San Francisco: the land of progressive workplaces, where they swap cubicles for tables and vending machines for elaborate, healthy food displays. Though these perks are undeniably cool, I’ve always had difficulty understanding why companies chose to invest so much money into them.
While on an Adams Apprenticeship networking trip, I had the opportunity to visit with UNC alums Carly Mask (BA ’10) – who works in brand partnerships – and Kate Jennison (BA ’10), director of people, at Tilt.
Kate has the responsibility of making sure Tilt employees come to work as the happiest, most productive version of themselves. To help accomplish this, Tilt offers perks such as meditation rooms, an accessible rooftop and a smorgasbord of snacks. But these things are only a small piece of the puzzle that distinguishes Tilt from other startups.
Here are a few ways Tilt has embedded its “people-first” mentality into its culture:
Tilt does not offer these perks to attract the best talent or keep pace with competitors, although those are often the effects. The company’s underlying value resides in the attention they attribute to the overall well-being of the individuals that they employ. The company genuinely cares about their employees’ lives inside and outside of the office and has created a culture that reflects this.
Kate taught us that work can be integrated with your life in a way that enhances it, rather than hindering it. Through her dedication to keep up with the lives of employees, she demonstrates the high level of humanity that can be present in a company. It is this people-centered focus that I hope to find in any future company I am with and emulate in any company I start.
People often fall into the trap of thinking that you can either have a work life or a personal life, but not both. The culture Kate helped create at Tilt strongly disproves this pervasive notion. She has changed my perspective on the purpose of the workplace and how vital employees are to a company’s success. A company is only as strong as its people, and its people are only as strong as their well-being.
By Sam Petrie (BA ’17)