Online MBA vs Traditional; Pros, Cons, Employer Outlook

An MBA will change your career—and your life—for the better. 

You can leverage it to achieve promotions, a wealth of new job opportunities, a paradigm-shifting career change, or an increase in salary. For others, an MBA is a springboard for their entrepreneurial efforts.

But choosing the right one is key.

There are a lot of options. Sifting through them is overwhelming. Especially as exciting new options emerge.

The most exciting new option is a fully Online MBA. 

While an online MBA often sounds attractive to students in our increasingly flexible, digital-first, and remote-friendly workplace, many business professionals wonder if it’s a smart choice. 

Will potential employers take my online degree seriously?

Do traditional MBA’s actually offer more networking opportunities?

We’ll clear up some common myths and misconceptions in this article. 

To help you decide between a brick-and-mortar business school and an online MBA, we’ll go through some of the main differences between the two. From cost comparisons and admissions requirements to employers’ opinions of each one. 

We will also introduce you to Quantic’s innovative free online MBA program and online Executive MBA program. More specifically, how they overcome any concerns you may currently have.

Online MBA vs Traditional (On Campus) MBA – What’s the difference?

When it comes to an MBA program, many potential graduate business students think of a traditional, on-campus MBA at a brick-and-mortar school. There are over 1,000 MBA programs in the United States. Some are full-time, while others are part-time, often offering classes on nights and weekends.

But, just like the world of business itself, MBA programs are changing rapidly. There are now over 330 online MBAs offered in the U.S. Many of these programs are affiliated with long-standing, top-tier business schools, while others are completely digital degrees that approach online learning in a variety of ways — some more effective than others. 

There is a clear trend towards online learning. Applications for campus based MBA’s over the last two years fell. While demand is growing for online programs. 

No one knows if this trend will continue. But we do know that we live in an unstable world. One that has already become more digitized after CoVid-19. There are now more remote workers than ever before. MBA’s may continue to follow suit.

Despite their differences there is one big similarity.

All accredited programs are rigorous and intellectually demanding. Period.

Both tend to have similar educational requirements and similar coursework. 

Quantic’s free online MBA program, for example, includes courses in accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, supply chain and operations, data analysis and decision-making, strategy and innovation, economics, and entrepreneurship. 

Meanwhile, Quantic’s online executive MBA (EMBA) program adds additional coursework in operations management, corporate strategy and other areas of study that help working, mid-career professionals level up their leadership skills. These curriculum paths are comparable to those you’ll see at any top-tier business program, whether online or on-campus. 

Ok – now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into some pros and cons…

Online MBA Pros and Cons

As a business professional, you already know the best way to make a tough decision is through a cost-benefit analysis. So let’s examine the pros and cons of getting an online MBA vs. those of an on-campus master’s in business administration degree. 

Online MBA Pros

The biggest reason that many students choose an online MBA is flexibility. Unlike traditional MBA programs, whether full- or part-time, most online graduate business degrees allow you to work on your own time, from anywhere. While some classes may be synchronous, most online MBAs are incredibly flexible. 

This learning environment is ideal for working professionals who don’t want to quit their already lucrative jobs or satisfying careers to bolster their education. It’s also perfect for students with other family responsibilities and obligations, such as spouses and kids.

If you’re an especially ambitious, self-motivated person, you’ll also appreciate the efficiency of an online MBA program. 

Most traditional full-time MBA programs take around two years to complete, while part-time MBA programs take around four years. By contrast, online MBA programs tend to be shorter, ranging from a year to 18 months in many cases. Quantic’s MBA is just 10 months and the EMBA takes 12 months to complete. 

Online MBA programs also tend to be more technology-driven, which in turn can help you develop your own technical acumen and understanding of the digital marketplace. 

For example, Quantic’s interactive software offers interactive feedback every eight seconds and allows you to work at your own pace in a mobile-first online environment. This fluid-yet-structured approach to learning customizes your educational experience as you go along. 

Online MBA Disadvantages

One disadvantage of an online MBA program is a lack of in-person community and connection. Students often benefit from in-person conversations with peers and instructors, whether in terms of academic collaboration or socializing. 

Another common objection to an online MBA is a smaller pool of networking contacts. Most brick-and-mortar graduate business programs offer happy hour networking events, Q&As, and career fairs throughout the year. Many potential online business students worry they might miss out on these crucial opportunities to launch their careers and expand their professional circles.

Quantic’s online MBA addresses this common problem proactively in three ways.

