A fun company culture with a proper work-life balance

Judith Palau, People Director at Mad Collective

Thank you for this interview, Judith! What does your brand and your claim “join the madness” mean?

Mad Collective is a multiproduct company with over 20 years of experience in digital product development, marketing, and e-commerce. We have a startup mindset, techie roots, and a fresh and challenging hybrid work environment. Our days are dynamic, our standards are high, and we’re fully committed to helping people succeed. Our multicultural team represents over 30 nationalities and this diversity has created a thriving social culture.

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We say you have to be a little mad to love working here. Mad in the sense of passion for your work. Mad adaptable to change, new ideas and projects. Mad about being supportive, inclusive and understanding. Mad for making new connections and new experiences.

This is why we ask people to “join the madness.” It is an open and honest invitation that expresses the core of who we are: mad, but in a good way!

What insights have you gained in improving the well-being and experience of your employees?

The primary lesson I have learned is that well-being does not mean the same thing to every individual. When I understood this, an instinctual commitment to hearing what each person needs came about, and with my team we began adapting our programs and offerings to meet those individual needs. This principle of listening, adapting and customizing became a pillar of our overall program and is at the core of what the People Team does at Mad Collective

We engage with our people at various levels (one-on-one, team, department) to better understand where we can help improve their experience.

“For instance, during the pandemic, when work dynamics changed, we were able to come together with ifeel to offer programs and services to cover the diverse needs of our large workforce.”

Now that the intensity of the pandemic has waned as of late, we understand peoples’ needs may have changed so we are adapting again, through engagement, listening, and ultimately, caring.

As People Director of Mad Collective, what are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in terms of managing the company’s talent?

In such a dynamic company we constantly face and adapt to different situations. To thrive, adaptation has to be part of your DNA. We have faced so many special challenges that it is hard to think of only one that stands above the rest. 

I do find myself thinking back sometimes, to the transition from a small catalog of products to a much more expansive one. This diverse type of growth was a challenge, and continues to be when we add more products and product teams. Today we have various subcultures in the company with their own dynamics, needs, and missions. The various work dynamics between these teams, and our core departments, makes for a challenging operation to manage from a people perspective.  

employee experience

As mentioned above, adaptation is at the core of our People Team, and in this case, adapting our content and approach puts us in sync with teams for more beneficial communication. This extra effort takes time, and adding the unique goal of building one big unified community at Mad Collective, makes a very challenging environment for us. With the values of diversity and inclusion as our guides, we have been able to face the challenge head on, meeting the needs of individuals as well as the bigger community. 

Which 3 pillars are the basis for an adequate strategy focused on the optimal maintenance of the organization’s culture?

If I had to distill things down to 3 significant actions that maintain culture, I would say that these values have resulted in: valuing results, open communication, and investment in wellbeing.

To expand a bit, we are supremely results focused, which maintains our performance driven culture. We are committed to being open and approachable, always ready to hear what people have to say and provide them with what they need. We have been around for a long time, being an early adopter of investing in a fun culture with proper work/life balance. We 100% stand behind this, and have an in-depth strategy specifically promoting this balance, with well-being as an important piece of it.

What has your experience been like with ifeel, and what has motivated you to continue with ifeel?

Even at Mad Collective, where we value a healthy balance of work and personal life, our people still spend a lot of their waking hours working. They commit to the company through their work and therefore we feel a responsibility to their health and well-being. In the past, my team would manage all of this. Now, with ifeel as our partner, we are able to provide a higher level of well-being management while also opening up time for my team to work on other beneficial projects for our employees. 

mental well-being at work

Anyone unaware of, or are new to working with ifeel, can easily imagine what that means, but I’d like to finish by saying there are other, deeper, benefits to this partnership. 

“Our work with ifeel helped many people get through that exceptionally difficult time.”

ifeel is a platform not only for those that may need some help today, but also as a prevention service. By encouraging employees to use the platform regularly, not just in times of crisis or need, future instances of immediate support can be lowered. This was very apparent during the pandemic, when people felt forced to stay home and very isolated. Even today, when people work remotely by choice, they still benefit from the well-being awareness ifeel provides them. 


Lastly, we plan to work with ifeel as part of our Management Development Program. This additional investment in our people, alongside ifeel, will surely elevate the well-being, emotional intelligence, and empathy of our managers which will have an immense effect on our entire workforce. 

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