Heres the Qpass formula for building a great company to work for: Hire people who actually like working with each other.
Qpass has managed to attract 175 hard-working, fun people who just click — and part of it was just luck, admits Mark McNeely, one of the companys founders. "At the risk of sounding Pollyannaish, its easily the best company culture Ive been around," says McNeely, 50. "A lot of companies have a toxic streak within them, filled with politics or internecine battles, and somehow weve avoided that."
Privately held Qpass sells Internet micropayment services and software to customers that include The New York Times Co.,USAToday.com and The Wall Street Journal Online. McNeely says that what makes Qpass people passionate about their jobs is a kind of higher-order calling, a belief that the work theyre doing is changing the way Internet content providers do business.
"Its not just a business goal," McNeely says. "People are attached to the company at a level over and above that."
Of course, Qpass also offers more tangible perks. The company pays for employees dry cleaning and subsidizes dog-walking services and gym membership. Staffers staying late are treated to dinner from nearby Indian or barbecue restaurants, and theres cable television in the employee lounge — not to mention three foosball tables. In addition to the occasional spontaneous beer bash, Qpass employees frequent the King Street Bar & Oven, a hangout where staffers gather to celebrate big product releases.
But the real reason most employees remain loyal, McNeely says, is a sense of camaraderie, a good vibe.
Mark Goris, senior engineering manager at Qpass, joined the company three years ago. He says other companies have dangled job offers in front of him, but none could offer the personal satisfaction he gets from his work at Qpass. "For me personally, its a sense of ownership of not only what we built, but also the team I built here," he says. "And its just a fun place to be."