We’re excited to share that Fast Company, a leading business media brand with focus on innovation in technology, has recognized Propeller Aero as one of the 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators for being a company that successfully fosters a culture of innovation, encouraging all employees to discover, explore, and invent.
Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators list celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. Companies named to this year’s list especially found creative ways to collaborate and invent, despite the challenges and unprecedented disruption posed by the pandemic.
“Being recognized as one of 2021’s Best Workplaces for Innovators is a great honor for our team that highlights our commitment to developing new ways to tackle problems and encouraging creativity in all we do,” said Rory San Miguel, CEO, Propeller Aero.
An exercise in innovation
Our people are energized to come to work each day because of Propeller’s tight-knit culture and how new ideas are not only accepted, they’re encouraged! To achieve true innovation that delivers a positive impact, it takes many minds with different perspectives and experiences … all working together.
This past June, Propeller hosted two “hackathons” at our Sydney and Denver hubs to generate fresh ideas and new approaches to work. What’s a hackathon, you ask? Simply put, it’s an invitation to step away from the daily operations of a normal workday and participate in an event that encourages team members to innovate, solve problems, and collaborate with other teammates they may not typically work with regularly. The goal of the hackathon is to spend a day working through ideas that could improve a product, streamline processes, or reduce manual processes.
Another exciting aspect of the hackathon is that it takes place in just 24 hours. Each person is assigned to a small team, and that team has 24 hours to develop a new idea, build the strategy, and then execute it. Once the 24 hours are up, it’s pencils down and teams have only a short time to present their projects, which are then voted on by judges to name a winner.
Some of the ideas that grew from this year’s hackathons included development of a video game by a Denver team called “AeroKart” that made it fun for our customers and prospects to explore Propeller. The winning team in Sydney developed a new, automated employee recognition program within the communication platform, Slack, that allows employees to give each other kudos for a job well done using emojis and messaging. The program was called Onya, Australian slang for “Good on ya, mate!”… meaning to give someone praise or kudos.
Each month every employee receives 200 Onyans in a virtual account that they can use to recognize their colleagues. At the end of each month, the most praised employee with the most Onyans is celebrated publicly, and the employee with the least is also praised for the generous acclaim they expressed for their peers.
“First and foremost, we do hackathons because they are fun,” said Richo Hordern-Gibbings, Director of Hardware Commercialization. “It’s important to get outside of the daily bubble of our day-to-day work and direct team and apply our creativity to other types of problems while working with other teams. When you step away from the emails, phone calls, and ongoing projects and focus on a single outcome as a team, it’s amazing what you can achieve.”
These hackathons created stronger team connections, bonding, engagement and, last but not least, some FUN for our people, especially after a very challenging time during the pandemic.
About Propeller and Our Values
Propeller’s world-class drone analytics solutions help thousands of construction and earthworks professionals measure and manage their worksites. They trust Propeller to track site changes safely and accurately, with 3D visual tools that are easy to use. Propeller gives customers the full picture, allowing them to make smarter, faster, and more collaborative business decisions.
“Propeller has been an innovative company from the start, and that innovation continues today” said Jared Martinez, Customer Success Engineer at Propeller. “To better support our customers’ future needs, we’re always working to implement new technologies and are constantly evaluating our current platform. Our company culture and values truly embrace innovation!”
Our values are the lens we look through to determine if our goals align with what’s best for our customers and our company. They not only guide us in decision making, they are also a framework for holding each other accountable.
Our people have the freedom to approach, own, and solve problems creatively. We’re 100% about impact, and 0% about ego. Want to join our best-in-class team and put your innovative ideas and creativity to work in a fast-changing industry? We’re hiring!
About the award
Fast Company partnered with Accenture to create a series of questions and metrics designed to evaluate the role innovation plays in company culture and measure its effect on operations and performance. Each submission for the 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators was individually evaluated by a team of Fast Company editors and reporters. Finalists were reviewed by a panel of judges (editors, renowned business leaders, and notable innovators) who recommended the winners.