  1. Online network and collaboration 

Students connect with peers around the world via our interactive network. Ambitious, driven people from 80 countries and counting…

You and your cohorts will move along your curriculum sequence together, actively collaborating on group projects, case studies, and assignments as you go.

  1. Offline Events

“Extracurriculars” and social events are also available in Quantic’s MBA. Virtual and in-person meetups, both online and around the world, will allow you to rub shoulders with your classmates, instructors, and established alumni students. 

The Executive MBA also offers multiple weekend-long conferences held in cities around the world. These conferences provide opportunities for students to meet face-to-face with peers during workshops, case studies, and meetings with local business leaders. Recent conferences were held in Washington, DC, Dublin, and Singapore. 

Here’s what one looks like…

  1. Career Network

You get access to a built-in Career Network. Top-tier employers use it to recruit our students and alumni. It serves as a career hub for graduates. MBA grads’ profiles stay active, so employers can browse alumni profiles whether they’re already employed or not. 

Here are a few of the companies our grads work at…

Traditional On-Campus MBA Pros

Traditional on-campus MBA programs often appeal to students who need or want a little more structure and hands-on guidance. Students just out of an undergraduate business program, for example, might prefer the additional in-person attention offered by a brick-and-mortar school, as well as the familiar daily routine of face-to-face classes. 

Brick-and-mortar business schools also have the opportunity to offer more bells and whistles when it comes to activities, facilities, and clubs. If you love the idea of getting together with your cohorts every week for dinner, for example, or catching up with your colleagues at the on-campus gym, the community of an on-campus environment might be more your style when selecting an MBA program. 

Traditional On-Campus MBA Disadvantages

Of course, the most significant disadvantage of on-campus MBA programs is the lack of flexibility. 

If you have a family at home, existing business obligations, or a burgeoning career, it can be difficult to justify starting a full-time MBA program. Even part-time MBA programs can be draining, as you’ll have to work your schedule around theirs (not the other way around) and possibly take on a frustrating commute.

On-campus MBA programs often also lack the cultural and demographic diversity of online programs. On-campus MBA students tend to be younger on average, for example, and there aren’t as many international students at any given on-campus program. 

Working alongside and learning from diverse colleagues can help you build your cultural competency, leadership, and collaboration skills. It can also position you to take on an increasingly global marketplace with more confidence and finesse.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA Comparison (table)

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of how an on-campus MBA program differs from an online MBA with a point-by-point comparison of typical student demographics, average tuition cost, average salary growth after graduation, and more. 

Online
MBA
Other Top Programs

Traditional
MBA
Other Top Programs
Quantic 
Programs
Sources
Avg Age on Entry332730 US NEWS
Avg Years Work Experience844 US NEWS
Avg Cost$23,918 average cost at a regionally accredited university
— $36,166 average cost at AACSB online business schools
— $11,972 average cost at nationally accredited online business schools
vary between programs, but roughly the same as onlineMBA: Free
EMBA: $9,600
GETEDUCATED.COM
Princeton
Review
Avg Time to Complete1-2 years1-3 years1 yearPRINCETON REVIEW
Avg Salary Growth22%23%US NEWS
% Requiring GMAT/GRE Score54.6%94%US NEWS

Cost

Online and traditional MBA programs vary widely, but usually they are broadly comparable. A nationally accredited online business school usually costs around $11,972 per year, while AACSB online business schools cost around $36,166 in annual tuition. 

Due to Quantic’s “flipped” tuition model, free online MBA students don’t pay to be recruited by potential employers. Instead, employers pay to recruit them. Meanwhile, Quantic’s executive MBA cost comes in at just $9,600, with employee reimbursement and scholarship options available. 

Completion Time

Traditional MBA programs, as we described earlier, take around two years to complete. Accelerated programs may take 18 months or even a year, while some programs take up to three years. Part-time programs may take four or more years to complete.

Many online programs take slightly less time to complete than on-campus programs, making them a more efficient choice in many cases if you want to get the ball rolling on your business career faster. Quantic’s free online MBA and EMBA programs take 10 and 12 months to complete, respectively. 

Average Salary Growth 

Average salary growth for both traditional and online MBA students varies widely. Still, it’s clear that the available data suggests that online MBA students tend to see a substantial return on their investment. 

Online MBA students report an average of 22% salary increase after graduation (for Quantic it’s 23%).

These salary bumps usually come through a promotion or raise at an existing company, a lateral move to a higher-paying job at the same level, or by taking on a higher position in a new industry. 

