How Spotify Keeps its Culture Social and Fresh

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Spotify is truly at the forefront of creating an awesome company culture of the future. It’s no secret that the company has made strides in innovating on employee experience, even when it grew from 300 employees in 2011 to 3,000 in 2018. Spotify prides itself on creating the best social experiences for a wide range of employees and fostering inclusion through its practices.

And this forward-thinking mentality has paid off. The streaming service giant has racked up over 180 million users (including over 75 million paid), and over $5 billion in revenue in 2017. It’s no doubt the company culture made a significant contribution to its rapid growth. The company’s Glassdoor reviews point to a largely positive employee experience, boasting an impressive 86% CEO approval and 76% employees likely to recommend working there to a friend.

Here’s a couple of things Spotify does to keep its culture fresh and cutting-edge.

Super social

Spotify has a dedicated social team within HR, focused entirely on creating social events for employees. The idea behind this team is to bring people together to come together in a more casual setting. Spotify prides itself on having “something for everyone”, meaning a diverse lineup of events and experiences for different tastes and preferences. Having engaging events also helps with Spotify’s core value of fostering collaboration amongst teams.

Not only does the social team throw on great events, but it also really integrates the HR aspect in instilling a love for working at Spotify. The community-building opportunities celebrate achievements, foster belonging, and enhances well-being for employees, all vital elements of the social at Spotify strategy.

Staying true to its brand, Spotify’s social team blends music as a way to incorporate it more into daily life. They share these moments with the #LifeAtSpotify tag on social media, to share those moments that make working at the organization so special.

Communities of interest

Spotify doesn’t operate in the traditional corporate structure - at all. Instead, they have “squads”, “tribes”, and “guilds”, which function as different ways of organizing and performing work with more accountability and autonomy. Through guilds, different team members are connected by communities of interest, such as photography or a particular coding language. These groups cut across the organization independently of the role or project, and allow for Spotifiers to connect on a variety of different interests.

Not only is the work infrastructure organized in an innovative way, but a passion for music brings people at Spotify together. Artists are known to stop by the office and employees can enjoy lunch jam sessions as well. Spotify knows that communities are not only formed around work, but also our collective passions.

Understanding its people

Spotify knows that it has a widely diverse team of over 90 nationalities, so it’s instituted a flexible public holiday policy. This allows people to switch a traditionally recognized holiday like Christmas with a holiday they observe. This innovative move demonstrates a deeper empathy for employees, and appreciation for all cultures and backgrounds. While this may seem like a small policy, taking this step goes a long way in showing employees care and attention, as well as fostering inclusion in the organization.

Spotify understands how to drive a supportive environment and community in its employees. While the organizational model is highly coveted amongst tech companies, it won’t necessarily translate to success. To foster a culture like Spotify’s, organizations should really understand what works for them. Whether it’s their approach uniting employees through a common (unsurprising) love for music, or organizing in guilds, these initiatives are uniquely Spotify. They work because Spotify has been deliberate in building a culture that works for their people.

Everything Spotify’s People teams do is with the culture identity in mind. Whether it’s designing office spaces or choosing what perks and benefits are available, everything is intentional and meant to instill Spotify values in employees. In its journey to global music streaming dominance, Spotify has embraced its identity and lives its eclectic culture every day.

Looking for ways to connect employees through communities of interest and enhancing inclusion in your organization? Schedule a demo with Five to Nine.