We have always thought of our organization as special. Our plans were never to build a traditional business, and we know we have a unique culture. But it is nice when others outside of our company recognize that Grafana Labs is something special, too.
This week, we were excited to be included on two very prestigious lists: The Enterprise Tech 30 and America’s Best Startup Employers. Both awards recognize startups that are innovative, creative, growing, and “hot.”
First let me celebrate with my fellow Grafanistas and congratulate our entire organization on a job well done! Each of us was drawn to this startup for different professional reasons, and we continue to make our company a great place to work.
What were we recognized for? The Enterprise Tech 30, organized by Wing Venture Capital, is a list of the most promising private companies in enterprise technology. A panel of venture capitalists chooses the best enterprise tech startups that are purpose-built for enterprise challenges in data, collaboration, and security. Grafana Labs was recognized for our observability platform and placed in the late-stage startup list.
In addition, Grafana Labs was recognized for the second year in a row as one of America’s Best Startup Employers 2022, as determined by Forbes and Statista. Winners were selected from a pool of 2,500 businesses based on three key factors: company growth, reputation as an employer, and employee satisfaction.
That last factor is one that’s near and dear to my heart. Figuring out why people decide to join a company and what keeps them there is one of the many reasons that I love leading People teams. Sure, we all work to earn money, but beyond that, how does a company make decisions and what do those decisions say about the company and its culture? When a company gets it right, work is more than a paycheck; it’s an opportunity to align your values, your career development, and your goals with the culture of an organization to hopefully hit upon something really special – and not only do employees recognize it, but so do prospective job candidates and the industry overall. That is success!
So why does anyone really decide to join an organization? In putting together the America’s Best Startup Employers list, Forbes and Statista found that people are drawn to startups because of transparency, a path for growth, a clear vision and mission, lack of bureaucracy, and the ability to be creative and have autonomy.
When I joined Grafana Labs in 2018, my gut told me that I could work with the executive team, because they were kind, they clearly made doing the right thing a priority, and they cared about building a company and culture they were proud of. I believed in that mission and vision, and I still do today.
During the last few years, I’ve seen those values reflected in so many decisions and actions, big and small. We’re committed to hiring smart, engaged people who care about our culture and are invested in helping to scale and evolve that culture. We practice radical transparency, sharing information to our whole team — it’s one of the key ingredients for making a distributed team structure successful. And we believe in the value of being “respectfully empowered.” That means our team works with autonomy, and each person has a real voice in projects, products, and the direction of our company.
From my perspective, Grafana Labs succeeds when we’re true to our own vision of our culture – though a few accolades from the industry certainly don’t hurt either. It feels great to have our efforts on display and recognized. We are grateful that others are seeing just how special we really are, too. (P.S. We’re hiring!)