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How Sprout Social’s Culture Empowers its Team to do the Best Work of Their Careers

How Sprout Social’s Culture Empowers its Team to do the Best Work of Their Careers
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Sprout Social customers keep asking one question when they discover most employees are working in a remote or hybrid setting: How does the company build such a strong internal culture?

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The answer is simple, according to Stephanie Wells, general manager and head of go-to-market for APAC.

Investment.

“At Sprout, culture is more than just a buzzword,” she said. “We heavily invest in it to maintain a healthy and cohesive team culture, regardless of location.”

With team members scattered across time zones, regular in-person gatherings play a crucial role in strengthening relationships and bringing that culture to life. Sprout Social’s team uses two types of “meetups” to help build connections between colleagues and foster excellence on the team.

Regional meetups bring together team members in a shared geographic area to foster local support networks that help enhance daily work interactions in a virtual setting with an emphasis on interpersonal connection. Meanwhile, functional meetups focus on specific job functions and provide an opportunity for colleagues to share best practices, discuss common challenges and celebrate successes.

“These meetups ensure that team members continue to grow in their craft and stay aligned with industry standards,” Wells explained. “Our in-person events are crucial for balancing our virtual interactions. They ensure that our hybrid work model doesn’t compromise our team’s connectivity and collaboration.”

 

Photo: Sprout Social

 

That connectivity and collaboration doesn’t just support the work happening in the present at Sprout; those values reflect the company’s commitment to being a career destination for those who want to excel in their craft and advance their careers well beyond the scope of their current projects.

“We ask our customers to see social differently, to see the impact of social on every aspect of their business, and in a similar vein we ask our employees to see work differently,” said Varsha Garje, senior director of engineering. “Sprout offers more than just a job, but a dynamic career destination where passion for technology meets real-world impact.”

At the heart of this difference is continuous learning, Garje noted. With clear paths toward internal mobility and opportunities to learn from experts, employees are able to add skills to their toolkits and put them to work quickly as they grow.

Equipped with new skills, employees are empowered to make an impact and contribute to Sprout Social’s mission — to be the social platform powering the world’s most innovative brands.

“Acting with purpose and focus is our secret sauce,” Garje said. “We prioritize solving the most meaningful problems first, and say ‘no’ or ‘not now’ to everything else. Our ideas and solutions are valued, and our contributions directly impact the success of our customers. We’re not just building products; we’re shaping the future of how businesses engage with their customers.”

 

Three Sprout Social employees having a meeting in the office with one person joining remotely.

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Photo: Sprout Social

 

 

Recognizing that employee contributions to Sprout Social’s culture make the company a better place to work, they celebrate those efforts both in informal Slack channels and through formal awards.

One of Sprout Social’s most cherished traditions is the quarterly “Value Awards,” where outstanding employees are recognized for their dedication and hard work. This ceremony not only celebrates individual achievements but also reinforces the company’s core values and mission.

“It’s a wonderful ritual that I’ve only seen done at Sprout,” explained Tommy McShane, head of customer success for EMEA. “These highly valued awards are announced at our company all-hands meeting so the entire team gets to celebrate and recognize the individuals concerned. Moreover, the chosen person’s family will also appear on the call, which has resulted in some heartfelt scenes.”

“We highlight the powerful stories of dedication and hard work through the values that they demonstrate,” Wells continued. “We learn about the person, their family and why they care so much about their team, job or a specific project. It’s incredibly moving, and more often than not, happy tears are streaming down my face when someone receives the award.”

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Sprout’s Core Values

  • Care deeply
  • Embrace accountability
  • Champion diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Promote open, authentic communication
  • Seek simplicity
  • Solve hard problems
  • Celebrate change

 

Sprout Social’s focus also expands beyond employee contributions to the culture and work as it exists at present; the company ensures it makes room for experimentation and new ideas that will help guide the team into the future.

“Innovation flourishes in an environment where everyone feels safe to express their ideas, ask questions, contribute their unique talents and make mistakes,” Garje said.

Wells shares Garje’s commitment to building a team where team members can take measured risks without fear.

“A team that feels safe to share both failures and successes can accelerate everyone’s learning and development,” she said.

McShane highlighted the role of open communication in building a strong team culture.

“We thrive on feedback,” he noted. “We hold each other accountable to our company values, recognize success and celebrate the diversity of our team. When a culture is strong, employees will stay, feel more fulfilled professionally, give more of themselves to the role and be more productive. Sprout excels at this.”

“Fostering a culture of feedback is a collective effort where everyone’s contributions matter,” Garje agreed.

For Garje and the engineering team, using an agile methodology in its work supports autonomy, structured collaboration and transparency around progress.

“Our team needs to be resilient, collaborative and passionate about making an impact,” she said. “A strong culture is essential to achieving our mission, and we have built resilient teams full of brilliant minds and top talent that foster a sense of purpose that fuels our collective efforts.”

“Culture is how we show up everyday and how we treat each other,” McShane agreed.

 

Sprout employees in summer clothes post for a large group photo on a green area in front of a large body of water.
Photo: Sprout Social

 

At Sprout Social, a mission-focused and values-aligned approach keeps the team showing up for one another and thriving together — with an opportunity to expand alongside a growing company.

“Sprout is scaling, and there is so much opportunity to take on projects and ideas that accelerate growth,” Wells explained. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an exciting chapter in your career. Who doesn’t want that?”

 

Read More Empathy in Action: How Sprout Social is Leading the Charge for Accessible Social Media Management

 

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