Guest Author: Lisa Herrmann, science writer, Arizona SciTech
Nextiva now ranks as Arizona’s third largest telecommunications company, but it’s our largest home grown version. “Arizona is our home – it’s where Nextiva started and where we’ll continue to grow,” explains Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva’s vp of marketing. Launched in 2008, this company has grown now to over 300 employees, most from our local talent pool. Masjedi has been very pleased by the quality of employees that Arizona’s schools are generating, despite assumptions that regions better known for high tech might have the upper hand in this respect. “Many people look to other regions for technology workforce talent, but in our case, Nextiva is finding that Arizona is an amazing place to start and grow a technology business. The schools seem very strong, and the local government supports innovative companies,” Masjedi adds.
Beyond the regional talent, it also seems that part of Nextiva’s success with its workforce is its heavy emphasis on its organizational culture. ”We focus on fostering and nurturing the team,” Masjedi says. “‘Before you can provide amazing customer service, you have to start with your own team. You can have the best technology, but at the end of the day, what’s running the business is the people.” Nextiva has its own ‘culture’ group, focused on creating team spirit, keeping the work environment positive and vibrant, where employees say their co-workers are ‘like family’. A recent concept created by the company was a Saturday ‘Build-a-thon,’ where the goal was to achieve a challenging customer solution in one 12-hour Saturday work session. “We had lots of employees commit to the event because they sincerely wanted to do it,” Masjedi proudly describes. Phoenix Business Journal named Nextiva one of the Best Places to Work in Phoenix.
Nextiva’s focus on culture-building extends beyond the organization itself and out into the community. As a Silver Sponsor of Arizona SciTech, Nextiva is contributing to support its Arizona home. “The Festival is educating the public, and bringing greater awareness to STEM as a whole – that’s a good thing,” explains Masjedi . “When we first heard about the Festival, we got in touch that same day to find out how we could participate.”