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PandaDoc's Culture Code

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PandaDoc's Culture Code

  1. 1. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 1 PandaDoc Mission & Vision Statement + Growth & Culture Code
  2. 2. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 2 Our reasons Here are the reasons why we (Mikita and Serge) founded the company: 1. We wanted to learn as much as we can, grow personally, build a career. 2. We wanted to make a positive impact on: a. People who use our software b. People who join our company c. Communities the groups above belong to 3. We wanted to have fun while we’re doing all of the above. Delivering on the above values is our #1 job. We strive to make the company a place where you can: 1. Learn a lot and develop professionally. 2. Make a ton of positive impact on customers and co-workers. 3. Have fun and enjoy the work. Our Vision and Mission We build software to help sales teams look great, save time and close more deals. PandaDoc establishes a clear process for sales documents from the very first customer pitch, quote, or proposal to a signed contract and money in the bank.
  3. 3. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 3 Our culture Merriam-Webster defines “culture” as a way of thinking, behaving, and working that exists in the organization. When people say that culture at their company sucks, one or both of these statements are true: 1. They dislike the people they work with 2. They dislike the way the work is done When people say the culture at their company is amazing, one or both of these statements are true: 1. They like the people they work with 2. They like the way the work is done So, we thought... why wouldn’t our team have a short document on who we love to work with and how we love to work. That is our culture code. When recruiting, we’re only hiring folks that fit “The people we love to work with” profile. When setting up a new process, we’ll make sure it follows “The ways we love to work”.
  4. 4. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 4 Our People What kinds of people do we love to work with? They are: · DIRECT AND STRAIGHTFORWARD · TEAM PLAYERS · INDEPENDENT, ORGANIZED AND GEEKY · DATA – DRIVEN · HUMBLE · SCRAPPY · RESILIENT AND HARDWORKING · ACCOUNTABLE · T-SHAPED Let’s dig into this a little bit more: Like Dislike Feature: Direct and straightforward Political, indirect Definitio n People that get straight to the point, say the way things are, communicate openly about problems and are not afraid to deliver the bad news. People that go around other people's backs, gossip, etc. Avoiding arguments and difficult conversations kills companies and careers. We prefer to talk openly behind closed doors regardless of ranks and say things the way they are.
  5. 5. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 5 Any startup has problems, every teammate makes mistakes. If we’re not making mistakes, we’re moving too slow. We (founders) are not afraid to admit we screwed up. Everyone has blind spots. We play in a team to back-fill for each other. We’re a team who support and coach each other. Yes, these coaching sessions could be painful. However, just like in sports, moderate pain means growth OR no pain no gain. Like Dislike Feature: Team Players Mercenaries Definition Company>Team>Self Self>anything At a startup, everyone’s actions have a tremendous impact. Every time we put the customer, the team and the company first, we make a long term investment that will eventually pay back. And that payback is going to be much greater for both the individual and PandaDoc as a whole. Like Dislike Feature: Independent, organized, geeky Reliant, unorganized, mouthy Definition Someone who values other’s time, proactively finds solutions to individual and team problems. Someone who needs constant attention or hand holding wasting others time in unnecessary meetings.
