How Clay maintains its family culture while growing rapidly

All tech fairytales seem to start in a garage with a couple of friends planning to disrupt a world they feel needs disrupting. Clay’s fairytale begun with an Illy coffee can in a Rotterdam based office with two friends determined to disrupt the formerly dusty world of access control. Sounds familiar right? Clay is working very hard to reach that same tech-rockstar status like those garage projects that are now such a big part of everyone’s lives. But for us to achieve that goal we above all other things need to keep our Bricks as tight-knit as possible.

Let us explain how we tend to keep our family of Bricks as much like a family as possible while we rock the world of access control!

Rick and Xander are the founders of Clay. When the company was a fact, the very first Bricks got hired. This young team did their magic in a small office at Kraanspoor in Amsterdam. A year later the team already got expanded to 15 Bricks and we moved to a bigger office opposite of the IJ canal: The current Clay HQ. We work and play in this office that we now call a home with 25 that is slowly but steadily growing into a team of 30 passionate Bricks.


When companies grow, often teams tend to disconnect and at times even fall apart. Change is usually a good thing, but it can be a challenge to keep your team from falling into pieces when growing fast. In a small team it’s easy for everyone to be informed about each other’s personal lives: Birthdays, stories about a memorable weekend, allergies, it’s all part of daily small talk and lunch conversations. However, when a team starts and continues to grow it is inevitable relationships change.

Since June 2017 Clay is a SALTO Group Company and we are happy to see our team is getting bigger and is expanded with SALTO employees from all over the world: All the more reason to hold on to that family feeling!

According to research by Clear Company, 97% of participants are convinced that a family like team is a true productivity and efficiency boost. This is something we have experienced in practice at Clay and has made it to the top of our priority list.

Because our family of Bricks is expanding we are practicing the following tips to keep that family feeling going no matter how big we will become!

Keep everyone in the loop When a company is just starting out it is natural for employees that are hired for a specific role also help out in other areas of expertise. ‘We need to make this work together’ is on everyone’s minds and ensures everybody is willing to make that extra couple of hours or do tasks that are not part of their job description.

Roles become more separated and focused then before when the company grows. There is always room to help out each other in different departments, but not necessarily take on permanent responsibilities from different teams. This can lead to tunnel vision and not being able to see the big picture at times.

Because of this potential hazard Clay makes sure every Brick is able to view information on what’s going on within the company in a shared Dropbox folder. We create department specific roadmaps, accessible by the whole team. We also host monthly Town hall meetings for all of the Bricks so we know what’s happening, what people are working on, and have a platform to ask questions and state any type of opinion.


Keep company culture in mind while hiring As you can read in our previous blog post team fit is one of the most important aspects during the hiring process at Clay. In order to maintain the thriving organization that is Clay, we need to find potential Bricks that fit our profile of friendly, honest, slightly crazy technology lovers and game changers. People, who are not afraid to state their voice, can take a joke and be willing to grow and evolve within the company.

The first stage of the interview at Clay is all about company culture. Are we the right match for you? Are you willing to support that brick-family feeling?

All relevant questions that keep the team tight and help the company grow.

Stick to traditions Traditions are like glue. Whether they like them or not people are creatures of habit. It feels good to be a part of something that creates a home away from home, making these traditions extremely important to maintain the company culture and family feeling.

At Clay we have a few recurring events that enable that sense of family, like our annual Christmas dinner where we cook dinner with the whole Clay family and their significant others, and of course our annual winter sport trip!

Feel like a family Something that shouldn’t need much explaining, but often does: Act like family. Be nice to each other. Ask how someone is doing. You never know what battle someone is fighting behind the scenes. We all got each other’s backs.

We are building this amazing company literally one Brick at a time; let’s take good care of that indestructible force of Bricks!

Want to be part of a tight corporate family? #becomeabrick and take a look at our career page! See which Bricks are already part of the family on our about page page!

See which Bricks are already part of the family on our about page page!