Deciding to do business together means deciding to extend mutual trust. No amount of due diligence can remove the uncertainty from a new relationship; trusting someone is a leap of faith, and we want to work with people who have the courage to take that leap with us. With trust as a foundation, we extend the presumption of good faith in all interactions, and expect it in return.
People-first is business-first, and there’s a direct line between practicing empathy and building an extraordinary company. We embody this value through active listening, giving space, responding with intention, and pushing through surface conversations to the heart of the matter. When your goal is to understand and care for someone, uncomfortable conversations become opportunities for mutual growth.
We strive to better ourselves not to hoard a bigger piece of the pie, but to pay it forward — and inspire others to do the same. We know that the mentoring process benefits the mentor as much as the mentee. Similarly, our apprenticeships, conference talks, and open-source work help strengthen our community, while giving us a venue for keeping our skills sharp and our minds engaged.
Our team hails from all over, including the Midwest, but Midwest Nice isn’t how we roll. We’re kind and thoughtful, but we strive to tell the truth, even if it might not be easy. There’s a time to be light and airy, and there’s a time to pull someone aside and level with them about something important. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll get, so be direct, be specific, and do it right now.
Our society’s reverence for “hard work” needs to be put to bed once and for all. Work is an essential part of life, but there’s no rule that says it has to be painful. That “first to arrive, last to leave” person should get a therapist or a dog, not a trophy. We aspire higher: show up, put in a good and focused day’s work, get on to something else, then show up the next day rested and ready. If you think a 3 a.m. email is a sign of dedication, you’re probably not a good fit for Tighten, as an employee or a client.
Tighten Slack is bursting with flavor, because we actively recruit people who add spice to our lives. Work is way more fun when you’re surrounded by fabulous weirdos who feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, even (especially) the nerdy parts. We love it when they are willing to teach us about their passions, and we make space for this exchange of ideas on company time.
Being an expert doesn’t mean having all the answers. It means having the experience, understanding, and confidence to ask great questions and apply your knowledge creatively. When an unknown term or acronym pops up in conversation, don’t let it slide because you think asking for clarification might make you look foolish. Ensuring a shared understanding is far more crucial than proving you’re smart. We already know that about you.
Sometimes it’s easier to help someone else than to help yourself. Rather than fighting this perverse tendency, we leverage it by normalizing the instinct to care for and look after our peers. When we notice someone is struggling, we check in with them, even as we respect their privacy and autonomy. Whether you’ve got the flu or you’re having a bad mental health day, the prescription is the same: Take a break, restore yourself, and return to work when you’re feeling more whole.