  6. 6. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 6 The thing about startups is that there will never be enough resources, enough information, enough time. That is why it is important that we: 1. Do as much research as possible prior to asking questions. 2. Document complex concepts and processes in order to enable others to understand them faster. 3. Have an agenda for every meeting and share it in advance. 4. Geek out on tools we use. Writing complex concepts down and creating agendas helps to improve and organize your thoughts. When learning new software, process, or anything else yourself, you usually cut deeper. You get a first-hand understanding and you develop your unique perception, which is critical. Once you have a foundation, the collaboration with colleagues will get better. Like Dislike Feature: Data-driven Anecdotal Definition People that back their point of view with research and data. People that always rely on their intuition and argue with others on this basis. PandaDoc is a volume business. Intuition is important, it helps us to choose a direction. However, intuition alone doesn’t help to make wise decisions. It needs to be backed by data, analysis and research. Like Dislike
  7. 7. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 7 Feature: Humble Entitled Definition Constantly improving, open to feedback Close minded and/or ego- driven Fast-paced growth in a huge market means that many of us will become unqualified for the job at hand at some point of time. That is OK. That is what makes startups fun. You will get stretched and grow as long as you’re open to it. Humbleness opens the opportunity to learn and grow with the company. Entitlement closes one’s mind, makes one unhappy and prevents future growth. Like Dislike Feature: Scrappy Wasteful Definitio n Someone who can figure out creative ways to add a lot of value while spending very little of resources. Someone who treats the company’s resources as their own. Someone who wastes resources on things that don’t add value to the business. Someone who treats the company’s resources as not their own. We’re not afraid to invest as long as there is a chance the return is greater. However, we always remember that PandaDoc is a startup, which means that the resources are scarce. Like Dislike
  8. 8. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 8 Feature: Resilient And Hardworking Quitter Definition Someone who not only rebounds from failure, but most importantly learns from failure. Someone who is easily distracted, distraught, or otherwise intimidated by failure of any size In the software business, there is rarely just one solution to a problem. However, going through all available options typically requires perseverance and a lot of work. We work hard and always keep trying. We don’t quit. It is only a real failure if we fail to finish whatever we do. Like Dislike Feature: T-Shaped, Curious Narrow, Close-minded T-Shaped are people who are both generalists (highly skilled at a broad set of valuable things—the top of the T) and also experts (among the best in their field within a narrow discipline — the vertical leg of the T). This recipe is important for our success. We often have to pass on people who are generalists incapable of getting things done on their own. We also pass on narrowly focused experts, who don’t want to broaden their horizons. An expert who is too narrow has difficulty collaborating and therefore will likely be a poor candidate for cross-functional leadership. A generalist who doesn’t go deep enough in a single area ends up on the margins, not really contributing as an individual as well and usually fails to build trust.
  9. 9. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 9
  10. 10. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 10 Our Work How do we love to work? We: · ARE ALWAYS LEARNING · ARE TRANSPARENT · TAKE OWNERSHIP · KEEP IT SIMPLE · HAVE A BIAS TOWARDS ACTION · TRY NEW THINGS · EMBRACE THE CHANGE · MAINTAIN WORK/LIFE BALANCE Learning We’re looking to grow and promote everyone joining PandaDoc in the next couple of years. That is why a constant personal growth is vital. For Engineers We’re a software as a service company. What that means for engineers, is that the more you understand our business and our customers, the more valuable your contributions will be and the more impact you can make. We exist to add customer value. And we’re a business with revenue goals. Every decision, including engineering decisions, should be driven by our customer needs and business goals. At PandaDoc engineers don’t just write code, they solve business objectives and help customers. Be T-Shaped.
  11. 11. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 11 For Non-Engineers:Program or be programmed PandaDoc is a software as a service company. What that means for non- engineers, is that you have to be technical. You have to know our product and tools in and out. The more technical you are, the more valuable your business input is, and the more value you will add to the team and company. Be T- Shaped. Our Learning Programs Words should be supported by action. Therefore, we have a number of initiatives to embrace learning within our organizations: Learning from your colleagues We have amazing people at PandaDoc. They will gladly help you to grow and get to the next level. Do you want to learn how Sales or Product orgs function? Just reach out to your colleagues and ask. Pandas love helping and embrace mentorship. Do you want to mentor someone within the company? Talk to your manager. We’ll make the time work. Pairing up with advisors PandaDoc allocated a significant number of stock options to advisors and mentors. Every employee within PandaDoc can suggest a mentor/advisor for self or their team. We’ll do our best to get good advisors on-board as long as they’re qualified and committed to spend time coaching Panda up-n-comers. Consultants and trainings If you see that there is a knowledge gap we can fill in with an outside consultant, let us know. Every team has a learning budget, which could be spent on training and consultants.
  12. 12. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 12 Moving around departmentsand the globe We want every employee to learn and progress as much as possible. We also want the PandaDoc journey to be really fun. We have multiple offices around the globe and want to encourage the cultural exchange. Every department has a dedicated travel budget. We encourage each individual to visit PandaDoc offices in different locations. Please talk to your manager if that is something that interests you. We also highly encourage moving across departments to learn about the other wings of the business. Sometimes developers do support, sales helps product managers, etc. Books, trainingsand conferences PandaDoc will buy whatever books you need to get better at your job. There is also a budget for trainings, master classes and conferences. Bring the ideas to your manager. And if you go to a conference or just read a book, help others on your team by sharing the learnings with them. Building your personal brand We want to support every employee in building their own personal brand. Here are a few ways we can make that happen: 1. Author content that helps others. We’ll help you to have it published in credible media outlets. 2. Participate in and speak at conferences. We will cover your airfare and hotel as long as you’re speaking in front of our target buyers or prospective employees.
