Our VP of People, Jen Deters, understands the importance of prioritizing our company culture as we scale. Jen opened up to Built In LA about the steps we have taken to keep Inspire's culture thriving.

This article was written by Avery Komlofske and originally appeared on Built In LA.

With great power comes great responsibility. In every version of the Spider-Man story, the core arc remains the same. Peter Parker is a teen devoted to his family and passionate about science, who gets superpowers through a radioactive spider-bite. As he grows in strength, he loses sight of what’s important, and it gets his uncle Ben killed — then, remembering the iconic line, he renews focus on his values and becomes a hero.

As a person or organization grows bigger and more powerful, they have to keep in mind what’s important to them or they may lose it. This lesson is especially significant for startups as they scale — they have to remember to hold on to their culture. After all, the company’s culture — the passion, creativity and innovation — is probably what caused most of the ground-floor employees to sign up in the first place.

When a business starts out, the people who sign on want to back the dream that helped it take off. As it grows, its culture should grow with it by listening to employees and focusing on values. Keep working on culture, and a company can secure loyal, passionate team members who are invested in helping the company grow even further. Like Spider-Man, startups are successful when they remember what’s important to their people and work hard to preserve it.

Our VP of People, Jen Deters, understands the importance of sticking to Inspire's company culture as we scale. Jen opened up to Built In about the power of Inspire's company culture and the steps we have taken to honor the responsibility to keep it thriving.

Q. Tell us about the growth Inspire has been experiencing recently.

A. Inspire is going through an exciting period of rapid internal growth, we’re hiring across all teams. As a clean energy technology company, we are particularly focused on building our acquisition, analytics and technology teams. The work these teams are taking on in 2022 is instrumental to our business — it will play a key role in helping Inspire expand our customer base and accelerate our mission of a net-zero carbon future. We also have big plans to nurture our digital channels with the aim of making clean energy more accessible to homes across the country.

Q. How would you describe Inspire's company culture? What’s changed since the early days and what’s stayed the same?

A. Our mission has always been a driving force in our company culture — it attracts passionate individuals who are committed to contributing their unique talents towards fighting climate change. Despite the critical nature of a mission like ours, Inspire employees have always found ways to bring levity into the workplace and to make each day both purposeful and enjoyable. Employees at Inspire don’t take themselves too seriously either and aren’t afraid to have fun. We have several unique and long-standing traditions like our company-wide Halloween costume competition, ultra-competitive team bake-offs and our annual “Windy’s” awards night. These traditions have continued to deepen our community and carry us through the challenges of working in a remote world.

In addition, we invested in building a community team early in our company’s history which has made our unique culture deeply connected to Inspire’s DNA. This team focuses on creating intentional programming that leads to strong relationships in the workplace and will continue to build the community-focused moments that make Inspire so special.

Q. What are you doing to keep company culture strong through this period of rapid growth?

A. At Inspire, we rely on the feedback of our people to create a workplace where employees feel safe, included and empowered to thrive in their roles. Our people team sends out quarterly pulse surveys to gain insights from our employee base. They’re an avenue for our community to share honest feedback about what we’re doing right, what we can improve upon and how we can evolve in this period of growth.

Letting our community lead us in how we shape our future is nothing new for Inspire. Based on feedback from our people, we have invested in creating three employee resource groups (ERGs), which have supported an 11% increase in our engagement survey’s inclusion scores. In early 2021, the people team also established one or two wellness days off per month, where our office closes and teams are encouraged to take the day to focus on their well-being. In addition, we created a recurring “Mission Moment” segment in our monthly all-hands meetings to give employees a new way of connecting to our mission. Lastly, we launched educational segments called “Coach It Corners” to bring more awareness and understanding of our industry company-wide.

Are you ready to empower consumers to choose clean energy and help create a greener future? Join our team! We're a Certified Great Place To Work and are always looking for talented individuals who are ready to make an impact.