Pottery class
Employee Satisfaction

Nasdaq further shapes industry-leading work in employee engagement

Employee bonding gets boost with Airbnb team-building experience

Challenge

In 1971, Nasdaq revolutionized electronic trading. And in 2018, they’re still transforming the way financial information gets shared and important decisions get made. Stemming from their nearly 50-year history in tech innovation, something else in their DNA is quietly taking shape—a hyper focus on company culture and how they can help other companies improve it.

Meet Nasdaq’s alternative data squad. With a passion and expertise in knowing how to use information, the squad gives clients access to new types of data so their businesses can compete more effectively, from investment strategies to reading the numbers.

Leaning on their partner-based approach to collaboration, Nasdaq set out to secure some cohesiveness for their new squad with a little team bonding of their own. By using Airbnb for Work, Nasdaq was able to find locally-led activities that brought their team together and cultivated meaningful connections. Nasdaq allied the squad with a brand who has that same hyper focus on bringing communities and cultures together.

Solution

Vulnerability and getting out of comfort zones have traditionally taken credit for being at the heart of any notable progress in forming meaningful relationships with colleagues. So for their initial team-building offsite, Nasdaq knew that getting the team to be more open in front of one another could help deepen their relationships and spur better collaboration.

In what can be described as creating something from nothing, the squad chose a pottery-making class to learn how to center, open, and shape an ideal into a reality—all from a lump of wet clay. In a Brooklyn-based studio, the squad learned the fundamentals of throwing pottery, some with wobbly success. Throughout the experience, the squad members instinctively encouraged one another, helping those who were new to the craft discover and trust in their own innate skills.

Team building is a big focus for Nasdaq. It’s important for team members to be comfortable and work well together. Our Airbnb for Work pottery-making experience gave our cross-functional squad a shared context and opportunity to be vulnerable together outside of work, strengthening bonds and driving creativity.

Bill Dague, Head of Alternative Data, Nasdaq

Results

Watching a team member struggle at the wheel to smooth out a tough situation, then learning to jump in to support them, ultimately helped bring Nasdaq’s team closer together. The sponsored Airbnb for Work experience encouraged the team to rely on one another’s expertise to drive creativity and innovation, whether they were crafting a lopsided vase or tasked with refining the way a FinTech startup uses data. The day’s display of openness, vulnerability, failure, and success triggered free-flowing dialogue about the future of the squad and their business.

“The Airbnb for Work experience helped us bring a cross-functional squad together and foster the qualities that help squad members better coach the companies who rely on them, our customers,” says Bill Dague, Head of Alternative Data at Nasdaq. “The experience encouraged a collaborative approach, which helped the squad bond in a way that continued after the offsite and to this day.”

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