Building a culture that lasts

Our team celebrated Red Nose Day this past May. Featured above is the Madison Marketing Department.

 
By Kim Mitchell, Chief People Officer
 

If you ask a Renaissance® employee what the company stands for, chances are he or she will tell you we’re deeply committed to our mission: to accelerate learning for all children and adults of all ability levels and ethnic and social backgrounds, worldwide.

As you might expect from a company that’s been around for more than three decades, our mission is deeply ingrained in the Renaissance mindset. It’s also at the heart of our culture, and it’s why many of our employees joined Renaissance—and why they’ve remained with us for years.

Why is our culture important?

In 2015, as our 30th birthday approached, we began reflecting even more on the Renaissance culture. We had never formally defined it; instead, it was something our employees said they could just feel, something rooted in the behaviors the organization demonstrates—and accepts—as our team gets work done every day.

Defining our culture is crucial for our current employees because the experience they have at Renaissance shapes how they approach their work, collaborate with their teammates, and, ultimately, deliver products to our customers.

For job candidates, culture is no longer just “nice to have.” It’s now a primary consideration when they’re weighing job offers. Today, job seekers have more insight into potential employers than ever before, helping them make better-informed career decisions. When they look for their next career moves, they want more than just a job description and a list of benefits; they want to know what a company stands for.

So we set out to learn from our employees about the values, beliefs, and behaviors that support our mission. What makes us unique? What makes us attractive as an employer—to current staff members or future employees? What makes Renaissance, well, Renaissance?

Formalizing the code

Over the course of six months, our leadership team spent time with Renaissance employees from around the world talking about what the company stands for and what’s important to them as employees. As a result of these conversations and feedback, we developed a Culture Code that belongs to everyone at Renaissance, from the longest-term employees to our newest hires.

The Renaissance Culture Code is rooted in six shared beliefs that drive us toward achieving our mission, every day:

  • We put teachers first.

  • We turn data into insight for educators.

  • We are responsive innovators.

  • Our people are the life-blood of our company.

  • Our higher performance and higher purpose are mutually reinforcing.

  • Our remarkable performance is the result of great teamwork.

Charting our progress

How do we know if our defined culture is making a difference? The short answer is that we ask. We measure employee experience at Renaissance in several ways, including engagement surveys and eNPS scores. We talk to employees during our quarterly all-hands meetings, and we track it by encouraging employee and candidates to post reviews on our Glassdoor page.

Supported by these data points, we’ll know if we need to revisit the Culture Code. In fact, we expect the Culture Code to evolve over time, like our company and products do. However, these six beliefs represent who Renaissance is today—who we are, who we’re working for—and they support how we work. Our culture is what makes Renaissance Renaissance, and we care so much about our culture because it directly impacts you.

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Kim Mitchell, Chief People Officer

Kim Mitchell leads our people-focused activities at Renaissance—from recruiting and onboarding to development and total rewards. She brings deep experience in making organizations’ Human Resources and Talent Management functions a strategic capability and differentiator. Kim joined Renaissance from Centura Health where she led the non-profit hospital system’s Talent Management organization. She also worked in senior Human Resources roles at First Data Corporation, and led her own Talent Management practice, VeriCarta Consulting. Kim earned her master’s degree in education from Colorado State University, and her bachelor of arts from Regis University.

Kim Mitchell, Chief People Officer
Kim Mitchell, Chief People Officer
Kim Mitchell leads our people-focused activities at Renaissance—from recruiting and onboarding to development and total rewards. She brings deep experience in making organizations’ Human Resources and Talent Management functions a strategic capability and differentiator. Kim joined Renaissance from Centura Health where she led the non-profit hospital system’s Talent Management organization. She also worked in senior Human Resources roles at First Data Corporation, and led her own Talent Management practice, VeriCarta Consulting. Kim earned her master’s degree in education from Colorado State University, and her bachelor of arts from Regis University.

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