Greg Schwartz, Co-founder and COO of the online marketplace StockX, said that it’s important for all companies, particularly startups, to have a strong culture rooted in integrity and innovation. Additionally, managers should know that they don’t have all the answers.
“For me, there’s this lesson of making sure that you know what you don’t know,” said Schwartz.
A culture of innovation, according to the StockX executive, starts with adaptable leadership. This means that team leaders should motivate employees to present ideas and raise questions about areas they can be better in.
How a team could continue working effectively
Schwartz added that there are things that keep their company working efficiently — recognition, unlimited PTO, and inclusion.
During the company’s quarterly meeting, StockX gave out a custom pair of sneakers to employees who have embodied the company values in their work.
“I think the important part is not just the sneakers, of course; it’s the importance of making sure that we’re recognizing and amplifying work that’s being done to live those values,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said StockX also recognizes employees who are taking risks by bringing insightful, innovative ideas on a weekly basis during the company’s leadership meetings.
At the same time, StockX continues to stay in conversation with its workers about their mental and physical well-being. Especially in these times of burnout and Great Resignation. The firm gives its employees unlimited PTO and “No Meetings Day” every other Wednesday.
More than that, during one-on-one meetings, Schwartz encouraged the firm’s team leaders to ask their employees how they and their families are doing. This exercise, Schwartz noted, allows leaders to find out how people are doing as human beings first and then get to work second.
For inclusion, the company hired a chief impact officer (CIO) whose job is to come up with ways to weave diversity into every aspect of the company. They also have a Candid Conversations initiative, where the entire company is invited to participate in a talk about a timely cultural topic.
Overall, Schwartz believes this way of connecting ultimately leads to team members being mentally engaged — which fuels new ideas and innovation. “That makes all the difference in the world,” he stated.