Last modified on January 20th, 2022
By Stephanie Mitchell
Great people make a great company – it’s a promise at the foundation of AppFolio’s values.
Last week, AppFolio was announced among the 14th annual Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards winners, a list of the Best Places to Work in 2022. This marks AppFolio’s second appearance on the list in three years!
In addition to this achievement, in the past 12 months, AppFolio has been recognized as a Best Workplace for Women by Fortune, a Best Workplace in Texas by Great Place to Work, and as having a Top CEO by Glassdoor.
What is it about AppFolio’s culture that makes it stand out? And what can our customers learn from our journey and apply to your teams? To find out, we talked to two of AppFolio’s biggest culture champions: Aimee Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, and Amy Meyer, Chief People Officer.
1. Describe AppFolio’s culture in five words or less.
Aimee: Innovative, customer focused, collaborative, agile
Amy: Collaborating, inclusive, and thriving…together.
2. Which comes first — engaged employees, or engaged customers?
Aimee: When team members are passionate, enthusiastic, and driven, it’s natural that they go the extra mile for customers. But in order to motivate people to provide that service each and every day, engaged customers are also part of the equation. When customers love the solutions, services, and experiences you provide, it builds a trusted partner relationship that is meaningful to both customers and AppFolians – a virtuous circle!
Here at AppFolio, we’re lucky to have so many engaged customers who evangelize the value we provide to their business and contribute to future innovation. I like to call them “honorary AppFolians” and it’s the connections with customers like them that are the heart of our culture.
3. As AppFolio continues to grow and adapt to the hybrid workplace, how do you maintain and strengthen culture?
Amy: Culture is top of mind in everything we do, and every individual employee has direct impact and ownership in making it thrive. This starts at the candidate stage – during our hiring process, we don’t look for people who will “fit” our culture, but rather those who will be culture adds and help us continue to evolve and grow.
While we’ve always been a collaborative company, our shared experience over the past two years since the onset of the pandemic has deepened our understanding of how to be more inclusive of all AppFolians. Leaning into our company values to guide our decision-making has been foundational to our success!
We’re incredibly intentional about creating opportunities for team members to stay connected to each other, regardless of location, as we embrace the hybrid workplace. As a team, we prioritize community building through company events as well as unique traditions like oar signings to mark key milestones, Appiversaries, and Shout Out Awards to recognize individual and team contributions.
4. How does AppFolio foster innovation at all levels?
Aimee: AppFolio’s culture is built to cultivate innovation. We work hard to make sure our employees’ voices are heard, from our practice of small, focused teams to setting annual company initiatives together as an organization.
It’s important to give people the time and structure needed to foster innovation. Twice a year we host Hack Days, encouraging our Product Development and Engineering teams to break out of their day-to-day work, collaborate with people across the business, and bring an out-of-the-box idea to life. The only rule is that whatever it is, it’s focused on setting up AppFolio and our customers for the future!
5. What steps is AppFolio taking to ensure it remains a great place to work for all employees?
Amy: We know that a more diverse, more inclusive AppFolio will make our teams, our products, and our business stronger. One of my favorite things to hear from fellow AppFolians is that we make them feel valued for their uniqueness, while also fostering a sense of belonging. This is because our commitment to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion starts at the top and is embedded into our organizational DNA – from our recruiting practices to career development, compensation and benefits framework, and learning opportunities, and community outreach. We’re also creating safe spaces for diverse members of AppFolio’s employee community to connect, raise awareness, and share feedback – and I’m learning from them every day.
6. What advice would you give other companies looking to improve or even transform their culture?
Aimee: Culture requires fuel – everyone needs to feel connected to their part. No matter if we’re in marketing or product development, if we’re just starting our career or an experienced professional, we all want to make an impact. Helping others understand how their work impacts customer value and moves the business forward takes constant care and feeding.
Strong cultures aren’t about comfy chairs and snacks – they’re about 100% customer focus, cultivating growth and opportunities for big impact. Culture doesn’t just make you feel good about going to work; it powers the work.
Amy: It starts by defining what you want your culture and core values to be and making an honest assessment of your current state. From there, it’s important to align all elements of your business practices to your desired culture, including how you make decisions, who and how you hire, and how people progress their careers.
Empowering every single employee with specific actions that they can take to help advance the culture is critical as culture is owned by everyone. Continuous listening by asking employees for feedback, incorporating that input and measuring progress is key. A strong culture drives a strong business!