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Culture-Con Preview: Examining Dyn’s Culture And How We’re Different

In the business world, culture is defined as “a shared set of values, attitudes, practices and goals that make a company unique”. In essence, it is the character of the organization. Every company creates its own culture whether consciously aware of it or not.

Whether you are an employer or an employee, culture is very important and it impacts individuals as well as the company as a whole. For employers, culture affects morale, communications, productivity, growth, the bottom line and can ultimately make or break the company. For employees, a positive culture can motivate, inspire creativity, loyalty, cooperation and a desire to go above and beyond. On the other hand, it can erode trust, security and connectedness while increasing stress, indifference and job searches.

Dyn is definitely in the minority of companies ahead of the culture curve. Receiving regional recognition from Inc. Magazine as a winner in the 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces competition and being named one of the Top Small Businesses To Work For by Business NH Magazine for four years isn’t by happy accident. Dyn’s overall success and rapid growth is greatly attributed to the following three major culture factors:

  1. Dyn’s People: Priority One
  2. Dyn’s Practices: Transparency, Trust, Team Building, Timely Reviews
  3. Dyn’s Perks: Traditional and Fringe Benefits

Our culture is as truly unique as it is amazing. It’s refreshingly anti-corporate and better experienced than talked about. You can see its first impression reflected on the faces of visitors taking a tour of our office or new employees coming aboard for their first day. You can sense its influence in the positive attitudes, passed down from founders to managers to individual contributors. You can feel it in the air: a laid back but highly energized atmosphere. Sound dreamy and intangible? It is and it isn’t. Here’s a few cultural examples on how we got there.

People Are Priority One

People are Dyn’s most valuable asset and they are treated accordingly.

To quote our CEO Jeremy: “People are a company’s best asset. A company might have a great idea, customers or product, but it’s still the team in place that’s responsible for executing. Without them, you have nothing.”

Dyn focuses on employee strengths — not weaknesses.

Work is Hell illustration by Matt Groening

Illustration Credit: Matt Groening, Courtesy of Random House, Inc.

New employees take the StrengthsFinder test and are encouraged to specialize in what they’re good at and what they enjoy doing. For our engineering team, “Offroading Days” take place twice a month, where employees come up with their own ideas for projects and bring them to life.

These opportunities inspire creativity and exploration which can result in new company technologies or the discovery of new strengths and interests for the individual. It’s not uncommon for a Dyner to wind up in a completely different department than where they started.

Caring about the safety and well being of employees is the Dyn way.

This translates to stay home sick when you’re sick, work from home when it’s unsafe to travel in bad weather, get a lesson before jumping on a Segway, keep fit with a free membership to Gold’s Gym and de-stress with a nice game of foosball or drag racing.

Being valued as a human being is a breath of fresh air if you’ve ever experienced the “macho management mentality” where employers expect employees to come to work ill, injured or during a state of emergency. Sadly, this attitude still exists in some of today’s work places.

Practices: Transparency, Trust, Team Building, Timely Reviews

There are a lot more practices that make Dyn culture great, but I wanted to focus on a select few:

Transparency

Dyn practices honest transparency with its employees, competitors and customers.

Kept in The Loop

There are weekly one-on-one meetings between managers and team members to discuss projects, ask questions, receive feedback or express concerns. Monthly company meetings bring employees up to date with the latest company news and future plans. Quarterly open book financial meetings are held to share detailed financial reports and projections.

Communication Between Competitors

Dyn was proud to host and facilitate our first Email Deliverability Summit last December, bringing together some of the biggest names in email delivery and the deliverability experts that fuel their success.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Dyn believes that transparency is critical in keeping customers informed, even when it’s not popular or pretty.

Trust

Transparency leads to trust and trust is a must for good culture. It’s an absolute pleasure to work in an environment where employees are trusted to do what they specialize in instead of being micromanaged. Dyn has pride in its people and isn’t afraid to relinquish control to let them get the job done. Another example of trust is allowing employees to work from home on occasion and trusting they will put in an honest day’s work. Imagine that!

Team Building

M.T. Bearington Rocks Dyn's Culture

Photo Credit: Lynda Elliott

Team building activities at Dyn happen often, from Geek Week to company outings to company events with live performers and bands.

Dyn fosters a team environment where people become so connected at work they often choose to hang out or do activities together after work. Different departments work closely together, maintaining mutual respect and communication because one department can greatly impact another despite having different perspectives and goals.

There’s no room for an “Us vs. Them” attitude. Sales and techies living in harmony? Yep, it happens here!

Timely Reviews

Dyn makes the time for regularly scheduled employee reviews. There’s nothing worse than working hard for a company and going years without a review. It can leave a person feeling unappreciated, unnoticed, unimportant and maybe asking the question: “Why do I work here?”

Not to mention these reviews eliminate missed opportunities for employers to provide valuable feedback that can help the individual and the company on many different levels. Dyn also offers employees the rare opportunity to review their managers anonymously. It’s a valuable tool that provides a more accurate inventory, builds trust, earns respect and puts everyone on a more even and fair playing field.

Perkier Perks

Why do people want to work, play and stay at Dyn? It’s a combination of the nontraditional management style, the relaxed, upbeat atmosphere, the unparalled traditional and fringe benefits and the awe-inspiring physical surroundings. Dyn does not skimp on culture or make it a vague, last place priority. It puts culture at the forefront, spares no expense and reaps the rewards of being defined best of the best and a power of example to the rest.

Just a few of Dyn’s perkier perks:

  • Have you ever stood in line for breakfast at work while the CEO cooks your omelette made to order?
  • Can you imagine working from a comfy couch, beanbag or sunny deck?
  • Are you able to step away from your desk and play ping pong, skee ball or video games? (By the way, this relieves stress, enhances problem solving skills and increases productivity!)

Dyn - Culture-ConWant to know more about why culture matters to your business and learn strategies on how to improve it? Dyn is hosting our first-ever Culture-Con on January 31st at our Manchester, NH headquarters. Find out about signing up your company culture representative today!


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Whois: Lynda Straffin

Lynda Straffin is a User Experience Engineer at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.