To start, I should be clear that Leapcure is still in many ways an experiment, particularly as it relates to the foundations of our operation. Our intentions are impact first and values based. We’ve come a long way, and found ourselves growing really quickly from this pursuit. Here are some of my current thoughts on what we’ve learned that move us in the direction of aligned values.
We want people that are happy with the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. We’re not for everybody. We’re not even for everybody that has a specific skill set. We’re also looking for people who are likely to be happy in the role through the ups and downs of discovering how Leapcure will scale. Remote isn’t for everyone. Individual contributor roles aren’t for everyone. It’s important to know where we can improve and make the appropriate efforts as an organization to help people feel comfortable. At the same time, we are looking for people that are a fit for both strengths and weaknesses at a role level.
We are best off looking at intrinsic motivation as a moving target. As an organization we work best when the work we need is the work people want to do intrinsically. Leadership, context, support, compensation all are factors here, but it’s also important to recognize that what motivates people can change over time. The challenge for Leapcure is to keep a grounded understanding of what we can currently enable in the work environment, what is a project for us to take one to improve this, and how do we balance short/long term win-wins. We consistently hear from new employees that our work environment is different (usually for the better, not not always easier). For people to do their best work, they need to find the space to grow into their roles.
Benchmarking compensation in a fair way can help move away from the wrong incentives. At Leapcure, we’ve started using Carta Total Comp to align compensation with output. We somewhat refine what the tool gives us to make sure it makes sense for our business. An example of this is taking the average of our team’s current location and our HQ to determine what benchmark feels right. By using a tool like this, we can really move in the direction of decoupling pay from some of the forward thinking discovery efforts of our team. It’s not a silver bullet, and to be honest it’s still early for us to ascertain if we’re fully realizing some of the associated benefits. Still it feels like we’re generating better alignment based on people’s values rather than propping up alignment with carrots and sticks.
We continue to search for ways to enable more clear communication. At Leapcure one of the most interesting new tools we’ve adopted is 15Five. On the platform there is a structured 15 minute feedback documentation process between each worker and their manager. The team shares information related to their pulse on their current work, what items are going well, what blockers are out there and they are able to acknowledge coworkers for things they liked with public “high-fives”. It’s helped us build muscle to feel comfortable communicating honestly with each other on a frequent basis. In a way 15Five’s best value to the company is that it signals our investment and prioritization in what people have to say. Beyond it we’re experimenting with meetings about our weekly wins, regular one on ones, and working with a team of advisors to help us improve our feedback loops. Next, we’re evaluating further use of personality assessments and personalized communication tools to go deeper.
One thought on “Scaling a team with aligned values”
Great insights. It is an excellent point of view of how important it is to align: incentives, motivation, and communication.