A few weeks ago I posted this goofy video on my personal LinkedIn profile to announce that we are looking for software engineers to join the Payflip team.
After I launched the video on the worldwide web, some friends asked me if a CTO of a growing start-up didn't have more important things on his mind than making such videos.
Well, in a startup like Payflip, there are always more important things to do. And that is often the problem.
At the beginning of this year, we noticed that, as a company, we were spending a lot of time on day-to-day operations: making sure that the onboarding of new hires went smoothly, drawing up sales funnels and customer flows, setting up inbound marketing strategies, and so on. We strived for operational excellence, but sometimes lost sight of our youthful creativity.
Inspired by Google's 20% rule, we realised that we needed to give our people the chance to step away from their day-to-day responsibilities and focus on (mini) projects that might be outside their comfort zone.
And that's where the Community Days come in!
Payflip Community Day
The Community Day is a fixed day per month on which everyone within Payflip can sink their teeth into a problem that we (as an employee, team or company) are facing. The scope of these problems is very broad, and so is the opportunity to squeeze a juicy one-day project out of it! The only condition is that a meaningful solution to the problem can be found during that one Friday in the month that we christened "Community Day".
How do we organise this?
One week before the Community Day, everyone is invited to fill in a shared file. This file lists the problems and objectives that we try to achieve during the Community Day. Since everyone's Community Day objectives are shared openly, everyone is free to lend a hand to each other's 'project of the day'.
So originality trumps, but results must be measurable and are challenged at the end of the day.
The effect of such a Community Day is threefold:
- It allows people to exert an influence on something that lies outside their scope of responsibilities, putting them in a situation where creativity is stimulated;
- It enables colleagues who do not work together on a daily basis to join forces on a mini-project.
- It reconnects the team to Payflip's larger values ('commitment to learn/grow as a person') and frees their minds from the daily operational to-do's.
The achievements of the Community Day
We soon found that the Community Day did indeed become the stepping stone for tools and projects that have become an integral part of the Payflip side of life.
Some outcomes that found their way into our daily work:
- Using Typeform and Webflow to generate dynamic PDF documents
- The migration of our WordPress website to Webflow
- The exploration of Domain Driven Design and the creation of a common language between the legal team and the development team (be sure to check out our later blog post on this very interesting topic)
- Hiding an Easter Egg on our website
But the biggest achievement of all? Growing as a team!