Adam Crofts, CEO of Prevayl®, has been building the business from day one. Since setting up Prevayl he has put in place one of the most talented and innovative teams in the industry.
We sat down with him to find out how he approaches creating the right team and the importance of company culture in a start-up.
1.Why is company culture so important in a start-up?
Company culture is important in any business, but even more so in a start-up where the pace of change is so fast.
Getting company culture right from the outset enables you to establish the pace and ambition of the business, set the values, and define how we represent ourselves in the world. It’s essential not to be too rigid with it though and to ensure it’s flexible and respectful enough to keep a growing team happy and productive.
It can sometimes be a hard balance to strike, but it can be so effective when you hit that sweet spot.
2. What makes Prevayl different?
The nature of our mission and our day to day work means that we have to hire a really diverse mix of people. I like to refer to them as an “eclectic mix of amazing minds”.
The disciplines required within the business are as diverse as the people who lead each team. We always welcome new personalities and require those that think outside the box and approach new challenges with a different mindset. That’s essential for how we work.
It’s also crucial to instil a collaborative culture both for our internal day to day operations and for the future of the business.
3. How much of this is influenced by your own experiences?
From my previous experience working within and leading businesses I’ve been able to identify those things I don’t like or haven’t enjoyed, whether that’s big egos or rigid, regimented structures. That really doesn’t sit well with me.
What I do like and always look for in the people we employ at Prevayl is respect, drive and motivation. If you have that, you can go far.
4. How do you approach building a team?
The first step is to identify those areas in which you want the business to excel in. You then have to search far and wide to find the right people with the desire, hunger and talent to propel you forward.
Following that, it’s all about trusting your instinct. If you get a good feel for someone then it’s important to go with it and trust your gut.
For a start-up that’s undergoing rapid growth, as a CEO you simply can’t be everywhere. There are key things that I need to focus on and make sure I’m excelling in myself.
In order for the business to flourish, you need to establish and trust leaders within the team and surrounding yourself with energised and motivated people that want to learn and share your vision.
5. The Prevayl team is multi-disciplinary with team members experts in very different fields, what are the key attributes that link them?
Apart from all being the very best at what they do in their own respective fields, they all share a genuine ambition to create a product that will change the world we live in today. You can feel the excitement and drive every single day.
6. With the team growing so quickly, how do you make sure you’re hiring the right people? That they are the right fit for the business?
Beyond the usual process, like a great CV and references as well as a gut feeling, I like to be able to enjoy a one on one conversation with them on my own.
It’s super important that I feel comfortable with the individuals we hire. As the business grows it’s vital for me to be able to put a lot of trust in the people we have hired to continue hiring the same calibre. Introductions always go a long way.
7. How have you structured the team at Prevayl?
Our team structure is extremely robust.
We have experienced leaders and some of the best brains in the industry across each workflow. Below that is a super capable, innovative and motivated team.
Most importantly we are all aligned and driven to work towards the same shared vision.
8. How do you make sure every member of the team sees their value in the business?
We’re a new business, so that means putting thought into this is super important.
To me, we’re only able to progress if each individual is working to the best of their ability. People do this when they feel valued and appreciated.
We hold regular monthly awards with categories like MVP, behind the scenes boss, fastest feet and best energy. It’s a great way of showing appreciation and a good vehicle for regular team bonding. I also find that simply saying thank you and acknowledging the amazing efforts people are going to, always goes a long way.
9. Lastly, what do you and the team do for fun?
Well, we’re working on that. The team might see a few surprises coming this month!