We're pleased to announce that Axelerant will be publishing a routine People Report. Inspired by our friends over at open.buffer and by popular request by team members, we've committed to sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly on a monthly basis.
Why are we (really) doing this?
Axelerant is an agency made up of vibrant people, incredible creatives, engineers, and thought leaders. We want to celebrate who we are while fostering success within our ranks through sharing openly successes and failures in a team of 50+ remote employees from around the world. Here are the top three reasons for doing this:
1. We believe in our brand.
We want it communicated and talked about because we believe it's something special. Creating a vibrant culture by bringing together the bright and the bold takes hard work, and we want to celebrate that.
2. We want to share.
Others can learn from us. Mistakes we've made, wins we've experienced. By being honest and forthright, we can help change the experiences of others for the better.
3. We want to grow.
This is an invitation to discover who we are, what we do, and what we stand for. As we move into 2019 with our sights set on growth, our agency has to get better at communicating what happens here to the outside—to bring more from the outside, in.
So, what happened at Axelerant in October?
Where to begin. We had webinars, meetups, happy hours, anniversaries, new positions open up. Our team also had tough conversations, not as much business as we'd like (we could always do better, right?) and plenty of fun. Like at our recent Happy Hours, a relaxed Friday night of games and team fellowship for example:
We look happy, don't we? And we are. That doesn't mean we don't have to work through workplace challenges, though. Going forward, let's delve into more challenging topics. Then we'll streamline into some promising metrics, meetup summaries, and open positions.
We covered some hard topics this month.
It's time for us to share something awkward.
Our teams have hard conversations, often. Sometimes these exchanges span company-wide and reach high degrees of seriousness. Tough topics like saying “no,” pushing back on the assumptions of management, correcting attitudes, etc. There are debates, loud complaints, uncomfortable topics—we think that’s a good thing.
In our agency, we encourage honesty and with honesty can come difficulties. It’s about being transparent. As a fully-distributed agency of 50+ perspectives and personalities, it’s important to be real—the struggle is real, and that’s what makes us human. This month for example, we discussed: being assertive and team recognition.
Assertiveness challenges from team members.
Saying “no” isn’t easy but often necessary. And there’s a perception about global agencies with teams in India like ours; that the answer will always be “yes,” and a week later the challenges emerge from the darkness to wilt positive assumptions. We fight hard against this PR problem at Axelerant, and it takes work.
Team recognition from clients going unnoticed.
Every Axelerant project group has a Team Engagement meeting monthly, where we dig into challenges and ensure dynamics are positive. During an October Team Engagement meeting, there were some points raised on lack of work recognition.We had to dig into this.
While we have a robust system in slack for publicly sharing recognition through 7geese, and partner NPS surveys, there are client calls in which Axelerant management is not present and kudos are given in a closed environment from the client side. (Aka: informal and ad hoc praises, little mentions, off-the-cuff kudos.) Members of our team wanted to capture these to boost confidence and they felt without these, other members of the team aren’t adequately praised or recognized.
New resolutions for snapshots, internal sharing of praises and props have been made. In a nutshell, as an example: if someone says something nice about your colleague on a call, you capture that and share it for all to see. We’re looking forward to the results.
We strive to live by our values.
One Axelerant’s core values is openness, and we believe that it’s better to be honest and forward come what may. Axelerant is a work in progress, and sometimes making progress is messy in the sense that you have to deal with the growing pains. As we continue to grow, expect us to share details with you along the way. Even awkward ones.
Now, let's look at some October numbers.
We pulled these from our OfficeVibe system. Every week, every Axelerant employee receives a generated survey (and gives anonymous responses) that walks them through targeted questions. Reports are generated across teams to render a picture of organizational health and engagement between members. These are some results from last month:
"Happiness" regards sentiments at work, "Personal Growth" pertains to positive challenges for growth and opportunities at scale. "Manager" and "Peer Relationship" are equalized here, which is excellent. "Values Score" is about alignment between personal values and organizational ones. These are great numbers for the month of October.
Drilling down into Ambassadorship within the chart above (i.e. Championing), we can see the fluctuations in team sentiment across time, and the highpoint at 9.4. This reflects employees as rigorous promoters, which we take seriously.
Meetups across regions.
Every month team members that are able coordinate get togethers. Get togethers in cities like Bangalore, Jaipur, and Srinagar (shown above) are monthly occurrences. One of our benefits is to offer a monthly meetup allowance to each persons of INR 1000 per person or INR 1500 with a family member and we always encourage family attendance.
Did we participate in any events?
Our colleagues are always on the road attending events, Drupal community based and otherwise. Every month we have at least one. At the end of September, two Axelerant team members (Shweta and Prateek) gave a presentation on Quality Assurance Automation: How A Fortune 500 Case Study Changed The Way We Do QA. And our Chief Success Officer (CSO), Michael Cannon, spent time engaging and learning at BADCamp. Several of our team members in Bangalore went to the DrupalMeetup there, where Hussain presented on Caching in Drupal 8.
. @hussainweb Talking about #Drupal 8 Caching @BangaloreDrupal #meetup @91springboard - Going old school :) pic.twitter.com/sZZTJGnYlx— Taher (@taherpro53) October 27, 2018
It was very kind of @masaKmaeda to personally explain the importance of quantifying team's performance at #ATAGTR2018 with @mr_prateekjain pic.twitter.com/hjOfNwiD50— Shweta Sharma (@shwetasharma84) September 27, 2018
We also had internal webinars.
Mentorship is important, which is why we keep a robust schedule of internal presentations and webinars with Q and A, shared resources, and roundtable discussions. It's our goal to take these presentation public in the near future. Here were some from last month:
- Peer Mentorship - The Why, What, How?
By Axelerant Engineering Managers, Prateek and Hussain
- ISO 9001:2015 - Organizational Commitment
By Axelerant COO, Karuna
- Integrating Alexa With Drupal 8
By Axelerant Engineer Rakshith
- Returning Paragraphs Data Through An Endpoint
By Axelerant Engineer Mitesh
- How To Identify Response Types & Their Interaction In Drupal 8
By Axelerant Engineer Subhojit
- Docker & Important Commands
By Axelerant Engineer Uttkarsh
- Pair Programming
By Axelerant Engineers Swarad & Akanksha
Thank you for visiting.
We appreciate you exploring what we've been up to! And we look forward to continuously sharing updates into next year and beyond. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn—and please give us feedback, the good and the bad. It'd be great to hear from you.
Axelerant Editorial Team
The Axelerant Editorial Team collaborates to uncover valuable insights from within (and outside) the organization and bring them to our readers.