Founded in 2006 with a vision for simplifying the lives of small-business owners, PaySimple operates in three different and overlapping spaces: payments, small-business services, and technology/start-up; however, it’s the company’s vision for creating a positive corporate culture that has helped keep PaySimple at the top of the “Best Places to Work” lists.
“PaySimple is not the first company I’ve founded,” says PaySimple founder, CEO, and director Eric Remer. “With each step in my personal and professional growth I’ve become more aware of the importance of creating a company that validates and empowers its team members. Cultivating culture has been extremely important to me since we opened the doors at PaySimple, because it’s my strong belief that if people feel supported by their environment, they are more likely to reach their full potential.”
The concept for PaySimple came as the result of an astute observation. In a previous business, Remer and his partner, Alan Wolfe, developed a publication distributed to apartment renters. They quickly learned that “the biggest pain point for property owners was collecting rent—it was time-consuming and difficult to stay on top of collections and reconcile the books,” Remer says. “PaySimple was founded as an outgrowth of that insight, with a motivation to make running a small business simpler.”
What one word would you use to describe the culture at PaySimple?
Manager of Customer Care
“‘Celebratory.’ We love to lift people up, celebrate opportunities, celebrate accomplishments, and celebrate setting a goal.”
Director of Marketing
“‘Energetic.’ The company has lots of energetic personalities, and everyone cares and is passionate about what he or she does.”
Director of Empowerment
“‘Love.’ There is a genuine appreciation and care that we have for each other, our customers, and partners. And trust me, when you walk into our office, you can feel the love and positive energy—it is an awesome place to be every day, especially when you care for everyone involved and the company so much! It makes every success that we have even greater.”
The company’s innovative approaches don’t end with helping small businesses run more effectively. From day one, Remer considered one of his main responsibilities to be creating a positive environment where “staff can learn, grow, thrive, share thoughts and ideas, and be acknowledged for achievements and contributions on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis,” he says. “Culture to me is about energy, and really focusing on creating an environment that enables everyone to feel completely comfortable to be themselves.”
One of the programs Remer implemented early on at PaySimple was PATHS—standing for passion, authenticity, teamwork, happiness, and service: the core values at the root of the company’s culture. “We spent a great deal of time as a young company formulating and refining these values,” Remer says. “It may appear corny, but we genuinely live them every day.”
At the company’s Monday morning meeting, a rotating coffee mug for each PATHS letter is awarded for exemplifying one of the values by the previous week’s winner to another staff member. “It’s a fantastic weekly reminder of what we bring to this company and to our customers,” Remer says.
In addition to big-picture values, Remer also rewards PaySimple staff with plenty of perks, including free rapid-transit passes,monthly gym stipends, catered Friday lunches, month-end happy hours, an office Wii gaming system, and bottomless coffee and popcorn.
Remer also established an Empowerment Team charged with growing the corporate culture, a task accomplished, in part, by regular one-on-one sessions with each employee to discover goals and how PaySimple can help them succeed. “The team focuses on making PaySimple a better place to come to every day, with the main goal of creating an environment that helps people grow personally
The Empowerment Team also focuses on recruiting, using PATHS as guidance for human-resource decisions. “Staying congruent to our core values is extremely important to us, but we’re not looking for everyone to be a certain way,” Remer says. “We want each individual to bring their own unique energy and talent to the table and the collective energy that comes from that mix is pretty incredible.”
Remer says a happy workforce is key to delivering a great product and unparalleled service, a claim bolstered by the company’s high customer-satisfaction scores and ongoing positive feedback; however, with growth on the horizon for PaySimple, Remer is certain there will be unique challenges affecting the company’s culture. “I intend to be leading this discussion personally, and am fully committed to ensuring that our culture—even as it changes—will get better and better as we evolve as a company,” he says. “I believe it’s my job to create the general direction and enable the collective energies of the group to take that culture to an entirely different level.”