In a world where so many businesses put profits ahead of well-being, I’m proud to be a part of a community where our team’s wants and needs are at the core of what we do. Here’s how XWP has created a valuable and supportive work environment, and the things that led me to join the team!
I’ve been in people-oriented positions since 2009, and have always found supporting people’s work experiences one of the most fascinating parts of how I serve others.
But I often found myself feeling conflicted.
Lots of businesses claim to care for their teams and have beautifully crafted ‘mission-vision-values’ sections in their company handbooks, but when it comes down to it that care is often superficial, and doesn’t reflect the culture they have created.
I found that some of the most important things to sustaining a healthy work environment were being pushed to the sidelines, and in fact, I’d become so disillusioned with the industry that I even started to consider a different career path…
—But then I stumbled across a listing for a People Advocate role at XWP. It was the first time I’d heard of a position with this title, and I was intrigued to learn more. Reading the job description line by line, I felt deeply connected with their mission and had a good feeling about their efforts to create a more equitable workplace.
It seemed like a genuine opportunity to support individuals in a meaningful way, and, after speaking with some of their current community members, I was able to confirm that they were actually taking a different approach.
Now, I’m XWP’s Lead People Advocate, supporting a dedicated team of helpers to champion an exceptional experience for all of our XWPeople.
Humans, Not Resources
I’ve never been a fan of calling the area I work in ‘Human Resources’.
Humans aren’t resources, they’re individual people, with real aspirations, needs, and emotions. It always felt so impersonal to reduce them to a tool or extension of the business, contextualizing their value by their ability to produce and generate profit.
In fact, it was a significant detail that caught my eye about XWP. They called my practice area what it is actually all about: People! Although a seemingly simple thing, it was essential to making me look further into the culture and how they help and support their community.
I learned about the deliberate steps being taken to create an equitable, inclusive and diverse community, and how XWP was creating a thriving remote environment, where its people feel supported and valued— no matter where they are in the world.
For the first time in a long time, I felt as though I’d found a company where my love for supporting people was aligned with real people-first culture. A place where I could properly contribute to representing voices, and keeping these foundations strong over time.
“One of the things I love the most about XWP is the community of people we have here. You’re never treated like a tool or a piece of software. You’re treated like a human, with human needs, wants, and emotions.”Ernesto Méndez, Senior Engineer.
Read The 10 (Really 11) Reasons I Joined XWP and Why You Should Too from our Engineering Director, Stéphane Boisvert.
Dedicated Support for XWPeople
Our People Advocates are dedicated members of the People Ops team whose primary goal is to support and care for our XWPeople.
People Advocates are like sidekicks for our community members throughout their journey with XWP, and are there for our team long after the onboarding period ends, with regular check-ins happening (for the most part) on a monthly basis—although it’s completely flexible!
These check-ins aren’t limited to work, they’re designed to be a chance for the People Ops team to get to know our community members better and provide any help they may need in developing work-life harmony. We like to think of them as a friendly face that has your back and wants to see you thrive!
We try to ensure everyone has the best experience possible throughout their journey with XWP, and that they know if they are ever facing challenges in their personal life, they have a safe space to share how it is impacting them.
Learn more about our People Advocates in How We Create Memorable Remote Onboarding Experiences.
*Really* Listen to your Team
In the past, I’ve worked in situations where the main purpose of my role was to stop people from leaving.
The bulk of my day would be spent listening to how desperately unhappy people were with their work life, or how more attractive other opportunities looked for them. But when issues were reported to Upper Management, they would tend to be ignored.
In order for a People team to make a real, positive impact, there are things that must be sponsored at a business level, and in the past, I’ve felt my contribution level impacted by that.
All too often, companies have people teams not to listen to people’s needs (and take action based on them), but to make them feel as though they’re being listened to. When issues arise and support is needed, their interest quickly wains.
Our People Advocates are there to first understand how people feel about their experience at XWP, and then coordinate with other support and leadership teams to make any reasonable adjustments that provide a happy and healthy work experience.
Talent that feels supported and fulfilled in their role will often find the motivation to contribute in significant ways — but we’re all human. Things in and outside of work can be more challenging or tough on us at times. This is an unavoidable part of life. What’s important is that there is someone to listen, help and relieve those pressures where they can.
Are we perfect in how we approach our people at XWP? Of course not. There are still many opportunities we see to keep leveling up our people practices over time. But we’re definitely on the right path, providing great experiences to most of those that journey with us based on our community’s pulse surveys.
Looking to learn more about how we collaborate across the world? Find out more about How Remote Works at XWP
Remote But Not Alone
Being a people-person in an all-remote business, it was important to me to find a place with strong cultural values and a sense of belonging that goes far beyond borders.
Most of our XWPeople don’t work in close proximity to their colleagues. In fact, in many cases, the people they work with each day are on the other side of the world.
Whilst our People Advocates will always be available for 1-1 support, sometimes you need a community to interact with. Here are a few of the ways we help foster community at XWP:
🏡 Homebase calls: Homebases, are small groups made up of people based around your time zone. Once a month, everyone catches up over Zoom to build deeper connections, share life experiences, and relax.
🚀 XWP Live: Our monthly all-hands call for company updates, quarterly reviews, team demos, culture, and discussions. This call takes place at two times, to allow you to pick the time that is best for you.
🙌 Weekly Updates: Our special internal edition of the Tonight show to appreciate and celebrate some of the fantastic work being done across XWP. Each week we also have a special guest host, a community member who gives us a new insight into their life and culture.
👏 Team Meetings: These role-specific meetings allow team members to share their expertise, learn from each other and discuss the latest trends.
🐕 Our Communities: We have channels in Slack for everything from Fitness and Technology to Pets and Food!
Hear From the Team
Learn more about what our culture means to some XWPeople in a special edition of the XWP Tonight Show celebrating 100 community members.
How We’re Doing it Different
Our most important gauge of success when it comes to our community is how happy our people are. That’s why we have 1-1 support available at all times and check in often to see how things are going.
We see XWP as a community, where everybody should have the time, space, and tools they need to make a difference. We’re not primarily looking to judge success by how fast they work, or how often they’re available for response.
It’s one of the biggest reasons I personally joined XWP: To feel valued and cared for, treated like a human being and not a number. It puts me in the best place to do my job effectively, and every day I’m motivated to continue the growth of our culture and community.
Our all-remote team now spans more than 34 countries and 18 time zones. From Korea to Kenya, Canada to Cambodia, you can meet exceptional XWPeople all over the globe, serving our clients and building a better web together.