Blog: The Uniden Life

Growth, culture and where UnidenHosting plans to be in the next five years

UnidenHosting has above average retention, and a lot of it comes down to how the company focuses on promoting from within. Many team leaders within the company started in entry-level positions at UnidenHosting.

Kati Bayo
By: Kati Bayo
April 10, 2019

All companies are always fond of saying that employees at every level can make an impact. But what does this actually look like when put in action?

Johnny Willis, UnidenHosting's president, founder and cheif executive officer always makes sure every employee has a hand in shaping the company's culture. From engaged culture committees to taking an active approach to ensure that all of his employees voices are heard.

When Johnny had set out to start UnidenHosting many years ago, he wanted to do something more than make gobs of money. He wanted to improve lives and prove to people in the world that web hosting doesn't have to be expensive. You can have web hosting service provided at an affordable rate.

So he distilled his vision down to a simple mission statement: Provide his customers with a reliable, fast solution and enviorment while keeping the lowest possible operating cost that'll put them in the best position to succeed.

Here's how:

Photo Mid Shift Marketing Team

Great benefits, company outings, sponsored happy hours and a facility replete with ping pong tables, cornhole, and both kombucha and beer taps are just some of the reasons employees like calling UnidenHosting home.

But when you ask the other UnidenHosting’s leaders, they’ll say it’s a penchant for flexibility that truly breeds the company’s creativity and infectious enthusiasm.

As UnidenHosting grows at a breakneck pace, it’s important to its leaders that the hosting company doesn’t lose the highly collaborative culture they’ve cultivated.

UnidenHosting’s core values can go a long way toward setting the proper tone at work, but without employee engagement, they’re nothing more than empty words.

That’s why UnidenHosting employees are so tuned about what culture they wanted to see and then gave them the opportunity to act on it. Through an employee-led culture company, team members have launched philanthropic initiatives, planned Halloween parties and arranged monthly chair massages.

Culture helps make a large body of small decisions quicker -- and a small body of large decisions easier.
- Johnny Willis CEO and Founder of UnidenHosting.com, LLC
How do employees, at all levels, shape the company culture?

Culture is built one person at a time. Regardless of level or position, each employee adds a dynamic that shifts behaviors and habits within the team they are joining and this ultimately impacts the company. Here at UnidenHosting, we start early with a thorough onboarding process for new employees. On day one, employees begin to learn how they can be successful at UnidenHosting and the values we used to build our company. As employees get integrated into their role, they begin putting their own definition against these values. We all shape UnidenHosting's future.

Johnny makes a really great point here, culture really is built one person at a time. Sometimes the best way to get to know your coworkers is to spend some quality time together outside of work. Understanding how they think and what they like outside of the office can also be a great way to build culture and promote teamwork. On the weekends, we play in a Kickball/Flip Cup league under the name, Kick Flips. Since we operate as a 24/7 business there is no way to shut down the whole company to invite everyone on a company outting but every department lead and those on the same work rotation always team up to do something fun, its great! Even some of our friends and loved ones come and all play on the team together. This particular league brought out previously unknown strengths in our company, from kicking a ball really far to flipping a cup on command. We even found out we had a competitive kickball-er in our midst, whom we now affectionately call Coach Doug. We kick, we flip, and have fun!

You always hear a lot about tech companies as though it's all fun and happy hours, wearing shorts and flip-flops to work, making your own hours etc. Although those things are somewhat true, the reality isn't quite as glamorous. You know you work at a hosting company when you arrive at the office at 8:45 a.m. and the tech departments look like they haven't slept in 1000 days. The amount of work that's required is intense, and as everything else in life, there is always a uncertainty regarding the future, challenging decisions arise on a daily basis and you typically wear many different hats. It can be tough… but the end result is awesome!

When employees understand how their work directly impacts company goals, you have a community willing to do what it takes to move UnidenHosting forward.”

- Johnny Willis
Johnny Willis
What is the biggest factor separating the cultures of great companies from the rest?

When employees understand how their work directly impacts UnidenHosting's goals, you have a community willing to do what it takes to move us forward. This community has to be built on honest conversations with continuous feedback. That's why we have our core values, our vision and our mission statement and priorities. Having the ability to address tough issues proactively allows cultures to learn from mistakes sooner and course correct. As long as employees are aligned with our company goals, these small corrections bring cohesion to teams and allows for open communication thus embedding to our end-users, our customers. It's one of the reasons why we've built a customer pledge. These basic factors are what separates good leaders from others, and the same is true for an organization.

If you bring on people that aren't a fit, they'll infect other parts of the organization. Even after culture misfit hires move on, their corrosive effects on the company live on.”

- Johnny Willis
Johnny Willis
Where do you expect UnidenHosting to be at in the next five years with all of the coming changes?

Having traveled to nearly all our U.S. data center locations, I’ve noticed that there’s a similarity across the employees that make location almost unnoticeable. Working within geographically-dispersed teams is no different from remote work. Face-to-face meetings are swapped out with video conferencing, while text messaging, Skype and calls serve the same function as a desk catch-up.

Technology enables us to work by continuously keeping us at our toes, seamlessly to create a shared work experience. We are always improving, we are always adapting. I expect us to be quadruple the size we are today, with physical office locations outside the U.S., for now we work out of only Colorado Springs.

How do you translate UnidenHosting’s values to team members in the U.S.?

While we’re an international company and team, we all hold the same values. No single entity of the team has to “translate” the values to other team members. Because we have maintained a community-based, small company feel, we’ve been able to create values that are relevant to all teams, across all locations. We’ve incorporated these into our recruitment process to ensure new hires demonstrate that same ethos.

Christy Beryuan

From all my years at Uniden, I've first hand experienced our culture which is primarily based on collaboration and partnership from employee-to-employee and company-to-client. Many of our clients have been around for many years that UnidenHosting has been operating. We truly define that as a partnership and point that back to our ability to listen, communicate and collaborate.

From the first time a client contacts us, we always kick things off with working sessions with our clients. We’ll hold whiteboarding sessions where we try to truly understand the pain points and the problems the client is experiencing.

As we enter into that engagement with the client, it’s custom to the culture of that client. We don’t try to force too many of our established processes on them. We adapt our strategy and cadence to those clients, it’s generally to provide a technical expertise or a critical mass of resources they don’t have. Our clients’ work alongside our teams to prepare for sustainability once the project is over.

In the the blog I write, I'm going to sit down with team members from different departments to ask more on what they think about UnidenHosting’s culture! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and hope that you will share this post to all of your friends!