Admissions Requirements

One of the main concerns some employers might have about students with an online MBA is that online MBA programs tend to be less selective than traditional ones. 

You might wonder, for example, “Do I need a GMAT for my MBA?” The answer varies by program. Only 54.6% of online graduate business programs require GMAT/GRE scores from applicants. Meanwhile, a whopping 94% of conventional MBA programs require GMAT/GRE scores from their prospective students. 

The requirements for test scores and undergraduate GPAs are also sometimes a little more lax when it comes to online business schools. This contrast can worry some employers, who might think that the lack of selectivity of a school suggests less dedication and rigor in an applicant. 

But Quantic’s free online MBA and its Executive MBA are highly selective, admitting only a small percentage of applicants each year. And around 80% of Quantic’s free online MBA students graduated from top-30 undergraduate institutions (including Harvard, Duke, Stanford, UPenn, to name a few ..).  

In turn, the program’s selectivity translates into higher completion rates, more engaged (and more impressive) colleagues and network contacts, and higher perceived value by employers. 

What do Employers Think of an Online MBA?

Many prospective MBA students think an online MBA sounds like the ideal fit for them in terms of their schedule and learning style. But some worry that employers won’t take an online MBA program seriously. 

Luckily, the available data doesn’t suggest that to be the case. In fact, some employers consider an online MBA to be an asset in that it showcases a student’s independent, autonomous approach to learning and their mastery of technology. 

Kathryn Lee, human resources director for North America at Fiat Chrysler, told Seb Murray at the Financial Times in 2018 that most employers now considered online MBA students to be just as competitive as traditional students. 

“Online MBA students are equally as competitive as those attending classes on campus” 

Lee added that online students’ drive to succeed and excellent time management skills illustrated their ambitious nature and commitment. “They display qualities that are important in people we hire — a strong work ethic, project management and critical thinking skills,” she said of online MBA grads in the same interview. 

According to Jordan Friedman at U.S. News and World Report, many employers think far more about an online business school’s coursework, reputation, and opportunities for student-faculty interaction than about the format in which classes are delivered. That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure the MBA program you choose has ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and interactive learning.

Many employers who have recruited MBA grads through Quantic’s Career Network see an online MBA from a reputable school as proof an applicant is creative, adaptive, and flexible. 

Greg Buechler, a talent acquisition specialist, shared his thoughts about the value of Quantic’s MBA for employers.

“Quantic has allowed us to hire executive talent from around the world in the shortest time I have ever experienced in my 30 years of recruiting,” he said. “I am almost unwilling to share this gem of a tool!” 

Overall, the higher salaries enjoyed by online MBA grads and the growing demand for online business schools indicates that there’s no shortage of employers who view online business degrees favorably. According to Jonathan Moules at the Financial Times, online business school growth is far outpacing that of traditional MBA programs. As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, higher education in business administration is following suit. 

Summary – Which Degree for Your Career Growth?

Both traditional and online MBA programs can expand your career opportunities substantially. In addition to providing you with the critical thinking skills and key knowledge you’ll need to move up in your existing business career or launch a new one, an MBA program can bolster your confidence as a leader and widen your network of contacts. 

Traditional MBA programs are sometimes preferable for students who require more structure and guidance. Some traditional graduate business programs offer more on-campus facilities and activities. However, they are not as flexible as most online MBA programs, and they tend to attract younger students with less work experience on average.

Meanwhile, online MBA programs like the ones offered at Quantic are best for self-motivated, independent thinkers who work well at their own pace. They can also benefit students who want to complete a graduate business degree faster, who have family or work obligations they can’t interrupt, or who thrive in a flexible, technology-driven learning environment. 
Interested in learning more about how Quantic’s online MBA program can be a game-changer in your business career? Read on to learn how Quantic’s disruptive approach to learning and global scope helped one student become a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient.

An App A Day Keeps Boredom at Bay

The coronavirus has a lot of us sitting around the house these days, scrolling through our phones or tablets. Skimming Instagram and Twitter have become common ways to pass the time, and while you may not think more screen time is the answer to the quarantine blues, some apps are proving to have benefits for the mind, body, and improving daily life. Quantic students have developed apps that help make dinner possible, ease anxiety, and get you back on track with your fitness goals during this crisis. 

