees about how our business strategy supports what we’re doing (the mission), why we’re doing it (the vision) and how we work (the values).

The final piece of the puzzle is making that business strategy relevant to every employee in the company. We’ve been working to make sure each employee, department and the company creates Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) so that everyone has clarity when it comes to company, department and team priorities. OKRs are a critical thinking framework and ongoing discipline that seeks to ensure team members are working together to focus their efforts to make measurable contributions. When we execute as a company on OKRs, we carry out the business strategy. If everyone at Procore is able to articulate and understand how the work they do every day drives our mission, vision and strategy then we know we are building a lasting culture.

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