Building and maintaining an ambitious, innovative culture in a company that’s been growing as fast as we have has little to do with chance. In fact, our people and culture is the driving force that has propelled us from one country to more than 180, one subscriber to 1.4 million, and one person’s idea to a global team of more than 2,000 people.
Here’s how we’re doing it.
Our inside-out approach
At Xero, I am accountable for the ‘human experience’. This is all about attracting the best people to our global business and creating a culture where all of our people can do the best work of their lives. When we get this right, our people focused culture resonates from the inside-out, ultimately delighting and serving our number one priority – our customers and partners across the world.
Customer-centricity is key
We recruit people with a customer centric mindset and believe that all of our Xeros are responsible for ensuring we deliver a world-class customer experience. This includes how our brand speaks to our customers, how our developers build beautiful products in a customer centric way, how we get them going on our platform, and support and answer their questions whenever they get a little stuck.
We believe that delivering an outstanding customer experience is our competitive advantage. Every interaction is a chance to make a customer for life, particularly in the first 90 days where a customer may just need a little bit of help to get them going. Whether it’s a bank feed, sending an invoice, or doing a bank reconciliation. They may not need as much support once they’re up and running but we’re there if they do.
To ensure we have a leading and scalable customer support model we use the latest in AI and machine learning. However we carefully balance this with maintaining the human touch in everything we do. Getting this balance right is crucial and is what will set us apart as we scale and grow at speed across the globe. Our recently launched customer service platform, Xero Central, is achieving exactly this and will ensure we stay ahead of the game when it comes to delivering exceptional customer service.
Purpose driven at heart
Fundamental to our inside-out culture is that all Xeros believe in our purpose which is to ‘have a positive impact on the world by growing small business.’ The power of this purpose cannot be overstated. It provides a unifying energy that brings our people, our partners and our customers together to do their best work, and collectively we achieve great things.
We want our people to thrive and do their best work. If we can help small businesses be more successful, more jobs are created, economies strengthen, and communities flourish. This highlights just how #beautiful the inside-out approach can be.
The power of diversity and inclusion
At Xero, we have an unwavering focus on diversity and inclusion. We have a diverse customer base so it’s essential we build products that speak directly to them. For our people, it’s about acknowledging, respecting and celebrating all the ways they are different. It’s also about creating an inclusive culture where people feel they belong, so we can really tap into the power of our differences.
On this front, we recently appointed a new role, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Community. And, to provide us with a clear focus for the future, we developed a new policy with six key principles:
- We value diversity because it reflects and serves our customers and ensures our people thrive
- We’re all accountable to create an inclusive culture
- We’re committed to attracting diverse talent and hiring fairly
- We support flexible ways of working
- We’re committed to equal pay for equal work
- We have an obligation to champion diversity and inclusion in the community
While we know diversity is a broad concept, we are particularly focused on increasing our gender diversity. Currently the Xero Board is 43 percent female and as at 31 March 2018, our leadership team is 40 percent female, and of all of our Xero people around the world, 40 percent are female.
Our unyielding focus
Building a global business where our people and culture are the source of our competitive advantage is no easy feat. But this remains our constant focus. Everything begins with our people as we know they are the elixir to our success. If we focus on, foster, and ensure our people flourish we achieve a ripple effect through our customers, partners and broader ecosystem – together achieving our purpose ‘to have a positive impact on the world by helping small businesses grow’. Now that’s something special.