Committed to Personal Growth
Personal growth is central to Asana’s values, because we recognize that Asana’s growth as a product and company is dependent on the growth of each and every one of our employees.
Our commitment to personal growth is embodied in the approach we take to learning and development, mentorship, and even in our company values. Our company value of “Be real with yourself and others,” encourages employees to take our commitments to each other seriously, give feedback, and treat ourselves as whole people at work.
We’ve put several programs in place to empower every Asana to grow personally and professionally—and recognize that the two are very closely intertwined. These are just a few of our company-wide programs to support employees’ growth:
- Executive coaching for every employee: We offer life and executive coaching to every employee so they can work on the skills that matter to them. Employees can select from a curated list of coaches with whom to work.
- Formal mentorship program: Every new hire is paired with an onboarding mentor to set them up for success.
- Manager training: Every manager is supported with regular managers’ meetings as well as manager trainings to work on both functional and broader skillsets. We’ve also set up cross-functional manager support groups so managers can share learnings with a small group of peers on a more informal basis.
- Peer mentorship project: We offer a casual way to give or receive mentorship on a variety of topics ranging from basic HTML to giving feedback or dealing with conflict through our peer mentorship project. Set up in Asana, it’s a place where all employees can offer a skill that they’d like to learn or teach and connect with other employees to form mentorship relationships across the company.
- Conscious Leadership Group (CLG) training: CLG training is offered to all Asanas as a way to provide a shared construct through which to view emotions, opinions, and curiosity at work. Over two days, employees learn how to be conscious in their decisions, understand their own beliefs and triggers, as well as how to express themselves in a neutral way while still acknowledging their feelings and opinions. CLG provides more than a way to communicate at the office: many employees share that it’s improved communication in their personal lives, too.
At Asana, we refer to work life balance as ‘sustained velocity,’ and view it as core to our success as a company (and as individuals).
Our founders have taken a conscious approach to building a culture of balance in all things, especially the way we each balance work and life outside of work. In 2015, one of our founders, Dustin, wrote a piece about working hard and living well, highlighting that “We could be accomplishing more, and we could be providing a better life for all of the people who work in technology.” He urged, “If you’re going to devote the best years of your life to work, do so intentionally. You can do great things AND live your life well. You can have it all, and science says you should.”
This core belief carries over to our culture, in which we encourage that people employ a work-life fractal of sorts: “Real work-life balance is best achieved when you take into account [all] time frames, and you trade between them, whether you’re aware of that or not.”
Achieving sustained velocity goes beyond balancing the hours and days that you work though. It is also achieved through cultural practices in the day to day that emphasize sustainability instead of sheer output. To that end, we foster a culture of support—not competition—between teams, and distributed responsibility to empower every employee to take full ownership of their responsibilities and contributions. Learn more about our Engineering values.
High Quality Code Base
Since Asana has clarity of plan, engineers can make informed architecture decisions.
We call this workflow "pragmatic craftsmanship". Pragmatic craftsmanship means knowing when to invest vs when to ship. As a result, the codebase has engineering quality proportional to its impact. We also believe that product quality is a key differentiator for Asana. Thus we are willing to invest more to build the best experience.
Beyond our commitment to pragmatic craftsmanship, we heavily invest in new hire onboarding. This onboarding process allows us to teach developers the best patterns and practices. The process also enables developers to be valuable members of the team faster.
Building a product that facilitates teamwork contributes enormously to our cultural commitment to open communication across the company, but it’s not the only way that we keep communication lines open.
We invest in processes that help every employee communicate both with their peers and across the organization, including (but not limited to):
- Distributed responsibility and Areas of Responsibility: Our distributed responsibility model means that every employee owns a distinct part of the company. This necessitates communication across the organization because responsibility is shared broadly instead of concentrated within a small group of individuals.
- Company-wide planning weeks: Because responsibility is distributed, the entire company participates in planning and goal-setting. We hold a Roadmap week for company-wide planning every six months, with smaller check-ins throughout the year.
- Engineering-PM relations: We’re really proud of the relationships between our engineers and PMs, which are grounded in open communication. We place a lot of trust in one another and strive to make the work we do together as collaborative as possible.
Actively Practices Inclusion
As a company, we strive to be the change we want to see in the workplace.
The workplace we want to see in this world is radically inclusive. In order to be this change, we must actively practice inclusion—from the moment someone hears of Asana, through their interviews, first day, and entire time on our team. We do this by maintaining a culture of openness and kindness: encouraging every employee to bring their full selves to work and recognizing the value that diversity brings to our team and work.
Inclusion isn’t just a feeling we strive towards; we set goals and build programs around it, too. Our head of Diversity and Inclusion leads these efforts, but every Asana contributes to them. Whether employees are attending CLG to learn how to be open and curious when their beliefs are challenged, or participating in one of our three employee resource groups, we recognize that inclusion is an active practice that contributes to Asana’s success.
Finally, we’re committed to measuring the impact of our inclusion practices, because without measuring it, we won’t know if we’re succeeding. We conduct annual employee surveys and maintain open channels for feedback so that we can make incremental improvements.
At Asana, the entire company uses our product, which means everyone you’re working with has opinions about the product and really cares about it because it’s part of their everyday workflow.
We have processes in place to collect ideas for our roadmap from every part of the organization—not just from engineers, but also from user operations, sales, marketing, and more.
Our business model also makes us more product- driven. Because a significant portion of our sales come from our end product and we expect people to try our product for free and understand its value before they pay us for it, our product has to be sticky.
At Asana, we’ve taken our own approach to writing our product roadmap. We rely on a clear strategy where everyone can connect the dots from their daily work to the company mission, and a collaborative process where the people closest to the work can influence our direction. We constantly iterate on this process to make it better. For example, next year, we’re looking at ways that we can be more problem-focused rather than solution focused and have PMs and other people work on project proposals throughout the year. We’re also considering how to best incorporate more long-running teams while still retaining the flexibility to shift people to the most important work. Learn more about how we write our product roadmap from Jackie Bavaro, one of our PM leads.
Fosters Psychological Safety
At Asana, we encourage every employee to bring their full self to work.
This means expressing emotion, recognizing that life outside of work affect our work lives, and buying into the fact that being your full self means better performance for yourself and your team. We put psychological safety into practice by encouraging all employees to attend Conscious Leadership Group training and participating in frequent peer and manager feedback cycles. By giving everyone a shared vocabulary to talk about their emotions at work and making feedback a regular part of our team’s process, people can find the space to feel safe at work.
Impressive Team Members
We push, learn from, and are honored to work with one another.
We’ve gathered a group of impressive folks from top companies like Facebook, Google, Palantir, Quora, and Dropbox. Everyone on our team is committed to teaching and learning from one another, whether it’s in a formal manager or mentor capacity or just as a curious peer. We believe that every member of our team is either the best or has the potential to be the best in the world at what they do. You can meet a few of our team members and learn why people choose to continue their career at Asana on our blog.