Building a Great Place to Work at Mezo

April 14, 2022
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Blog

As founders, Mike, Erin and I all believed that we had a unique opportunity to change residential maintenance and, in doing so, make people’s lives better. Nearly every adult - owner, renter, technician, and/or real estate professional - feels the pain of maintenance today. We sought out together to take the pain out of maintenance.

Collectively, we also saw an opportunity to build a great company, where people are excited to come to work every day. We viewed Mezo (I’ll spare you our original name!) as a vehicle to borrow the best cultural norms from our previous companies and avoid the stuff that drained us. 

I’m a proud father to two kids under 2. Mike & Erin are a few steps ahead of me there and are both superheroes at home. It was important to all of us that we build a culture where people can be their authentic selves. We take the time to truly get to know each other on a personal level - What makes you tick? What challenges are you facing? What are you passionate about?

I’m very proud of how far we’ve come in such a short period of time. I believe that the reason we’ve gotten here is because we all share a common goal and respect each other. Each and every team member has gone above and beyond in some capacity - multiple times. That’s what happens when people believe in the mission, feel understood & appreciated.

Focus on Employee Engagement

We started Mezo virtually. 3 founders living in 2 cities. During our first in-person co-founder session we invested significant time into culture. We believed that in order to thrive in a remote-first environment, we needed everyone to share and live common values. We don’t view culture as a nice-to-have that we can figure out later. It has to start from Day 1, be indoctrinated in the team, and then shared with every new team member.

We believe that living our shared values will lead to happier teammates and higher employee engagement. And we know that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than less engaged peers. Gallup reports that, when comparing top- and bottom-quartile teams, higher engagement leads to an 18% increase in productivity (sales), 23% increase in profitability and 43% reduction in turnover.

So far it’s working.

Mezo’s values

So what are our values? 

Values are defined as “a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life”. Values are aspirational. In doing our initial brainstorm, we recognized that before we can get to Values, we must establish Standards. These standards are our table stakes and we have zero tolerance for violating them:

Mezo Standards:

  1. Do the right thing. Always.
  2. Prioritize, value and respect diversity.
  3. Zero tolerance for harassment.
  4. Confidentiality of our IP, our clients’ PII info and our clients’ IP.

When thinking about our values, we set out to identify enduring beliefs that fit us today. We are a scrappy startup. If we are going to change the game in Property Management and Maintenance, we must look and act different from a Fortune 500 company. 

Mezo Core Values:

  • Strive for Growth: We are innately curious and embrace the challenge to learn new things & create value for our customers. Together, we’ll grow personally and professionally
  • Embrace Ownership: Treat our business like you own it. Treat our customers’ business like you own it. We take pride in our commitment to the Team
  • Practice Empathetic Transparency: We invest in each other’s growth by promising to provide thoughtful, timely feedback. We’re honest with our customers when we miss the mark
  • Delight our Customers & Each other: We set the bar high and then do everything possible to clear it in order to deliver a delightful experience to our customers & teammates.
  • Be Courageous: We’ll have the courage to dream big and take risks in order to change an industry. We’ll challenge the status quo and never shy away from healthy debate

We are proud of our values but even prouder of how our team lives them every day. Each time I witness a teammate live our values it inspires me to be better.

Reinforcing values through rituals

Good values are great on paper. But they mean nothing if they only live on a Powerpoint deck that gets viewed once a year. 

Each month, we celebrate an employee who exemplifies Mezo's Core Values. The celebrations occur during a monthly All Hands meeting and the winner is awarded a Mezzie which comes with a small token of appreciation in addition to recognition.

Mezzie Awards specifically celebrate team members who demonstrate excellence in one of our five values.

Work in Progress Continuing to Grow

We will continue to add new rituals - like Mezzie - to reinforce our values, celebrate our wins, and correct our course when we miss the mark.

We want to ensure that everyone at Mezo has a say in shaping our values and culture. That’s why we’ve stood-up Communities of Practice, initially focusing on 1) Inclusion, Diversity, & Belonging, 2) Remote work, productivity, & flexibility and 3) Positive impact & Community involvement. 

It’s a big investment to do this right but we are committed to and excited about building an enduring culture at Mezo.

Does Mezo sound like a good fit for you, a colleague, or a friend? Reach out to our team at Talent@mezo.io. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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