Committed to Personal Growth
We live and breathe personal development. We make that commitment to both our employees and our users.
Our company mission is to drive personal growth and development, and we start with ourselves. Our approach is heavily rooted in personalized coaching, which means that every employee at BetterUp gets their own coach, along with one additional coach for a friend or family member to use. Everyone at BetterUp also has access to the same resources, books, and training that we provide for our customers.
When you join BetterUp, you'll go through our extensive onboarding process which helps every employee understand how the various gears of our business work together. It's important that everyone at the company has full context about our mission, vision, and ongoing projects so that they can think critically about their own job. Each new engineer is also paired with an experienced mentor in order to provide a personal touchpoint as they ramp up on our systems and processes.
Personal development is so important to us that we also periodically offer mindset and emotional intelligence training from experts in the field throughout the year as well as a $1000 personal learning stipend that can be used for conferences, books, classes, etc. The most unique benefit we offer are five “inner work” days each year for each person to take a step back, and reflect on their work and journey.
From a management perspective, we’re strong believers in continuous feedback to help drive professional development. We have weekly 1-on-1s along with quarterly touchpoints to obtain feedback from team members around strengths and opportunities for improvement. These touchpoints are focused solely on helping you improve your effectiveness in craft and at BetterUp. They are separate from conversations about compensation and overall performance.
EQ > IQ
Ego is the enemy.
The best products are built when everyone has a seat at the table and feels comfortable discussing ideas without attacking the individual proposing them or tying one’s self-worth to their idea. We also believe that empathy is essential for us to build a product that will allow everyone to reach their goals. While there are engineering challenges in the work that we do, building an effective platform for lasting growth and change – one that meets people where they are – is often much more difficult. These are the sorts of problems that require a deep emotional intelligence beyond raw IQ.
Your job is not your job.
While it is important to be effective as an engineer, we expect everyone at BetterUp to think deeply about the problems being solved beyond just implementation. Your job is doing what it takes for BetterUp to achieve its mission.
Our product development process is highly collaborative and we expect engineers to make suggestions that improve features and the design. This also means making suggestions that will allow us to more effectively use our time. For example, if you see an opportunity for a design adjustment that will allow for more rapid development, it is your responsibility to bring this to the team's attention and iterate with design. You are being an owner, because you recognize spending your time less effectively reduces the velocity at which we can deliver value to customers, which puts our mission at risk.
Safe Environment to Fail
Work to Learn is a key behavior we pride ourselves on here at BetterUp, and we understand that failure is often a necessary step along the path to learning.
When we fail, we focus on what we can take away from the experience to apply moving forward. One way we implement this behavior is through a practice we refer to as “learning memos.” Employees are encouraged to take time to reflect on what they’ve learned through various trials and tribulations, and write their thoughts out in a way that can be shared with the rest of the team.
When we introduce a critical bug into a production environment, we follow-up the incident with a post-mortem that focuses both on what went wrong and how to prevent the incident from being repeated in the future. We are strong believers in approaching this process with empathy and acting as humans, not robots during the post-mortem analysis.
We are also acutely aware that psychological safety is key to both innovation and creating a positive work environment where people feel empowered to speak up with ideas, issues, or concerns. Our managers across the organization welcome and invite feedback of all kinds.
At BetterUp, we build features in cross-collaborative squads.
Squads typically consist of a Product Manager, a Designer, a Full Stack Engineer, and potentially a Frontend Engineer, Mobile Engineers, and/or stakeholders from other organizations. These squads own Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), related to a key business problem. Squads are semi-permanent and develop deep expertise in a problem area through building features in the space and user interviews.
Engineers are expected to deliver value continuously in this space. This is even the case when product and design are exploring possible problems and solutions for the squad’s next project. Engineers participate in this discovery process to collaborate on potential solutions and help ensure that the engineering cost of a proposed solution is appropriately balanced against the value being delivered. Additionally, we believe that providing this early context during discovery can unlock creative solutions once delivery begins. At every step of the way, we expect engineers to think about whether the thing being built is actually delivering the desired end result and whether there’s another solution that could have a more outsized impact.
Actively Practices Inclusion
We strongly believe that we will fail our mission if we fail to build a diverse and inclusive environment.
Our mission is to help everyone live their lives with more clarity, purpose, and passion, and we need representation among those building the product experience in order to do so. While we are more diverse across gender and ethnicity than most technology start-ups, we are not interested in doing the bare minimum. We always want to improve the inclusivity and diversity of our workforce. We ensure that we have a diverse candidate pool through sourcing and connecting with underrepresented communities. As an example, we have adopted the Rooney Rule for the on-site stage of our process.
We have a bias toward action at BetterUp.
We build our product with a sense of urgency; we want to provide value to our members as quickly as possible. We are not able to confirm or reject our hypotheses and improve upon them until they are live and we want to do so as quickly as possible. Sometimes this means reducing the scope of a solution, but it never means compromising our standards for engineering or product excellence. We may start to build a feature only to realize that the experience is not good enough. In this case we would likely cut a secondary feature and ensure that the core experience is intuitive, snappy, and delightful.
In order to help us release early and often, we’ve built a strong foundation of comprehensive test coverage, regularly updated dependencies, and a constant effort toward minimizing technical debt. We release code to production many times a day and engineers are empowered to deliver their code when they see fit. Engineers are expected to do what it takes (test coverage, code reviews, manual testing, etc.) to have high confidence in the code they are releasing and are expected to own (and learn from!) any regressions, which are an inevitable part of software development.