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  • David Hajdu

Cultivating a Performance-Driven Culture During Hyper-Growth Space

How can you keep your employees satisfied? It's a straightforward question with a layered answer. Happiness and performance at work hold the key. It’s about realizing that people are more than just statistics—they’re the lifeblood of any successful company.

As a co-founder at TINYpulse and CEO of Talent Edge, I got to spend years helping leaders enhance their business value through technology. Back in 2019, I had the pleasure of discussing these insights on a podcast with COO Alliance, where we delved into the strategies that keep our company buzzing with energy: our incredible people. There are three keys that are particularly important to maintain high levels of engagement with your remote teams.

Let’s get into how we make this happen and why it matters so much.

The Journey to TINYpulse

A significant part of this journey was in the outsourcing space, where we built numerous applications for various companies, including Microsoft. In 2012, a friend approached me with a simple mission: to make employees happier. This mission led to the creation of TINYpulse, a platform designed to help leaders cultivate a happier and high-performing workforce.

One of the most memorable experiences was helping a small startup significantly boost its employee engagement in just a few months. Seeing that transformation and the renewed energy in their team was incredibly fulfilling and reaffirmed the importance of our mission.

Insights from the Entrepreneurs' Organization

Being part of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) has been a game-changer, offering invaluable lessons from fellow business leaders. These experiences have significantly influenced our approach at Talent Edge. Saigon, in particular, has been an amazing chapter in my life, rich with learning and growth. It’s a testament to the power of community and shared wisdom.

I vividly remember an EO event in Saigon, where I connected with a group of entrepreneurs facing similar hyper-growth challenges. The camaraderie and exchange of ideas were incredibly inspiring and have shaped how we manage our team today.

Navigating Challenges

The path to hyper-growth is exhilarating but filled with hurdles. One of the biggest challenges is hitting that wall where everything seems to go haywire despite previous successes. Our top investors, including heavyweights from Baseline Ventures, reminded us that every successful company hits these rough patches. It's about learning, adapting, and pushing through.

I recall a tough period when our churn rates unexpectedly spiked. It was a wake-up call, forcing us to reevaluate our strategies and double down on our commitment to employee engagement and feedback.

The Power of Feedback and Recognition

At TINYpulse, our mission is to make employees happier. This involves three key elements: engagement, performance, and recognition. Regular pulse surveys help gauge employee engagement, while structured one-on-ones and goal-setting boost performance. Recognition, especially through our Cheers for Peers program, creates a positive feedback loop that enhances morale and productivity.

One of my favorite initiatives is Cheers for Peers. This program allows employees to give shout-outs to each other for a job well done, fostering a culture of appreciation and camaraderie. I remember a time when a simple peer recognition note significantly boosted team morale and productivity. Recognizing a colleague’s exceptional problem-solving skills during a critical project made the recipient feel valued and motivated the entire team.

Cheers for Peers makes recognition easy and frequent. Employees send digital "cheers" to highlight specific actions or behaviors that positively impact the team or project. These notes are shared company-wide, creating an environment where everyone feels seen and appreciated. Consistent recognition through Cheers for Peers builds a strong, positive culture and encourages employees to go the extra mile, knowing their efforts will be celebrated.

Effective Communication is Key

Clear communication is essential, especially in a hyper-growth environment. Regular syncs—early morning for me and late afternoon for my Seattle-based colleagues—help us stay aligned despite the time zone differences. This constant communication helps us navigate the complexities of our business and maintain a unified vision.

A group of employees engaging in a lively discussion, highlighting the importance of effective communication in fostering teamwork and collaboration in a hyper-growth environment.

Creating a Culture of Performance

In the early days, our focus was on customer success and close-knit collaboration. As we scaled, the challenge was to maintain that culture while leveraging technology to support a larger team. Our PR strategy, inspired by the teachings of Double Double, played a crucial role in our early success, helping us secure high-profile coverage and attract new customers.

I fondly remember when a feature in the BBC led to a surge in new customers. It was a testament to the power of effective PR and reinforced the importance of sharing our story.

Adapting to Change

Raising venture capital brought new challenges. We had to scale quickly and adapt to an evolving market. This period taught us the importance of hiring stage-appropriate talent and ensuring new team members align with our culture and growth trajectory.

The Future of TINYpulse and Talent Edge

Looking ahead, our focus remains on improving employee engagement and reducing churn. By implementing early indicators and focusing on fast, ongoing value, we aim to create a sustainable, happy workforce. Our new module, Coach 2.0, reflects this commitment by providing a comprehensive suite of tools to support effective coaching and performance management.

Wrapping Up

As we continue to grow, the lessons from TINYpulse and the Entrepreneurs' Organization will guide us. It’s about fostering a culture where every team member feels valued, engaged, and empowered to perform their best. We believe in the power of people and the transformative potential of a performance-driven culture.

We appreciate you being part of our story. Your journey into AI innovation starts here. Reach out, and let’s create something extraordinary together. Contact me at +1 206 395 8872 or

For more insights, check out my podcast episode with COO Alliance: Listen to the full podcast.

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