What Makes a Great Company Culture and How Does Aptera Compare?
If you’ve been at Aptera for a while, you know that I’ve been pretty involved in encouraging the interpersonal company culture for a while. Leadership recently decided that maintaining and invigorating the Aptera culture is important enough to invest in a formal coordinator. I was offered the position and gratefully accepted.
So here we are. What do we do with this role? How can it be used to improve the work-life of Aptera’s people most effectively? How do we ensure that the culture grows positively for everyone Aptera touches? And how do we do all of that while navigating uncharted waters of remote work, a disparate workforce, and social norms that keep transforming around us?
Hopefully, this blog will start a conversation about those questions and serve to document our shifting culture along the way. I figured the best way to get started was to talk to some people about it. I took just a few minutes to chat with a broad swath of people from Aptera to get their views on what makes a great company culture, and how Aptera stacks up.
Culture Changes Throughout a Decade
Themes of Psychological Safety Were Common
“Ideally, work should be an uplifting and encouraging place. A forgiving place. We’re learning, we make mistakes. It should be OK to fail and get better because of that failure. Aptera is that kind of company.” – Cameron Lengerich
“An ideal work culture should be a company that can get out of the way and treat people like adults, allowing them to be self-organizing.” – Lindsey Dohse
“I was set up with a mentor, which was so important after never being a consultant before. I wasn’t tossed in there cold.” – Kristina Campbell
“Allowing employees to work from home sets Aptera up to not be able to micromanage. The openness and flexibility of that keeps the company honest.” – Jordan Cordova
“If you set the expectation that you’re going to do what you’re asked to, and that you’ll put thought into it; people will rise to that. Aptera fits what I’m talking about.” – Bill Dumbacher
Personal Growth, Kindness, and Enjoyment Were Key to Several Respondents
“The culture is deeply nerdy in a creative way, with lots of little side projects. I’m surrounded by people who like to learn things and work on their own nerdy projects.” – Steven Dilmore
“Kindness and compassion run through the veins of the company.” – Jesse De Lira
And of course, it’s a fun place to work.
“With teaming and Shuffl and all the things available for social interaction, opportunities are there if you want to make those connections. It’s fun!” – Kylee Malone
“Once you’re settled in, it’s fantastic. It’s pretty neat!” – Lindsey Dohse
“Aptera is a little counterculture for the tech world. It’s made up of quirky, individual people. It’s pretty fun. We take our jobs seriously, but don’t take ourselves too seriously.” -Steven Dilmore
When TK and Conrad formed Aptera, one of the guiding principles was to make it a place where people would want to come to work. It’s a noble idea that offers all kinds of possibilities, but the bottom line has always come down to treating the people around you with kindness, dignity, and respect. It’s nice to see that spirit reflected in the current group of Apterans, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
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