Inspiring Employees Who Create the Change
Intuit is more than a place to work. It's a place to make a difference, explore and create positive change - a place where we invent solutions that change the way people manage their money and businesses. And these changes are so profound that people can't imagine going back to the old way.
Change isn't easy. It takes vision and commitment. And it takes a supportive workplace where people are inspired to innovate by their work, by their colleagues and by our customers.
A Lean, Mean Startup Machine
When Eric Ries released his groundbreaking guide for entrepreneurs, "The Lean Startup" two years ago, his ideas were already being integrated into the Intuit innovation process. That process has revolutionized projects across the company - inspiring employees through structured and unstructured activities and helping them learn how to successfully apply the process.
"Applying the Lean Startup approach has really energized our team. Internal teams often forget how important it is to innovate for internal customers, or employees. The more we practice and experiment, the easier it becomes. We'll never go back to doing things the old way!"
Director, IT Employee Support
Menlo Park, Calif.
Today employees can participate in a myriad of activities. For example, this summer the Lean StartIN World Tour kicks off, which aims to create 100 startup projects in 100 days by visiting at least 10 Intuit locations. Since 2007 we've also held Delight Forums, bringing experts and experimentally minded employees together to discuss innovative best practices. Two of the most recent Delight Forums this year have featured Ries who shares "Lean Startup" updates and examples, then coaches four Intuit project teams.
Creating Change in Our Communities
Thousands of employees each year are also inspired to do great work in their communities. Intuit makes this easy by granting each employee 32 hours, donation matching and numerous organized activities through our We Care and Give Back program. And just as we value innovation in our professional lives, employees can be effective in creating the changes needed by their communities.
"We should have actually been asked to pay for the opportunity to do this. All of us truly felt that we were privileged in some way to have worked on it, and that we have put an effort into making something far bigger than ourselves possible. If through this app a few lives are saved, many are advantaged and the Red Cross gets more donations."
Vice president, Technology strategy and partnerships
Mountain View, Calif.
A team of passionate engineers recently created a mobile application prototype that lets the Red Cross accept donations on smartphones when responding to disasters and emergencies. Their inspiration: a combination of their We Care and Give Back volunteer hours and their unstructured time - combined with unwavering support from the company and our technology organization. The recognition we received from the Red Cross, an inaugural social innovation and partnership award from the Silicon Valley Chapter, was icing on the cake.
When You Give Back, You Get so Much in Return
Intuit loves small businesses. Without them, we can't succeed. To help them through tough economic times, we created the Love a Local Business Campaign.
We've already contributed over $1.1 million to entrepreneurs across the United States, and are continuing to recognize the important role small businesses make in our communities.
Matt Spivey, owner of 2Guyz Boutique for Dogs & Cats, won a $25,000 grant in January after having opened a new specialty store for animals. The grant couldn't have come at a better time. Matt and his business partner had just seen the opportunity to expand their business to offer pet grooming but didn't have the funds to do this just yet.
Program manager Betsy Eshoei saw Matt's reaction first hand when she delivered the good news:
"Matt was overjoyed and emotional. Like many small business owners, he had left his job to pursue his dream of owning his own business and had assumed he would not be taking home a salary for many months. The grant helped expedite their business plans, and the grooming side of the business is now up and running. In fact, after just having opened, he's already booked 2-3 weeks in advance and has hired two part-time employees. We couldn't be happier for Matt and the Elwood, Indiana community."
As for Matt, the grant was a life-changer.
"I quit my job in October in order to do this and I said, 'Well, I guess I won't be taking any salary for a couple years.' I just can't believe it," he said. "You just made my dreams come true."
Going Where Our Customers Go - Everywhere!
Companies can no longer simply offer the best products to win customers. Intuit recognized a long time ago that you also need to offer great products at the right time in the right place. For today's customers that means mobile. In May of this year we introduced Snap Payroll - a completely mobile app allowing small businesses to calculate employee paychecks from their phone.
Colin Roper, the product manager behind Snap Payroll, says he's motivated by the opportunity to invent something that changes the way people live their lives.
"I am personally very passionate about working on new technology and being able to create innovative offerings at the cutting-edge. Intuit's culture matches my passion and actively supports mobile projects. Here the leadership team doesn't just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Intuit invests in the future and allows us to realize the changes needed for our career growth and customer needs."
Mountain View, Calif.
Social: It's a Whole New World
As our customers' worlds and personal lives become increasingly influenced by online social networks, so do our work lives. Inspired to embrace this change, several of our Small Business Group employees worked to change how we communicate with customers and even build our products. Their vision: To make Intuit a leader in the social arena. Disparate teams came together to form a single group to share their passion and establish best practices for those not as familiar with social. They call themselves the "SBG Social Squad."
"Intuit gives its employees the freedom and autonomy to think beyond our day-to-day roles and make a unique impact. That's what the Social Squad represents to me… a group of people with a passion for social coming together to make an impact on our company and for our customers."
SBG Social Squad member
Sr. Business Development Manager
Mountain View, Calif.
The group started by creating a Social Jam, bringing together teams from every major product group to brainstorm, create and then present social product ideas to a panel of customers and executives.
A Lifeline for TurboTax Customers
Every year our TurboTax team fields a flood of questions during peak times, straining customer care resources.
Our job goes beyond creating great tax preparation software. We're committed to making sure people can confidently complete their returns before the stroke of midnight. Employees in our Consumer Group this year continued the Lifeline support program for the 2011 tax season. Our TurboTax employees - everyone from finance and marketing to engineering and development teams across locations in California, Arizona, and abroad - had more than 40,000 contacts with customers to resolve their last-minute support questions.
"Taxes are hard, stressful and scary for people. The Lifeline team has the opportunity to experience all these customer emotions firsthand, and it affects us in ways that data in a report can never do. Our employees leave Lifeline on a mission to improve our end-to-end experiences to really deliver on delight to our customers."
Suzanne Van Cleve
Director, Digital Marketing
As a result of Lifeline, the Consumer Group is a stronger, more collaborative and more customer-focused business.
Lifeline gives the entire organization the opportunity to walk in their customer's shoes and take what they learned back to their day jobs to create real change in our products.