MountainSeed is the largest commercial real estate services marketplace in the nation.
MountainSeed is the largest commercial real estate services marketplace in the nation. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, more than half of MountainSeed’s 121-person team works remotely. MountainSeed’s purpose is "to provide opportunities that help people thrive using their God-given abilities.”
“MountainSeed's purpose is to provide opportunities that help people thrive using their God-given abilities.”
With 121 employees and a team that’s over 50% remote, MountainSeed had challenges finding ways to keep everyone connected. Despite an incredible, close-knit in-office culture, the team at MountainSeed found it difficult to translate that same sense of closeness with its remote teams.
The People Operations team at MountainSeed felt that the culture, values, vision, and mission of MountainSeed were too good to allow its people to feel so separated and fragmented.
As MountainSeed’s leadership team sought ways to increase unity between in-office and remote teams, they asked themselves if there was a platform that would facilitate a shared sense of togetherness for every team, regardless of location.
"We needed something that would reflect our strong, family-oriented values to bring us back together,” shares Matt Samuels, MountainSeed's Employee Engagement Manager.
With those goals in mind, MountainSeed found Cooleaf.
Goals and Initial Considerations
MountainSeed knew what they needed from the beginning:
- MountainSeed is committed to DEI and Community Engagement. They wanted a platform that would easily allow their employees to get involved with DEI and Charitable Giving in new, creative ways.
- MountainSeed employees use Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and an internal employee website to communicate with employees. Understanding that not everyone always reads emails, checks Teams, or visits the website, MountainSeed wanted another avenue of communication that would not only accommodate but attract everyone.
- Customization and the ability to be hands-on. Because the primary concern was connecting with and engaging their remote team members, the platform needed to allow for personalized engagement that could be specific to MountainSeed. It couldn't feel like it came from a pre-made template of generic, corporate activities.
Community building and fun activities were already a large part of the culture at MountainSeed, which meant that Cooleaf needed to exceed already high expectations of what company culture should look like.
MountainSeed wasn’t looking for a way to create a new culture, they were looking to accentuate the culture they already worked hard to establish.
Cooleaf and MountainSeed
Through community-based initiatives on Cooleaf, MountainSeed found an unexpected way to promote its culture and engage its employees to do good.
Because of MountainSeed's commitment to being a good neighbor and caring for its community, they decided to adopt a local elementary school, Fair Oaks Elementary School.
Fair Oaks Elementary is a Title I elementary school located in Marietta, GA. MountainSeed’s goal on Cooleaf was to find a way to raise money and donate supplies to the kids at Fair Oaks.
After a conversation with MountainSeed’s Cooleaf Success Manager, they decided to roll out a special reward on Cooleaf. The reward enabled team members to donate their rewards points towards Amazon gift cards that would then be used to purchase school supplies from Fair Oaks’ wishlist.
“The team response was tremendous,” Matt says.
“We kept this initiative going all year. In the end, we helped over 100 students and collected around $500. Cooleaf made that happen! Without Cooleaf, I don’t think we would have had the same response.”
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Through Cooleaf, MountainSeed found a way to spread team-wide awareness for celebrations that were meaningful and timely. The platform has helped add to MountainSeed’s culture of celebration.
“With Cooleaf’s notifications about upcoming birthdays, we’re able to get ahead and sometimes even plan ways in advance to celebrate our team in the office,” Matt shares.
Employee Benefit Education
MountainSeed used Cooleaf to rollout challenges and communication around new company benefits.
“This helped our employees better understand and appreciate the benefits given to them and made it easier for employees to comprehend what can be a confusing process!”
Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is valued and important.
Last year on Cooleaf, MountainSeed hosted a special challenge around supporting minority-owned businesses. The peer interaction element of Cooleaf meant that team members were patronizing businesses based on coworker recommendations.
“Over time it became like a network of support and recommendations,” says Matt. “It was amazing.”
An Employee Experience for ALL
Cooleaf helped MountainSeed extend the in-office experience to its remote employees! By tying together MountainSeed’s values and culture, the platform allowed for an authentic employee experience. In 2022 alone, team members participated in 63 activities and shared over 2,400 recognitions.
Cooleaf helped MountainSeed with building community across teams and departments through fun and interactive custom activities.
“Some of the activities we’ve conducted through Cooleaf have been around mental health, family traditions, and more," Matt notes.
"These types of activities help to humanize your co-workers; you get to see a bit into their lives, which promotes empathy and that leads to healthier teams. Cooleaf is a great host for these sorts of humanizing interactions.”
Features like Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) allow Matt to change things based on honest employee feedback.
"As the Employee Engagement Manager, I’m always curious about what our employees are thinking and feeling with regard to work and their overall experience, so surveys like the eNPS are incredibly valuable to me," shares Matt.
"With Cooleaf, I can see what’s working and what’s not, which allows me to propose solutions that increase employee engagement.”
Simplifying Everyday Tasks
Simplifying communications and everyday tasks through Cooleaf has saved MountainSeed time, energy, and resources.
By giving employees a central place to see team communications and important announcements, Cooleaf brought accessible engagement to MountainSeed.
“Our employees use multiple streams of communication. Not everyone reads emails and checks the site but most people check Cooleaf and use the platform.”
Since posts on Cooleaf are easily viewed, and everyone gets notified via the app’s push notifications or their email, employee awareness and internal employee communication are more manageable and timely.
ERGs and Trail Families
Since using Cooleaf, MountainSeed officially launched its very first Employee Resource Group (ERG)–a women's ERG!
Through exclusive activities and challenges on the platform, MountainSeed’s first-ever ERG will be able to share ideas and information, announce events, and bond with one another in a safe, shared environment.
As MountainSeed continues to roll out ERGS and their interest-based, employee-led Trail Families, Cooleaf will help carve space for each individual group to keep programming specific and targeted to its members.
In the months to come, Matt and his team are excited to keep leveling up the remote work experience at MountainSeed.
This means consistent team-wide pulse checks, utilizing Cooleaf’s upcoming scheduling feature to plan even more content further out, and working closely with Nick, MountainSeed’s Customer Success Manager to make recognitions even more meaningful.
“In my role as Employee Engagement Manager, I seek to create community, champion culture, and support our values. We’re MountainSeed, and we care for our employees first. This is who we are. This is us.” says Matt. “Cooleaf helps us be us, better.”
They did it with Cooleaf
Experience the platform that has delivered over 3 million recognitions to teams across the world, creating cultures of appreciation that drive real results.