Kyoo

In direct response to the global COVID-19 crisis, Quantic MBA Alum, Albert Brown, and his team launched Kyoo Curbside. Kyoo has helped hundreds of businesses rapidly set up online ordering with no-contact, curbside pickup orders. Because of its popularity, it was fast-tracked by Square to become an official ordering partner and it is now the only free product listed. Merchants can set up their store in a snap. Items import automatically from their Square menu and they can accept orders right away. Customers can place orders on mobile, web, kiosk, or simply by text message. They receive instant text message updates to keep them moving through the queue and provide clear instructions to get their order fulfilled. 

Hero Trainer

Staying home? Stay active! Quantic MBA Alum, Yash Jain, developed Hero Trainer to help us reach our fitness goals. The mobile app allows users to earn rewards in their favorite video games for exercising. A little walk around the house, or on the treadmill can earn people premium paid reward codes. The app tracks your steps on a walk or run. You earn points for each step and exchange those for reward codes to your favorite games.

Mooditude

We could all use a little mood boost to help cope with quarantine. EMBA Learner, Kamran Qamar, developed a clinically designed self-help app for depression and anxiety. Mooditude helps you identify and change your thinking using transformative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For lasting cure, you can build mood-lifting habits using goals and routines. When you feel stuck, go deep and find solutions to your specific problem within the dozens of psychiatrist developed programs. 

It’s exciting and uplifting to see our students take action and find ways to stay productive, engaged, and mindful while life — in some respects — stands still. Here’s to those who #ChangeTheCourse. 

Quantic MBA Student James Lu Morrissey on Higher Education and Making Forbes 30 Under 30 List

We sat down with 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient–and Quantic School of Business and Technology MBA student–James Lu Morrissey to discuss co-founding Mentor Collective, learning with Quantic, and disrupting the world of higher education.

Quantic learners tend to reflect the platform itself: innovative, disruptive, and equipped with a global scope. Those are just a few of the qualities that have led to three Quantic learners being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists in the past two years.

James Lu Morrissey (MBA – August 2018) is a perfect example of this. Lu Morrissey’s personal experiences with international education inspired him to found his company Mentor Collective, an international online mentoring community. Lu Morrissey was born in the United States, but he attended elementary school for a couple years in Taiwan. Moving to a new school can be difficult for any child; moving to a new school in a new country is even more challenging.

Adjusting in school was made easier, however, by joining the school’s sports teams. There, he was mentored by his older teammates, who eased his transition and helped him find his place. At a young age, he began to understand that mentorship was critical to adjusting to and excelling in a new environment.

He also recognized the need for peer mentorship as an undergraduate student at Carleton College. He had several friends from international and diverse backgrounds, and he noticed that many of them had difficulty adjusting to college. There wasn’t always a clear structure like a track team with teammates that could mentor them.

“When adjusting to college, all students are a stranger in a strange land,” Lu Morrissey reflected. “You might be coming from Minnesota to go to NYU. That’s a very foreign experience.”

A lack of personalized support for college students is one of the factors contributing to a college completion crisis, particularly at public universities. According to Forbes, less than 60 percent of students graduate from public institutions in six years or less. Rising tuition and student loan debt coupled with the increasing necessity of a college degree for career advancement, often puts students who do not graduate at a serious disadvantage.

To solve this problem, Lu Morrissey and colleague Jackson Boyer co-founded Mentor Collective. Mentor Collective uses scaleable and transformative mentoring, through a format supported by technology and designed for large-scale application. Mentor Collective achieves this by matching students to mentors who have a similar background.

To that end, Mentor Collective has developed partnerships with more than 50 universities, including Penn State, Johns Hopkins, and Washington University in St. Louis. Through these partnerships, they’ve mentored over 35,000 students, resulting in an up to 9% increase in retention rates and 5x decreased likelihood of academic probation.

Working towards these results has certainly kept Lu Morrissey busy, but he has still found time to pursue a Quantic MBA. While residential MBA programs have a high opportunity cost, Quantic made it possible for Lu Morrissey to “continue running my company day-to-day, while having a flexible option to learn at my own pace.”

Furthermore, Lu Morrissey has found Quantic’s courses are directly applicable to running Mentor Collective. “I can complete a lesson, take what I’ve learned, and use it the very next day at Mentor Collective.”

Lu Morrissey also appreciates the flexibility and global perspective that Quantic offers. He tries to work overseas for two to three weeks every winter, and, with Quantic’s online platform, he doesn’t have to disrupt his learning schedule to travel. “I can do Quantic while traveling in Shanghai and not have any problems with time differences.”

