Customer Experience

Be Worthy of Trust

By Oliver Carefull, People Operations · May 04, 2022

Our company was founded because of a deep loyalty to journalism handed down through five generations of the local news business. Everything we work toward at Column, from programmatically generating and distributing legal documents, to forging strategic partnerships, to improving the security of our software, is about building technology — and being people — that our partners can trust.

Trust One Another to Do What's Right

A significant portion of running a startup or an organization is about coordination. At a small scale, coordination can be achieved through direct communication or observing the behavior of others to absorb norms. As the organization grows, this ‘coordination by osmosis’ becomes less tenable, and in the case of a remote-first company like Column, you reach that point almost immediately. It can feel instinctive at that point to solve the issue by instituting policies and guidelines. For instance, we could have a policy around when and how you work. Instead we strive to trust teams and staff to come up with a cadence that works for them (and their local timezones). If you like to exercise in the day then work late, cool. If you like to work early so you can eat dinner with your family, that's great, too. If you need to take a day off to recharge in order to continue doing your best work, as long as you communicate with those who are relying on you, go for it!

“Personally, I owe my career growth at Column to the culture of mentorship and support across the company. My colleagues cheer me on in our #shoutouts channel on Slack to let me know when I’m doing good work. They also spend time guiding me through sticky situations or tough problems, so that I never feel alone.”
Sarah Alpert (Associate Product Manager)

Earn Our Customers’ Trust

As well as building an internal culture where we trust one another, we want to be worthy of our customers’ trust. The publishers we serve have either been overlooked by technology or had their businesses significantly impacted by it. This has naturally made them wary of any new software companies entering the space. However, at Column, we work day in day out with them to show that we exist to help them do what they do, and not encroach on their businesses. We want to see our publishing partners thrive — their success is our success — and get back to doing what they do best, telling the stories that they are uniquely placed to tell.

“One of the principles we stand on is being worthy of trust. We try to do that every day with our publishers. We’ve created champions because of the trust that we have earned, and I love that about Column.”
Enrique Diaz (Account Manager)

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