The Business Leadership Podcast — Wagepoint CEO, Shrad Rao Interview

February 27, 2020 Mel Ly

Good company culture starts from the top — and the “top” means being a great leader. 

From the beginning, Wagepoint CEO,  Shrad Rao has always been deliberate about the company's culture. Despite the fact that we're a remote team of nearly 60 people — he's been able to build a successful tech company that simplifies payroll and prides itself on being “the friendliest team in the world.” 

Shrad recently sat down with Edwin Frondozo host of The Business Leadership Podcast to discuss this journey. They talk in-depth about entrepreneurship, leadership, personal growth and remote work. Here are some key takeaways:

Live all the values that you're asking your employees to live.

“At the leadership level, you're motivating and convincing a group of people to get up every day and give it everything they've got. To do that, you have to give them a good reason why.”

For Shrad, that reason is having us understand — and embrace without question — that he'll always be there for us. 

Focus on fixing an existing problem for a specific group of people.

“Large legacy companies in the payroll industry were client agnostic and given their size, customers were likely treated like numbers. This was an opportunity for us to provide a personalized experience for small business owners.”

Payroll companies are not a new concept. But, Shrad found that the traditional offerings weren't really serving or providing the right tools to small businesses. 

Don't wait for the perfect situation — start now. 

“Don't wait for the right moment. Jump into the market as quickly as possible by looking for tweaks you can make to a solution. Then make adjustments based on customer feedback.”

When starting a business, don't expect the perfect ah-ha” moment to come along. Life is not like the movies. There won't be a sign. You just have to identify a problem and begin with a basic solution. 

Building a strong remote workforce requires a mutual understanding of how the other person behaves.

Culture fit is very important to us. To ensure that our culture remains intact, Shrad puts each candidate through a culture calls. During these calls, he sets expectations and gauges whether the candidate is a fit for everything that Wagepoint represents. “This way everyone always knows where they stand with the company and where they stand with each other.”

Diversity starts with expanding your talent pool. 

“Homogeneity is a huge problem in tech.” A big reason why we're remote is that we believe in working with the best — and the best doesn't necessarily mean they're a certain gender or ethnicity, are within a certain age group or live in an urban city.

Listen to the entire interview.

Grab your ear pods and get comfy. You've got 35 minutes of pure intellectual joy coming your way.  

Have a listen!

About the Author

Mel Ly

Mel is a Content Specialist at Wagepoint with a keen interest in Wellness, People & Culture and the Employee Experience. When she isn't writing, she spends her time sipping on lattes, inhaling banana cream pies, studying into different personality frameworks (her MBTI: ESFP), and pestering her partner.

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