Focusing on Our People and Our Culture
2021 was a really incredible year for us - Paystone acquired NiceJob bringing 30+ new members into our team, we received almost $100M in investment funding to set our sights on scaling, AND we just got recognized for not one, but TWO awesome culture certifications through Great Place to Work and the Canadian Workplace Culture Index!
While we are no stranger to being certified under Great Place to Work (we have been many of the last several years), we have done some really incredible things this year to ensure our people are leading the path for our incredible culture in our new digital world.
Perhaps like many of you, when the pandemic began, we genuinely believed that it would be over as quickly as it started. We actually held off on finding ways to convert our in-person connections to digital ones because we had the belief system that we truly didn’t need to, and that we would be back in-person in no time (you can laugh or cry with me here).
Well, after several months of focusing on how to support our amazing clients during their revenue downturns (which also impacted our own), we finally realized that our amazing, family-oriented culture wasn’t going to overcome all odds. We needed to inject some serious love back into our people and our efforts to get us back on track in our new remote world.
So what happened over the last year to get us to this incredible point?
Well, for one, we prioritized infusing our in-person culture into our remote world. We hosted some really exciting events virtually: movie nights, a New York magic show, and random coffee chats, just to name a few. Many of these were open to our team’s family and friends so they could share in on our fun.
We also mirrored these events with slack channel discussions and connections to help promote interaction and engagement with each other, more often. Seeing our slack channel explode during our magician event added so much excitement to the night and actually made it feel like you were there watching it with all your friends. And the screen grabs? Meme worthy.
But we didn’t stop there, we started creating opportunities for different people across the organization to ‘cross paths’ through new hire introductions and current employee spotlights. This gave our people opportunities to learn about each other, share their stories, interests, pets, and family. We even squeezed in a few in-person beach events to remind us that the incredible humans behind our screens were also incredible IRL.
We introduced fire-side chats as a forum for everyone to ask questions of leadership or team members in an open setting about different topics, products, road maps, you name it. We peppered in consistent company wide ‘alignment sessions’ including bi-weekly lunch and learns and town halls. The purpose for all of these was to create additional connection points with all of our team members, and to strengthen our alignment and collaboration through shared knowledge and understanding. It worked.
We officially launched our people-first strategy that offered autonomy to our teams to not only work the way they wanted, but also paved the way for our People Experience strategy: that all decisions we make, we lead with the thought of what would be the right thing to do for our people.
Oftentimes, we didn’t just guess, we actually asked (not just through surveys either, but yes, we did a lot of those too!). We would literally say to our folks, “hey, you did an incredible job on this super critical project, we want to recognize you. What would be a meaningful way for you to be recognized, and let us do that thing for you”. We weren’t just doing all these amazing things for people, we were getting their feedback on what they wanted and delivered.
But we certainly aren’t done, we haven’t figured it all out. We have so much more work to do, but bit by bit as we connect and collaborate with all our incredible people across our organization, we will iterate and evolve everything we do, to ensure our people love their experience with Paystone. Until we have all the answers, we’ll continue to invest in our people and our culture, and celebrate all our wins that we achieve together.