Sware is on a mission to reduce risk to patients by transforming how healthcare, life sciences, and SaMD companies manage the compliance of regulated technology solutions.
Sware delivers process automation and a single source of validation truth to ensure consistency in compliance and keep companies in a state of inspection readiness. To make that possible, Sware built a tight-knit team of fun, passionate, and uniquely skilled individuals.
We caught up with a few members of Sware to learn how they built that dream team, and how they use tools like Haystack to foster the type of organizational culture and employee experience that not only attracts, but also retains top talent.
Vlad Radulescu, Sware’s IT manager, Jeff Tompkins, Sware’s Creative Director, and Jason Harlander, Vice President of Culture and Community all play a strong role in Sware’s success.
When asked their favorite part about working at Sware, all three were happy to answer, but felt a match of rock-paper-scissors would be the best way to decide.
Radulescu won the match and spoke up, laughing. “Everybody is very welcoming, friendly, and open to discussion. You can reach out to anyone.” He went on later to explain, “The vision of the leadership and management team helps a lot. This is the first place I’ve worked at where I feel like I can really be myself and showcase my true personality. It feels like home.”
Tompkins added, “Any place you work at, there’ll be smart people, but I think Sware is special because, yes, everyone is super smart, but they’re fun as well. I mean, where else do you get to play rock-paper-scissors with someone halfway across the world on a conference call?
You’re like, ‘wait a minute, this feels right.’ Everyone’s passionate, supports each other, and fun to work with? That’s the trifecta.”
Harlander summed it up, “We’re building a company we all want to work for. Some of us had already worked together, and it was like getting the band back together. I love coming to work every day.”
This is the first place I’ve worked at where I feel like I can really be myself and showcase my true personality. It feels like home.
Connecting across Borders
Without everyone in a centralized campus, building culture can be more of a challenge. Impromptu chats are less common, and it can help a lot to have a head-start on relationship building.
Radulescu, who generously stayed up late to chat with us, shared one of his favorite connection-focused Haystack features, the global map view. “It shows where our colleagues are distributed across the country and the world, which helps bridge connections.”
Tompkins explained further:
“Sometimes in an organization, it can be challenging to find people and know where they work within the structure. The [Haystack] directory is super efficient, and I love that.
Something I didn’t anticipate I’d like so much was the profiles, and getting a chance to know one another a little better on a personal level—seeing hobbies, like ‘wow, there are 10 other people here that are interested in this obscure hobby of mine.’ That type of element, I really appreciate.”
Communicating with Clarity
Be Clear and Transparent is a core value members of the Sware team take to heart. That mentality supports the team’s progress, and fostering that transparency was a key goal for its Haystack implementation.
“We always want to be clear and transparent when we communicate,” Radulescu said. “We use Haystack in this way, because we want to bring information to all employees. From the start, we wanted a place where we can share everything with all the people involved.”
A Single Source of Truth: “It’s in Haystack.”
Even the most organized teams often struggle to keep all the information they need together and perfectly organized. With so many different roles and tools associated with those roles, it’s easy for things to get cluttered. Addressing this was a key component of Sware’s plan for Haystack.
“There’s tons of content out there,” Tompkins explained, “and we lived in a world prior to Haystack where it was chaos trying to get a hold of it. Haystack has really allowed us to be able to quickly find the appropriate content, whether it’s a branding element, or something much more complicated like an SOP.
It makes it effortless to find stuff. There’s never a question about where things live, the answer is always ‘go to Haystack.’ It’s been working really well for us.
That simplicity contrasts with prior processes, which Harlander detailed further.
“Before, we had items stored on Sharepoint, on local laptops, or in people’s heads—all over the place. Having that one central spot where everything’s there, and it’s up to date has been hugely beneficial.
It’s now our single source of truth for a lot of our internal policies—being able to consolidate all that with our content management system, even using the Box integration—everything is in one spot.”
Having that one central spot where everything’s there, and it’s up to date has been hugely beneficial.
Feedback drives many of the Haystack team’s product development, and the new Box integration is a perfect example. Haystack engineers built the integration in support of Sware’s launch, to ensure no matter where their information was stored, it was accessible to everyone who needed it.
“Right after we went live with Haystack, we were able to use it,” Radulescu said.
Tompkins also shared his love for the new Box integration. “I’m in marketing, so I have tons of content that’s constantly being updated. Before, it would’ve been a nightmare to manage all those files and links, but with Haystack I simply update the source, and don’t even have to think about it. It’s a beautiful thing.”
A Communication Linchpin
Multi-channel communication became the norm for many organizations over the past few years. Sware decided to leverage new communication mediums together in a cohesive strategy, rather than letting them compete.
“We integrated Haystack with Slack from the start. It works perfectly,” Radulescu said. “Whenever we launch a post, everyone receives a notification in a dedicated Slack channel. It helps us to reach all our employees.
You can send an email, but people don’t always read those. With Slack being our main communication channel, the integration gave our communications more visibility.”
Tompkins shared some additional notes on their strategy:
“Out of the gate, since we use so many purpose-built platforms we had the perspective of, ‘where does Haystack fit in the mix?’ For us, Slack is quick, informal communication, and Haystack is the long-term, single source of truth for assets, information, and resources I can’t get anywhere else.”
We integrated Haystack with Slack from the start. It works perfectly.
Pro Tips for New Haystack Users
As an organization truly thriving and getting the most from Haystack, the Sware team left us with a couple great pro tips for any Haystack users—but especially those getting started.
“You need to have champions,” Tompkins explained, “and sometimes these are different people. You need someone to drive the implementation like Vlad did, bringing everything together and making sure you hit your target launch date.
After launch, you also need an internal champion to evangelize the platform and help make sure all the information is organized and easily digestible. Haystack does a lot of that for you, but it’s really helpful to have templates to standardize the look and feel of your messaging.”