Starting a Shamily: Maintaining company culture through expansion

Company Lifestyle Shadow Health

David Massias, CEO and cofounder of Shadow Health, kicked off the 2014 Company Lifestyle series with a presentation and roundtable discussion on building and maintaining effective organizational culture.

What began as a startup in the Florida Innovation Hub, educational software developer Shadow Health now serves more than 400 nursing programs in North America. The company, which recently expanded the number of virtual patients offered in the interactive learning system, takes advantage of each expansion opportunity to grow its company culture.

To support this growth, the company scaled its workforce through a federally-funded CareerSource North Central Florida grant*, enabling Shadow Health to hire for high-skill positions, including beta testers, programmers, web developers, multimedia artists and business development managers. Shadow Health hired 34 professionals with the assistance of an on-the-job training grant, achieving an impressive 88% retention rate.

View photos from Company Lifestyle Session One on our Facebook page.

David discussed building strong company culture by letting employees do the recruiting; close to 75% of the Shamily’s (Shadow Health + Family) 60 employees were recruited internally. If you have somebody representing awesomeness in your company, they can bring in like-minded superstars, David said.

“You don’t wake up one day and be great,” David said on building a thriving business. “You were born great, and you just realize it when people are brought together. Find the greatness in your sector or industry and go after it.”

Shadow Health was named one of GrowFL’s 2014 Florida Companies to Watch, an award program that celebrates privately held second stage companies in Florida. Winners are selected for demonstrating the intent and capacity to grow based on employee or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, sustainable competitive advantage, outstanding corporate culture, inspired community giving and other notable strengths.

Session One Highlights

Please call my baby ugly! Solicit criticism. If you know what’s not working, you are in a better position to fix it. Shadow Health flies in customers from around the U.S. on a regular basis to provide feedback on what’s going right, what’s going wrong and where the program can be improved.
Intentional floor planning: Employees are grouped in teams of 4-8 and never sit next to someone who does the same job. This allows for cross-reference while working on new features and improving existing features.
Dealing with conflict: Never have false harmony. If there is a disagreement, hash it out. Avoid conflict resolution that allows employees to attack another employee’s character or immutable traits but feel free to disagree on ideas/suggestions or inappropriate behavior.

For more information on Shadow Health visit these links:
Shadow Health named among Florida Companies to Watch by GrowFL
ALL AROUND THE WORLD: Shadow Health on growth, expansion and the CareerSource North Central Florida grant that made it possible

If you missed this session, don’t fret! The next Company Lifestyle session is Tuesday, September 23 from 9:30 – 11:00 at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 300 E. University Ave.

Join us as Dr. Charles Oden discusses the importance of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and identifies how you can access EAPs locally. Dr. Oden, an assistant professor of businesses at St. Leo University, will share tips on how to communicate empathy by incorporating EAPs into workforce culture.

More information on Session Two and RSVP

About Company Lifestyle
Company Lifestyle is a series of organizational culture workshops presented by CareerSource North Central Florida and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. Employers are invited to discuss strategies to build or enhance company culture, address issues in the workplace and establish a network of support.

Company Lifestyle provides access to educational resources and tools through our presenters who experience proven success in establishing desired organizational culture for their company.

*About HBOTT
CareerSource North Central Florida’s Healthcare, Biomanufacturing, Occupational & Technology Training (HBOTT) program is funded through an H1-B Technical Skills Training grant provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. HBOTT allows employers to hire, train and retain eligible employees in permanent positions by providing reimbursement for on-the-job (OJT) training costs. HBOTT provides more than $3 million in training funds for local unemployed or underemployed workers in healthcare, bioscience, advanced manufacturing and information technology occupations often filled by foreign workers.