Companies work to strive to be a great place to work for their employees. This could be by offering mental health days, remote work, anything you could think of. For Ross Freedman and his Chicago-based company, Rightpoint, he went from a small start-up to having over 700 in the course of 13 years. Regardless of how many people work there, though, he continuously works to help his employees feel like they are still working for a small company, while still balancing the amount of success that his company brings in.
The Beginnings of Rightpoint
Rightpoint is, in its own words, a global experience company that creates digital experiences that simply work better. Freedman founded the company in 2007 with fellow co-founder Brad Schneider. It focuses on providing digital transformations driven by insight, strategy, technology and design to evolve the way their clients do business. With these transformations, Rightpoint also helps its clients with any problem areas in customer and employee experience, commerce and digital product..
Back at the start, the company had 15 employees, but grew to right under 30 by 2009. Within that time, Rightpoint gained its first client, a medical devices and healthcare company. At that time, the company needed assistance with creating a digital portal to allow brand teams to collaborate with each other and share that information globally. When Rightpoint presented a small yet practical strategy to achieve that goal, the client was sold. Freedman said that they over-delivered, but they took a chance on them, calling it Rightpoint’s “big break.”
Freedman and his Rightpoint team then started helping the company in several of its departments. It also began receiving requests from other Fortune 500 companies to help them out, with the total number of companies that they’ve helped now sitting at over 250.
What Does Rightpoint Do?
When you head to Rightpoint’s website, you’re immediately greeted with a video showcasing the companies that the team has helped over the years. You have Cadillac, Hulu, Cost Plus World Market, Walgreens, Airbnb, and many more names that we’re all familiar with; each of these companies went to Rightpoint and received help in creating a better user experience for their business.
A good example of what the Rightpoint team does can be seen with its partnership with accounting firm Grant Thornton. The two companies first worked together to build the firm’s current foundational knowledge management strategy. However, Grant Thornton sought out help after struggling with employee collaboration and wanted an easier way for its team to collaborate and access shared data.
The two partnered up once again to create Canvas, a fully digital and global workspace. Since its creation, the team at Grant Thornton said that they use Canvas as its primary channel to communicate, collaborate and work within the firm; additionally, it allows employees to contact each other without using a VPN. It also now holds over 11,000 Grant Thornton content pages, with plans from Rightpoint to continue expanding and improving the product.
It’s no secret that Rightpoint has achieved a great number of successes over the last 13 years. Freedman said that he credits the company’s early achievements to focusing on both user experience and a project’s technical execution. He also credits his team of “intrapreneurs,” a group of people that he described as “unafraid to experiment or create.”
In 2015, Rightpoint received a $55 million investment from Stella Point Capital, a private equity firm. This helped fuel more opportunities for the company, such as acquiring its own competition like Agency Oasis, a customer experience agency out of Boston. As of 2019, Rightpoint has acquired and integrated four companies: Agency Oasis, local Salesforce shop Bowfin, Raizlabs, a mobile app development firm and Something Digital, an ecommerce agency.
That same year, Rightpoint was bought by Genpact, a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation. The acquisition allowed Rightpoint to continue operations as usual, but brought the companies together to create new opportunities for global clients. Freedman said that Rightpoint and Genpact complete each other, and wants to highlight the best of both companies.
Keeping the Start-Up Mentality
Freedman’s role at Rightpoint is not only founder and CEO, but also CPO—Chief Passion Officer. His official biography on Rightpoint’s website describes his passion for marrying creativity and technology to solve business problems and transform brands as “utterly contagious.” Apart from his work ethic, though, he still works to make sure that his employees are seen and heard, even while 700 people are working from 12 offices worldwide.
Rightpoint highly focuses on its employees, as Freedman wants it to feel like everyone is still working at the same start-up company that came to life in 2007. He mentioned that they strive to listen to every employee’s ideas to help steer away from demotivating them, and has also made it a point to meet with every new hire three to four months after their start date and speaks at every orientation.
From the beginning, Freedman said he and Schneider knew that if they wanted to build a company with a great culture, they needed to hire someone to look at everything through a people lens; with that, they hired who they call “a director of people potential” in 2009. From there, several new initiatives came into play, such as The Compassion Crew, the company’s community outreach group. In addition, they created a Culture Club that lined up with Rightpoint’s values of creating from within.
With Rightpoint’s success over the last few years and the kind of domain it has established, Freedman has been able to create a company with equal amounts of good work ethic and an enjoyable, adaptable workplace environment for everyone involved.