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When Company Culture Isn’t Cliché: Settling In


Lindsay Ritenbaugh

September 26, 2022

Hi, I’m Lindsay, and my road to Malbek has been an interesting one. I went from a job that expected me to work on my vacations to one that values my time and well-being as much as I do. To tell my story, I need a lot more than one blog! So, here is part two of my three-part series, “When Company Culture Isn’t Cliché.“

Make sure to read part one, Finding Malbek, if you haven't already!

The Beginning

Within no time, I began my role as a Customer Support Specialist here at Malbek. And let me tell you, the onboarding process could not have been more welcoming! From the first few moments on the job, I knew that I had made the right choice. Malbek was my first fully remote company, and it was thrilling on that first day to know that I would not need to weather the rainy commute downtown to walk into an unfamiliar high-rise building. Instead, I sat down with my new laptop in my own home and had an introductory call with my new boss, Brian McNees. There were steep learning curves, of course, but I felt encouraged and supported each step of the way.

Instead of the usual fear that many new employees can feel when embarking on a new job or career path, I felt genuinely supported with each question I asked. There was also a lot of unlearning to be done to put the toxic demands of my previous employment in the past and learn how to exist in a normal, healthy work environment.

I had grown wary of the phrases that are haphazardly thrown around by many companies to define office culture, and there were admittedly a few words on Malbek’s website or references to them being a family where I thought, “this can’t be real.”

However, that wariness quickly dissipated when the very same teammates who said, “Let me know if you have any questions!” were the same people to continuously follow up and offer support and guidance during my onboarding process. Those same teammates are exceptional people who make everything run smoothly to this day—and Malbek really does stand apart as a unique culture that creates an amazing working environment.  

The “Smells Like Team Spirit” mentality is very much a reality. Everyone at Malbek, from leadership to QA developers, sales, marketing, services, and support are there to genuinely support one another and the customers we serve. The startup culture here is neither cliché nor performative, and the dedication to employee engagement here is an actual priority.  

This is very much still real 

Our customer experience team gathered earlier this spring for an in-person summit, and I was able to meet many of the humans with whom I had grown close professionally over the last few months. I enjoyed the time I got to spend learning and growing alongside a company of individuals who assume the best intent and are eager to help one another problem solve for mutual success. There was also more reassurance that the remote collegiality and teamwork I had been experiencing across multiple time zones and countries still applied when we were all together in the same conference room.  

I also learned that many other employees had previous experiences where, like mine, Malbek was a refreshing work environment that was both free of toxicity and is a personification of the team culture they were so desperately seeking elsewhere. A collective theme was that we had all made a similar leap of faith into the unknown and each found ourselves to be more than relieved where we had landed.  

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