Willingness to refer your partner for a job is a sign of a great company culture.
People often comment on the number of couples that work at Yellowfin. While we don’t encourage wild hookups, over the years many people have chosen to refer their partners into the business. We never deliberately set out to encourage this, but it is definitely something that is quite unique to Yellowfin and has had a positive long-term influence on our culture.
Referring your partner is a sign of a great culture
We encourage employee referrals at Yellowfin. So when we are hiring, we ask employees to recommend anyone with the skills we need for a particular job. As a result, some people have suggested that their partner would be ideal for a role. Initially, this happened only in Australia but it has become more common in other regions we operate in as well.
For me, this is an indicator of what a great culture we have. We’ve created a great place to work, a place where people want to turn up every day. The fact that people are happy to refer their spouse is an endorsement of this. After all, it’s not a big deal to refer an old colleague that you don’t really know or care about. It’s perhaps a little more to suggest that your friend come to your work with you, but if you’re willing to bring your partner into your workplace then you really must love where you work.
When someone refers their partner they must also have really thought about whether they will fit into the organization. That’s why we pay attention when someone refers their spouse. It’s like the ultimate reference check.
Working with your partner changes the dynamics (in a good way)
While some people question whether couples bring tension into the workplace, we’ve found that most don’t bring their relationship baggage to work. This is also probably reflective of our referral model. If you’re willing to put your partner forward for a role, it’s unlikely that there are significant issues at home.
My partner, Simone, has worked in the business for eight years. She has made a significant contribution across multiple roles and working together has been a successful model for our family – it actually helps us to manage our work life balance. For example, if the kids are sick one of us can stay at home as we have more flexibility because we work in the same workplace.
For many couples, having your partner at work can actually be quite motivating. They go to extreme lengths to separate themselves and are very conscious of how they behave at work. They also tend to work a bit harder to prove that their relationship isn’t an issue.
Most couples also set their own ground rules to deal with working together. They might set up barriers so they don’t talk about work all the time at home. But working together can also enhance your relationship. It gives you another shared outcome and a shared understanding of what you’re trying to achieve.
For my family, in particular, working together gives our kids an understanding of what we’re building. They share in our experience and can see entrepreneurialism at work from the ground up all the way through to the dinner table.
Yellowfin is a family affair and we have built a culture where people feel at home. Overall having quite a few couples working for us has worked to our advantage. They make a fantastic contribution to the business and it’s a real endorsement of our culture and working environment.