Though Zumasys helps companies move their operations to the cloud, President Paul Giobbi, the top business leader for a small company, says the key to his business is not technology – it’s people. Zumasys was ranked the No. 2 small company in Orange County’s Top Workplaces.
Q. What does your company do that sets it apart from others in the technology industry?
A. We don’t see ourselves as a technology company. First and foremost, we are a people company. We are 100 percent focused on connecting with people – our employees, vendors and broader network of friends and family. Technology is just a means for us to make people happier and more fulfilled.
Q. How do you motivate and recognize top talent at your company?
A. We motivate our employees by connecting every person to our mission – from engineering to accounting – and we relentlessly recognize individual contributions.
Last year, we started the 1% Program, where we give 1 percent of our annual revenue to nonprofit organizations selected by our employees. At the end of the year, our employees get to deliver checks for thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, to organizations they believe in, and they take immense pride in working for more than just the bottom line.
Q. What perks or benefits do you and your employees value most?
A. One of the most exciting benefits is our International Travel Incentive. We started this back in 2009, when the economy took a turn for the worse. Each year, through the International Travel Incentive, we give six employees a week of paid vacation and a $3,000 stipend to go anywhere in the world outside of North America. They come back as new people – with new experiences, different perspectives and infectious enthusiasm. We’ve had employees travel to Australia, Bali, China, Italy, London, Paris, Peru and Thailand. I believe that it helps strengthen relationships, bringing people closer together through the stories of their travels. Since we started the program, we’ve seen productivity go up, our revenues have doubled and we enjoy much greater employee satisfaction and retention.
Q. What have you seen and has your company done differently in the past year as the economy has started to improve?
A. This is an interesting question because our approach to our culture and the investments that we make in our people was really formed when the economy was at its worst. We decided that at a time when morale was at its lowest, that we needed to invest in the well-being of our employees. Adversity is the toughest test of culture. So when everyone was cutting back, we were spending. And ultimately, that decision has helped us reinvigorate our team and our growth, even in the midst of a tough economic climate.
Q. What’s the best way for a boss to foster a collaborative, creative environment where employees enjoy working?
A. I think that fostering a collaborative, creative environment in which employees enjoy working all comes down to trust – trusting your employees enough to get out of their way. Letting go can be one of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to do. Our philosophy has been to hire the most passionate people, explain to them our big picture goals, and then get out of their way.
Q. How does your company make Orange County better?
A. Although we have sustained growth ever since we began business, it took us 10-plus years to figure out the final piece of the puzzle – creating a deeper purpose for our people. A large part of that is being a part of something greater than ourselves. We’re just getting started with our 1% Program and we’ve given away close to $500,000 in two years.
We’ve been heavily involved in donating our time, money, and expertise to several fantastic organizations in Orange County like Second Harvest Food Bank, the Prentice School, Our Savior’s Lutheran School and Orangewood Children’s Foundation. And with other incremental programs like this year’s Thanksgiving fundraiser, we are continuing to grow our efforts to make Orange County a better place.