#Culture

Work at Wednesday

Ali Hafizji
September 9, 2020

Every company has a set of values/pillars, some of them even write these down and are displayed on a wall when you enter. I’ve realized over the years that most of them are quite aspirational and don’t necessarily represent what may be truly practiced.

One of Yes Bank’s pillars is trust and we all know how that ended when the reserve bank stepped in and stopped all movement last month.

The difference between the aspirational values and the practiced values is how much the company’s culture needs to improve.

People that are retained, promoted or fired are a good representation of the values an organization wants. These values are the company culture.

At Wednesday, we strive to create a healthy work culture that inspires people to want to come to work every day. Here is an attempt to elucidate how we do it.

Values at Wednesday

In a recent study,(where, citation) it was found that the difference between aspirational values and real values occur because senior management doesn’t practice them.

Below are a set of values that are promoted at Wednesday and practiced in the entire hierarchy of the organization.

1. Oriented to a common goal but loosely coupled

It’s always been our goal to deliver state of the art digital products to our customers. Whether it is design, engineering or project management, we expect you to go the extra mile.

What framework would best suits the customer’s needs? Feedback on design, etcetera? Small things matter. We expect our teams to take these decisions proficiently, never compromising on our end goal, do what’s right for the customer and the customer’s user.

2. Be Responsible

We’d rather, our colleagues do something because it’s the right thing to do as opposed to us telling them to do it.

Choosing people who take ownership either in terms of mentoring others, learning something new to further a project or putting his/her dirty dishes in the sink, over the ones you’d hear saying “This is not a part of my job”.

When you have a group of people who live by this principle you may just be in what everyone calls a dream team. You will naturally be learning, building relations and building products the world loves to use.

3. Always be learning

Things in the digital world change very fast. When we started the company we were in the midst of a mobile revolution. Products were being re-thought of to be mobile-first, usage was changing and digital transformation had a different meaning than what it stands for now. This trend of change will continue.

Changing demography, disruption and the creation of new business verticals will keep pushing the boundaries of how users will interact with services. Technology and design will follow, new design languages, new frameworks and methodologies will come in. What is relevant today will be irrelevant tomorrow.

We expect everyone to be on top of what is happening in their respective fields. You have to be okay with change, you have to embrace it. This is the game.

We’ve taken several proactive measures to ensure we as a company promote learning. We provide a number of perks and promote taking online courses, sponsor conferences.

4. Communicate openly

Each individual has a unique set of beliefs, views, and aspirations. In these differences lies the essence of building a product that truly caters to us all.

We want you to voice your opinion. We want you to disagree on something if it doesn’t adhere to what you think the product should do. However, give positive criticism only, With great power comes great responsibility. We want you to communicate in a manner that promotes learning.

We’re firm believers in giving rapid feedback. Whether it is a one-on-one meeting, peer-reviewing a design or code from a fellow engineer. We want to give honest feedback so we can all reach our common goal.

5. Selflessness

Do what’s right for Wednesday, our customers, their users and not what’s right for you. When we all start practicing this you may notice that your needs will automatically be met.

Selflessness plays an important role while mentoring. Knowing when to help, how much to handhold and when to inspire and leave the rest to be deduced is important to improve productivity across the board. Remember we’re as strong as our weakest link.

Dream Team

We think a small group of skilled people who have the above values is a force to reckon with. Over the years we’ve built such a team. We take on big projects and punch way above our weight.

As we scale we know hiring for skilled people with the above values will be extremely difficult. Hiring is definitely a challenge and also creating a large organization with the above traits is daunting.

We don’t believe in hiring in numbers or hiring for the years of experience someone has. That won’t work for us, it is not enough. We believe in hiring for character and skill-set.

A very important strategy that has always worked for us is to hire for the future. As an organization, we have technical and design goals in terms of the work we want to do and we’re always looking for people who are in line with our long term goal.

Playbook

In an attempt to bring clarity both internally and externally about how we work, we’ve written how we do things at Wednesday. This, by no means, is a complete document, however, it is a good embodiment of how we like to do things.

It talks about the different frameworks we use, our design process, how we hire, a strategy for career growth, and how we work with customers.

The End

As the old saying goes “You reap what you sow”. At Wednesday, we want to build an inclusive team with good people who want to be a dream team of craftsmen and women.

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