Lu Morrissey also sees both Quantic and Mentor Collective as helping students receive the full value of higher education. Universities, with “massive endowments and very strong brands,” may not feel the urgency or need to innovate “in the same way as many other industries,” Lu Morrissey noted. “And that can come at a big cost to students. If a school is not making an impact on students’ lives, then it’s not fulfilling its promise.”

Like Quantic, Mentor Collective’s team is passionate about the students they reach. Lu Morrissey attributes Mentor Collective’s success rates in large part to his 24 Boston-based employees. Noting that his team is interested in social impact, he emphasized that “something unique happens when you collect a lot of very mission-driven, hungry learners and put them all in the same room.”

Sexual harassment in the workplace: A story of silence

Ellen shares her story and hopes it gives you a voice to speak up and incentive to bring in essential sexual harassment training to your working environment.

 

The following is a guest post by Ellen M. Zavian, a sports attorney and professor at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ellen teaches courses in Sports Law, Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Sports Marketing and has written columns for Conde Nast, Time, USAToday and NFL Insider.

***

There are many factors that can trigger sexual harassment in the workplace that are beyond a company’s control. Nevertheless, it is imperative for companies to create and ensure a safe working environment. Many of those seemingly harmless comments or inappropriate behaviors could be avoided, and victims could be empowered with the right knowledge on how and when to take action.

As the first woman to represent NFL players as an attorney, I received many sexual comments over my career, but I can tell you very little about what I’ve experienced because to name names would not do anyone good, especially me. As an independent contractor, I did not have the luxury of being protected by the many employment laws that protect men and women from such conduct.

When I was working at a law firm, one of the partners clearly crossed the line. Instead of filing, I left the firm.  Another time, when interviewed for a team position, the head coach told me, “It would be too distracting to have you around the office.” I withdrew my name from the pool of candidates. Eluding these situations was probably not the best strategy.

As I matured, my skin got thicker, and my ability to confront comments quickly or diminish them with humor became sharper.  It is this sense of confidence and humor that got me through many other questionable times. For example when i was representing the women softball players and the attorney for the American Softball Association was making fun of the women because they were complaining about having to wear male structured catcher equipment (which left little room for their breasts), I gave him an athletic cup (youth size) and told him to wear it for a day. Needless to say, we won that point and got the women proper fitting equipment (which included a helmet with a hole for their ponytail!).

It is for this reason, I wanted to share my story of silence with you… I hope this gives you a voice to speak up and incentive to bring in essential sexual harassment training to your working environment today. This question remains: how do we communicate this information effectively, achieving a greater goal than that of merely legal compliance? We must first look for tools and mechanisms to effectively transmit information to employees and then optimize understanding and awareness so that everyone in the workplace can feel confident and empowered to speak up and take action in circumstances like mine.

To see corporate training solutions for your company, visit https://smart.ly/corporate-training.

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business adopts Smartly

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business adopts Smartly to teach all incoming MBA students business fundamentals.

Today, we’re proud to announce that Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business adopts Smartly, a new mobile learning platform, to teach all incoming MBA students fundamentals of Accounting, Statistics, Economics and Finance

Washington, D.C.: Pedago, a new innovative mobile learning solutions provider to educational institutions, companies and individuals, announced today that its flagship platform Smartly has been adopted by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business to teach key subjects, including Accounting, Statistics, Economics and Finance, to the incoming MBA Class of 2018 before students even arrive on the Georgetown campus.

McDonough selected Smartly after extensive evaluation by faculty and existing students. McDonough recruits outstanding students from around the world, regardless of whether they have studied business as undergraduates. Selected preparation courses are designed to allow McDonough to provide the proper foundation for all of students so they hit the ground running when they begin their opening term with Structure of Global Industries and Financial Reporting Fundamentals courses.

“Smartly is a next-generation approach to online and mobile learning,” Prashant Malaviya, Senior Associate Dean, MBA Programs at McDonough, said, “and we are delighted to be able to offer our foundational courses to incoming students in this format.”

Students will be able to access Smartly’s MBA Preparation Program through a McDonough-branded web-portal and mobile app that provide access to a curated list of six courses that prime students in key areas needed to succeed in the internationally recognized MBA program. Faculty receive access to an extensive reporting tool that allows them to track student progress and better identify patterns associated with the class as a whole.

“We’re excited to have this new relationship with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. The business school is known for its excellent faculty and smart students, and it’s a validation for Smartly,” said Pedago co-founder Tom Adams. “And as we’re also based in D.C., we’re hoping this evolves into a broad partnership.”

