The tremendous growth ShareFile has experienced since our acquisition by Citrix begs the question, “How does a fairly small startup handle rapid expansion effectively and efficiently?”
Ashton Smith, Project Manager on the Facilities and Operations team, describes the requirements for successful growth in this way, “I think flexibility to deal with changes and preparedness are important. After all, things are changing all the time, and it’s important to keep a cool head in those situations. But I think the most important requirement is good communication skills. A team like this is so dependent on each member that it’s critical for us to keep open lines of communication – and for people to be willing to step up and lend a hand when it’s needed.”
Of course, growing from under 80 employees to over 200 in just over a year and a half can present its challenges. Ashton mentions “keeping up with the sheer volume of new hires and ensuring that we’re maintaining our sense of company culture” as a couple of examples. Implementing processes and procedures that ensure all departments are communicating and providing feedback about what is going well and what needs improvement are keys to growing successfully. As far as culture is concerned, the fantastic news is that ShareFile’s culture was so similar to the culture at Citrix prior to the acquisition that the fit has been fairly seamless. We still ride scooters around the office and play ping pong, pool or foosball during our breaks, while our snack and fruit vendors have most definitely increased the volume of their deliveries.
Having processes across company departments ensures that teams do not become “siloed.” When an organization grows like ShareFile has, groups can quickly become less effective because of inadequate collaboration between teams. A strong op team is the glue and true facilitator of interdepartmental projects and production.
“My favorite part of being on the Ops team is my involvement on some level with every department. In this role there is so much opportunity to work cross-functionally, and that keeps every day interesting because we’re learning something new all the time!,” says Ashton.
As growth continues (adding around 350 jobs over the next 3 years!), the operations team will ensure that new hire on-boarding processes and the facility’s infrastructure effectively support the expansion and continue to make Citrix one of the best and most innovative places to work.