For GuideSpark Chief Financial Officer Will Johnson, the work is never over.
A leader in employee communication, such as Communicate Cloud, the launch of new products keeps him constantly analyzing the company's next move.
"Like any startup CFO, it's the balance between growth and profitability, so I am constantly trading off those core metrics, which isn't easy for a company in a fast-growing market," Johnson told HR Daily Wire. "We’ve had an amazing reception in the market as HR teams are hungry for a new employee communications solution, so I’ve got to determine the right amount to invest in this huge opportunity."
The company has prime locations in Redwood City and San Francisco, but found that such expensive areas were taking a toll on employees.
"This was one of the reasons we opened up an office in Portland, drawing on the rich talent base and leveraging the affordability factor in that region," Johnson said.
GuideSpark also has offices are in New York and Boston, making them well-distributed, from East Coast to West Coast. Johnson said that though the Affordable Care Act is affecting customers, it also gives GuideSpark a greater ability to help them. Overall, the biggest challenge for the company itself was the immigration/travel ban, which made bringing in talent from other countries harder on immigrant employees and the HR department.
As CFO, Johnson is constantly looking forward to what the rest of the year holds. For 2017, that happens to be the newest solution from GuideSpark: Communicate Cloud.
"We believe this is a game-changer for employee communications, as it combines content and technology in a marketing style campaign approach as well as incorporating best practices and rich analytics," Johnson said, adding that it has already been welcomed by customers and signals a successful year for the company, as they continue to onboard both new customers and increase the services to current ones.
Johnson attended Ross School at University of Michigan, where he earned his MBA, having previously attended the University of California, Berkeley for his undergrad. He has worked for Workday, DemandTec and was also a Partner with In-Q-Tel.
Over his career, Johnson has been inspired by a number of business leaders, including Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg, but the greatest source of inspiration is from someone who Johnson called an "unlikely source."
"Ralph Nader – who said 'the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.'" Johnson said. "I try to always keep this notion in the back of my mind as I aim to empower and motivate my team at Guidespark."