About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the premier destination for global business education, provides a transformational education through classroom and experiential learning, preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in the service to business and society. Through numerous centers, initiatives, and partnerships, Georgetown McDonough seeks to create a meaningful impact on business practice through both research and teaching. All academic programs prepare students to be “global ready” by providing a global perspective, woven through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in a way that is unique to Washington, D.C. – the nexus of world business and policy – and to Georgetown University’s connections to global partner organizations and a worldwide alumni network. Founded in 1957, Georgetown McDonough is home to some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 1,200 participants in executive degree or custom programs. Learn more at http://msb.georgetown.edu. Follow McDonough on Twitter: @msbgu.

About Pedago LLC and its platform Smartly
Pedago revolutionizes online education with interactive courses and lessons that make learning effective and fast. Co-founded by Tom Adams, Alexie Harper, and Ori Ratner in 2013, Pedago is on a mission to reinvent online and mobile learning. Inspired by a desire to bring Active Learning practices to an educational technology sector dominated by passive video lectures, Pedago makes learning dramatically faster and more effective with highly interactive lessons available on any device. Pedago is based in Washington, D.C. Pedago’s first platform is Smartly, a learning platform that is transforming business education. Developed in partnership with experts from leading business schools, Smartly offers a broad range of carefully-crafted business courses, designed to make learning fast, convenient, and effective.

*Image courtesy of Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Why you should explicitly state your company values

Did you know that 80% of Fortune 100 companies tout their values publicly?

Did you know that 80% of Fortune 100 companies tout their values publicly?

When I say “company values,” you might picture hokey corporate team-building exercises. But for many successful companies, values—or professed, enduring beliefs—go beyond words on a T-shirt or mug. They serve as a behavioral compass that guide the entire company from day to day. 

As Skylar and I, the content developers behind the Developing a Corporate Philosophy course, were researching this topic, we asked a values-driven company for its insights: meet Buffer, a social media management company that not only boasts a compelling values statement, but strives to uphold it. Here’s Courtney Seiter, a Content Crafter at Buffer, on the company’s values:

Have Buffer’s values contributed to its success? If so, how?

I believe Buffer’s values have contributed greatly to our success. Our values guide the way we communicate, the way we honor customers, the way we build our product and culture. We’re really lucky that our founders realized at the beginning, when Buffer was fewer than ten people, that values were a pivotal element of success and created them early on.

What motivated Buffer to feature its values on its website? 

Our values are the backbone of who we are as a company, so it feels important for us to be really open about them and share them widely. They’re a North Star for all of us in every action we take, and we’re always looking for more ways we can keep them top of mind. They’re also a key element of how we hire, so we hope making them prominent helps potential candidates see themselves at Buffer and choose to join us!

Your website states that Buffer’s founders were influenced by Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Did Joel and Leo consult any other materials when compiling this list of values?

I know that Zappos’ values and philosophy were a big influence as well.

What was the process behind creating the values statement?

This post on the “untold story of Buffer’s values” goes through the process in some detail; I think it might be the best resource [on “how Buffer’s values formed and evolved” through team surveys and reading Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness].

Does Buffer distribute its values statement to employees? How does the company ensure that its values are upheld?

Yes, teammates have our values in a variety of formats! Many of us have stickers on our laptops with them (they look like this) and some of us use this Chrome extension made by a teammate that replaces Google’s new tab page with one of our values. We each work on upholding the values in many ways, like sharing gratitude in our Slack gratitude room or encouraging a teammates’ self-improvement progress before starting a meeting. We’ve written a bit about how we act on our values here, [such as Buffer’s decision to make its salaries and metrics public to uphold its value of transparency].

How often do people talk about the values statement at work?

“Daily” doesn’t even come close to expressing it. Maybe hourly? 🙂 They’re a constant source of conversation, sharing and aspiration.

How often does Buffer revisit and revise its values statement?

Quite often! We have had six revisions thus far, and we’ve tried to uphold our value of transparency by sharing each iteration (you can find them all on Slideshare). Often we’ll write in-depth blog posts about what we changed and why. We’re undergoing another values revision right now and will of course share it all!

Thanks again to Buffer for sharing their story with us! This is a fantastic example of how a strong public values statement can enhance a company’s culture and operations.

For more information on creating values statements, as well as crafting mission and vision statements, check out Smartly’s Developing a Corporate Philosophy course.