3. Culture and capability

People and culture in Xero’s next chapter

Building and maintaining an ambitious, innovative culture in a company that’s been growing as fast as we are has little to do with chance. In fact, it’s Xero’s people and culture that has propelled us from one country to more than 180, one subscriber to nearly 1.4 million, and one person’s idea to a global team of more than 2,000 people. Here’s how we’ve achieved it.

Our inside-out approach

Xero's Chief Customer and People Officer Rachael Powell is accountable for the 'human experience' at Xero. This is all about attracting the best people to our global business and creating a culture where all Xero people (internally known as Xeros) 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 delivering to our number one priority – our more than one million customers and partners across the world.

Purpose-driven at heart

Fundamental to our 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.

Future-proofing the ‘Xero magic’

At Xero, our five values underpin everything we do: from the way we work, to how we delight and deliver
to our customers.

Our values are: #Human #Ownership #Champion #Challenge and #Beautiful. They create our special culture and the ‘Xero magic’ that we want to foster and maintain as we scale and grow at speed. They are integral to our brand and resonate outside Xero through our ecosystem and ultimately our customers.

Poised with the right skills and people for growth

Agility, autonomy and ownership

We’re mindful that our world, and our industry in particular, is characterised by rapid change and disruption – we’re often the cause of it. Success depends on being agile, adaptable, and more innovative than ever before.

We have technology that enables and empowers our people to work with autonomy, speed, and flexibility in their roles. They can work from anywhere at anytime across the world. Likewise, our offices are designed as activity based workspaces that allow our people freedom to work in the way that suits them best. Whether that’s collaborating, innovating, or focusing in a quiet space.

We also enable our people to take ownership in our company, giving all permanent Xeros the opportunity to be shareholders. This helps foster a personal commitment to and accountability for Xero’s success.

Pulse check on culture

We constantly monitor staff engagement using software that provides regular pulse checks across multiple dimensions of employee satisfaction. We respond directly to this feedback and use this quality data to actively address and manage any people and culture issues in the business. Xero maintains a level of staff engagement that is best in class across our industry.

Diversity and inclusion

At Xero, we have an unwavering focus on diversity and inclusion. It creates better outcomes for our people and our customers. 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 so we can really tap into the power of our differences.

On this front, we have concentrated our efforts over the past 12 months and have appointed a 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:

1. We value diversity because it reflects and serves our customers and ensures our people thrive

2. We’re all accountable to create an inclusive culture

3. We’re committed to attracting diverse talent and
hiring fairly

4. We support flexible ways of working

5. We’re committed to equal pay for equal work

6. 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 people and the next chapter

Building a global business where our people and culture are a source of competitive advantage is no easy feat. However, at Xero, this is our constant and unyielding focus. Everything begins with our people, to ensure that they can do their best work at Xero, to delight our customers, and ultimately to deliver on our promise to ensure small businesses across the globe are successful.

All chapters:

Download full Annual Report for 2018