The Altitude Attitude

Jaime Heintzelmanby Jaime Heintzelman

During our corporate retreat in June, we spent a lot of time talking about our “corporate culture” – what it is, what others are doing and how it affects a company.

When I joined Altitude, I already knew from the interview process that the company had a dynamic culture that was hard to come by in the corporate world. But after looking deeper into what we do and looking at other companies, I realized just how unique Altitude’s culture is – and I finally understood the importance of maintaining it.

Corporate cultures vary for each company and are more dependent on the attitudes of the leadership than on the type and size of the business. Altitude’s two co-founders, Andrew Stanten and Stan Zukowski – having recently escaped a very confining culture in their previous jobs – put corporate culture at the top of the list of values they wanted to preserve no matter how big a staff we would eventually have.

As a result, Altitude’s corporate culture is highly professional and incredibly dedicated – but also relaxed, approachable and fun. Everyone has the opportunity to challenge themselves and take on tasks beyond their job descriptions. I have found that the Altitude work setting has enabled us all to be more creative and work even better as a team.

After our retreat, we decided to focus on three areas of corporate culture.

1. Lunch and Learns

Each week we have a Lunch and Learn. The company orders lunch for everyone, and someone shares industry knowledge or an important business update with the rest of the group. These lunches have become one of my favorite parts about working here at Altitude. It gives us a chance to take time away from our desks and regroup with each other. In addition to the Lunch and Learns, we’ve also had a cookout in the back parking lot and taco bar lunches. You never know what tomorrow’s lunch hour will bring!

2. Celebrating Special Events

We like celebrating events such as employee birthdays, successful project launches and special events. For National Walk at Work day, everyone put on sneakers and went for a company hike on nearby South Mountain. It was a great way to stretch your legs and get some fresh-air as a team.

To kick off the NFL season this year, we had Altitude Jersey Day. Everyone came into the office wearing a jersey or t-shirt representing their favorite team and/or sport. (The wings and mozzarella sticks went fast.) I was excited to wear my Troy Polamalu jersey to work and am recommending more “Wear your favorite…” days. Go Steelers! :)

3. Social Time

Being friendly with your co-workers is very different from being friends with your co-workers. It’s an added benefit when you enjoy spending time with your colleagues outside of work – and comes back to the reason why I think our culture is so special. Most recently we held an Altitude Game Night. Everyone and their families hung out in Fred Zahradnik’s backyard for a barbecue and plenty of goofing off. We each brought a dish or two and had a stack of games to play. It was a great way to unwind, socialize with everyone’s families and start the long weekend.

In the end, we work really hard – but we also have so much fun. And it shows up in our work for our clients.