My company, Coupa, was recently named a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work organization. As the CEO, I’m both proud and humbled by this designation. Of course, I’m well aware that we are still a relatively small company and we face many challenges in keeping Coupa a great place to work as we grow.
While I don’t feel I’m in any position to give a tutorial on how to make your company a great place to work, I do get a lot of questions along those lines. I can certainly share what I think has worked as we’ve grown from nine employees to 900. I can also share where my inspiration comes from: an auto repair shop in Brooklyn that I happened on by chance nearly 20 years ago.
The broken tail light
Up until then, most of my experience with getting my car fixed was like this: You make an appointment to bring your car in, and fill out all this paperwork. You sit in a dirty, greasy, smelly office, drinking crappy coffee and waiting. Your car is never ready on time, it costs more than estimated, and you wonder if you’ve been ripped off.
For some reason I’ve now forgotten, my then girlfriend and now wife Kira and I had borrowed her mother’s car, and it had a broken tail light. We were driving down Neptune Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, and I spotted this shop, and thought, let’s just pull in and see if they have the part and maybe we can drop it off tomorrow.
I remember very distinctly what drew me to that shop. There were cars in the front, and on the side, and you could see people working on them....
This content is available to IABC members only. To continue reading, log in below.