  13. 13. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 13 3. Organize meetups. We encourage employees to use our space to organize meetups, tech crawls, hackathon and focus groups to network with the best in class talent and learn from these experiences. 360 Degree Feedback We conduct a bi-annual 360-degree feedback survey for everyone in the company to help each team member grow both professionally and personally. The 360 view provides a balanced feedback mechanism from everyone you work closely with; which includes managers, direct peers, and peers from other teams. The benefits of this type of feedback are to promote self-awareness, increase accountability and most importantly, open dialogue across different teams. Transparency At PandaDoc, financial and product metrics are open to every employee. We’ve chosen to build a transparent business, even though it imposes certain risks. Transparency enables every Panda to build a broader view of the business and allows to learn faster. It empowers us to make better decisions. Ownership and accountability At PandaDoc, we take ownership and hold each other accountable. We take all projects to the finish line. When the result is a failure, we own it. Failures are phenomenal learning opportunities. When failures have an owner and are openly talked about, they teach not only the owner, but also everyone within the company.
  14. 14. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 14 Keeping it simple PandaDoc is a volume business. PandaDoc is a broadly applicable software product. The only way for us to remain sane is to keep things simple. That is also the only way to build a scalable business. When we see a hard to understand concept, we try to dumb it down or drop it altogether. Bias towards action At PandaDoc it is OK to fail. It is not OK to sit still. Move fast. Sometimes, break things. Try unconventional approaches. Learn. Iterate. Always have a plan “B”. We value managers that lead by example instead of running endless meetings because we believe that this is the best way to inspire and excite others. Embrace the change and challenge the status quo. We’re at the very beginning of our journey. We’re growing. Our industry and space change rapidly. Therefore, everything at PandaDoc has to and will change. Every year (if not quarter) we will emerge into a different company with different challenges, opportunities, processes, scale, new people, etc. Learn to embrace that. While at times uncomfortable, change stretches us, advances our experience and careers. Not everything we do at PandaDoc is and will be optimal. Therefore, challenging the status quo is welcomed. We have to always search for ways to improve. That is what growth is all about.
  15. 15. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 15 Maintain work / life balance We spend the majority of our time working and that's what connects all of us together. At the same time we all have families, friends, hobbies, and dreams outside of the job. We encourage you to dedicate time to your family, friends and your loved ones. Spend some time on your hobbies. A hobby that’s completely unrelated to your job allows to switch off and recover. Live a healthy life, take proper rest. A well-balanced life makes us happy and productive. And we are proud to be among the highest-rated companies for work-life balance. Work hard, play hard, rest hard. We’re long-term focused. Therefore, we do our best not to burn people out. Talk to your manager if you feel that you’re not learning, making an impact or having fun. And talk to your manager’s manager if the situation doesn’t get resolved.
  16. 16. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 16 Our Hiring Hiring is everyone’s job. People and only people make companies great. Building a great company depends highly on our continued vigilance in recruiting/hiring. If we start adding people to the company who aren’t capable operating as high- powered, self-directed, decision makers, then lots of the stuff will stop working and PandaDoc will not be a fun place to be. We have to keep the hiring bar very high. And we should only hire people we all love to work with. Who we hire mostly affects the people who are already here. . That is why recruiting, interviewing and hiring is everyone's job. Hiring well is the most important thing in the universe. Nothing else comes close. So when you’re working on hiring—participating in an interview loop or innovating in the general area of recruiting—everything else is secondary. How do we choose the right people to hire? Here are some questions we always ask ourselves when evaluating candidates: • Would I want this person to be my boss? • Would I learn a significant amount from this person? • Will a 4-hour drive to X with this person be fun or torturous? • What if this person went to work for our competition?
  17. 17. If any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this document 17 • Will this person bring something new or missing to PandaDoc? We’re looking for people stronger than ourselves. In some ways, hiring lower-powered people is a natural response to having so much work to get done. In these conditions, hiring someone who is at least capable seems (in the short term) to be smarter than not hiring anyone at all. But that’s actually a huge mistake. We can always bring on temporary/contract help to get us through tough spots, but we should never lower the hiring bar. We’re aimed to grow. We need to hire superstars to later promote from within.