Being a great place to work is the difference between a good company and a great company.Brian Kristofek. (President and CEO, Upshot)
It is 22:00, I am in front of my system writing about my 250th day at Cowrywise. I am typing on my new Mac and it is an M1. They say it is the newest model and it doesn’t need charging for like three days. The person who birthed the idea must have thought about a country like Nigeria. Speaking about Macs, I am the last employee to use one which means that every employee in Cowrywise now uses a Mac, yay!
I’m excited because my CEO and PM say Macs have great UX (user experience) and they really do.
Anyway, unrelated to Mac books, let me tell you what happened today at the office; it was like the Fast and Furious movie.
Fast and Furious featuring Cowrywise 😂
I resumed work to find a notification from our CX manager asking people to lend hands. There were a lot of inbound messages and the CX team needed everyone to help. A subsequent note followed from our CEO suggesting that we all work together to reduce inbounds.
In a few minutes, everyone in the engineering and growth teams joined the customer experience team. The results? Over 1.5k pending issues were resolved in a couple of hours, and more than a thousand customers were delighted. After achieving zero inbounds, we got pizza for everyone. One of our engineers updated his Slack bio to “Frontend Engineer/Product Specialist/CX Expert” which gave all of us a good laugh. This is what working at Cowrywise looks like. Collaborative. Cooperative. Results-driven.
Culture is to recruiting what product is to marketing.
Nothing is more pivotal to the success of a startup than the quality of talent they bring in. This is why we pay a great deal of attention to our processes. From recruitment to selection and finally, to onboarding, the process of integrating people and absorbing them into our culture is one we’ve hacked. Even candidates that are not selected feel like part of the company.
Open and honest communication isn’t just a line item on our core values, it is our everyday mantra. From the relaxed atmosphere that working with each other on a first-name basis presents to the easy flow of communication and mutual respect and the relatively flat structure that ensures idea flows without bureaucracy, it feels like home over here.
Build a rewarding employee experience
As an employee put it during her sixth-month review, “it only takes a day for you to be a stranger at Cowrywise”.
To manage the diverse demography of talents across different generations is to be aware of their unique needs. It also requires emotional intelligence to acknowledge and meet those needs.
When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”Betty Bender
To build the best place to work is to have a workplace that is home, a place where employees feel safe and comfortable. Our work style is relaxing, collaborative yet focused and result-driven. At the nucleus of our work are freedom and responsibility. Freedom to decide how you work, and responsibility to lead yourself towards achieving the desired results. The results? We are providing seamless wealth management services to over 300,000 users, and making an impact across different generations.
Julie Bevacqua said, “in order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people”. At Cowrywise, seeing our customers smile makes us happy, pizza (food generally) makes us delighted and every day is an experience an employee finds memorable.
How we’re building the best place to work
Here, good performance is rewarded, innovation is encouraged and creativity is given wings to soar. For example, our creative designer within three months of joining the team conceptualized a product (Money Duo) and collaborated on the process from ideation to execution. As someone in the HR space, I can tell you that this isn’t really possible in many companies because of bureaucratic processes.
One of the challenges modern HR faces is managing the business expectations while making employees happy. Things wouldn’t always be perfectly aligned but over here, we do our very best. From having a 100% retention rate after six months in a volatile tech-talent space to growing our user base on a daily basis, it’s been the most rewarding work for me.
It’s day 250+, another major milestone and another day to take stock of our progress. Building the best place to work is a work in progress and we are committed to redefining what a workplace should look like.
Milestones remind us about how far we’ve come as well as the journey that lies ahead. I am enjoying the journey, developing capacity and getting better at my commitment to building the best place to work.
We’ve only just begun.
Head over here to find out more about the amazing people at Cowrywise and the work we do.