The job of a CEO is to make sure that the time that employees spend at their job is net positive. That’s according to Natalie Nagele, Co-Founder and CEO of Wildbit. Since taking on the leadership role in 2004, Nagele has been committed to proving that you can grow a profitable company while prioritizing people. She has led the creation of multi-million dollar products while focusing on her belief that business should be human. It’s a people-first approach that is deeply embedded in the company’s DNA.
Nagele and her team operate on the assumption that businesses are product-agnostic, and that products are an output of a team’s skills, strengths, beliefs, and values. Companies that define themselves by what they make automatically impose limits around what they can do. Wildbit started out as a consulting company designing websites for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Today, the company builds software. In 10 years, they may do something completely different.
That product-agnostic approach is based on one of Wildbit’s core principles – that businesses exist to serve people. As a tool, the business exists to support all of its human constituents: the Founders, the Team, the Customers and the Community. Wildbit is focused on building a sustainable organization that provides fulfillment for everyone on the team. That’s the driving force behind everything from its 32-hour work week, which puts a priority on what Cal Newport calls “deep work,” to flexible hours, to making sure the work is challenging and exciting.
One of the company’s current products is called People-First Jobs, a new kind of job board focused on helping job seekers find companies who put people first. People-First Jobs grew out of Wildbit’s internal emphasis on building a company that puts the team first. Instead of searching for a role, People-First Jobs emphasizes the need to search for the right company.
More and more people are searching for a place where they can do incredible work at a reasonable pace, with a team that cares deeply about their success and craft. Wildbit doesn’t hire often so there are limited openings. Instead of turning people away, they created a resource of like-minded companies who are currently hiring.
Kudos to Wildbit for creating an organization committed to putting principles and values before growth at all costs. You can learn more about Wildbit’s story here.