3 Ways Leadership Can Establish Company Culture

3 Ways Leadership Can Establish Company Culture

If you spend time at any one of Eventbrite’s offices, you’ll quickly notice the powerful sense of pride that each of our employees (referred to as “Britelings”) has in working here. After serving in operating roles within a number of human capital companies (including, at one point, serving as president of the Great Place to Work Institute), I was really drawn to Eventbrite’s mission, people and culture.  From my first conversation with CEO Julia Hartz, where we talked at length about how to create a workplace rooted in trust, I knew that Eventbrite’s commitment to building a great company fueled by a people-centric culture was genuine.


Eventbrite’s global team is now over 1,000 Britelings strong and counting. We’re tapping into new talent markets all over the US and the world. With growth and expansion, however, comes the challenge to nurture and evolve an established culture. Through our 11+ years in business, we’ve learned that the key to developing our culture is by hiring the right people, building trust through our leaders, and investing in the ongoing career development and growth of our Britelings.


Hire Right

In order to create a culture that both celebrates geographic diversity and reinforces company values, it’s crucial that we are aligned around the globe on the elements that define and distinguish Britelings.


At Eventbrite, we look for lifelong learners – people driven by curiosity, who are always in pursuit of growth not only in their career, but in their personal lives as well. We also look for people with a “make it happen” spirit, who find creative ways to get stretch goals over the finish line. We seek team players who operate with empathy and low-ego. Finally, we seek people who are driven by our mission - bringing people together through live experiences, and empowering any individual to be a creator.


With each new hire, we have an opportunity to make our company one person better, so it’s important to find people who share a common ground around the characteristics and values that bring us together.


Build Trust

A common misconception is that culture is driven by the portfolio of “perks” a company offers. Eventbrite does offer a lot of great benefits and perks (an unlimited "Take the Time You Need" PTO policy, catered meals, weekly yoga sessions, and regional, annual talent shows, to name a few), but the uniqueness of the culture is much more a product of the relationships we’ve built between employees and the company. We believe that if you can create trust between employees and leadership, you will build the foundation for a great culture. Creating trust happens over time and is a product of how we operate every day. Trust shows up in everything you do, from communications to decision-making to how you reward your employees.

Communications is one critical avenue of building trust. At Eventbrite, we strive to communicate often - authentically, and transparently.  On a weekly basis, our CEO Julia Hartz will host open forum Q&A sessions to engage employees in discussion on anything they want to ask. In our monthly company all-hands, we share details on company strategy and results. Our CFO shares monthly financial results with the company and conducts open Q&A. When we go through organizational change, we conduct comprehensive change management to ensure people understand the rationale behind change and how it impacts them.


Communication is not just leadership driven, it’s 2-way. On a more formal basis, we conduct annual employee engagement surveys to gather critical feedback from our employees around the world. On a quarterly basis, we perform engagement pulse checks. We report on results, cascade action planning geographically and functionally, and we track engagement as a key company OKR. In this way, leadership engages in an ongoing dialogue with our collective organization to help shape our strategies and plans. 


Encourage Growth and Development

At Eventbrite, we hire people who are hungry to not only build our product and platform, but to also build their careers. As leaders, we recognize the importance of cultivating a culture of continuous learning. Strong managers recognize that growth and development happens predominantly on the job, and that giving people stretch opportunities can provide some of the most valuable training and development they get. Eventbrite leaders check in regularly with their direct reports and have honest conversations about their ambitions and career paths. We encourage all employees to think big about their careers and own their personal career development.


We also invest heavily in infrastructure for ongoing development. From a comprehensive online learning library, to mentoring and coaching and leadership training for managers and leaders at all levels, we are committed to creating a foundation that can support every Briteling’s unique learning and career aspirations.


The Ultimate Live Experience

At Eventbrite, we talk about our employee experience as the ultimate live experience. We strive to provide our employees with an experience as powerful as the ones our customers enable on our platform. Our culture and our people are the foundation for what we have affectionately coined the Briteling experience, and by focusing on our culture and aspiring to create the ultimate live experience, we believe we are positioning our company for long-term success.


Omer Cohen is the Chief People Officer at Eventbrite.