Today we’re announcing a new feature. Not a single one of our customers will be able to use it, but they’ll all benefit from it in the long run. We’re updating benefits and paid leave for our team members starting new families.
When One Mighty Roar was born five years ago, Sam, Zach, and Brian infused core values: curiosity, responsibility, teamwork, tenacity, and trust. When I joined them a few years later and we started Robin, I got to (as Zach says) “+1” to that DNA.
I was attracted to my current co-founders and other colleagues because they are genuinely nice and good people. We have folks from different backgrounds and walks of life, yet we all share a high regard for the common set of values this company was founded on. We look for signs of these shared values when evaluating new colleagues, too.
When scaling companies, we learned to “codify” the good things about our culture in order to hold on to those things. We turned the common sense practices intrinsic to good people into great company policies.
We have a workplace that was founded on trust and personal responsibility. Our employees make decisions that are right for them regarding taking time off to recharge, working sane hours, and staying home when they’re sick. We don’t accrue vacation days nor do we count sick days. We encourage time outside of the office so minds stay sharp and the health of both our employees and the company does not falter.
Additionally, our employment agreement does not force you to give up your side projects and passions, as is too commonly practiced in the industry. We encourage outside experiments, because you sharpen skills this way. Several months ago we killed our non-compete clause. It was a relic of a different business model and client requirements.
Our next step is to implement a company policy based on another strongly held belief: being a parent does not detract from you being a good and productive colleague. It’s true that most of my colleagues are not parents today. But we want Robin to be a company that supports an employee’s choice to have children, as my co-founders and team have supported me as a parent. They understand some of the challenges that come up, and I think they have made me a better father because I feel they have my back. My daughter loves her “aunt and uncles” when she comes in to visit the office, and that inspires me every day. We are one big extended family.
So to make sure we carry this belief forward, we are “codifying” the parental leave policy. Employees who have been with us for a year can take one month off with full pay and one more at half pay to take care of their newborn (or newly adopted child). Moms get the additional month at full pay. We commit to helping new parents come back to work afterward because I know from my own experience that it is hard – very hard. We keep ourselves compliant with FMLA even though we don’t have to yet, due to our size. We’re starting with this amount of paid parental time off, as this is what we can afford now. As with all the benefits here, we hit growth milestones before we reward ourselves with sustainable and reasonable perks.
For some people, this isn’t a parody:
As with other things we do, I have been asked if I am worried about people taking advantage of the team or it costing company too much. Simply put: no. We have always done very well because the team pulls together and trusts each other. We share the same cultural DNA.
If you want to help make the work day a delight, please introduce yourself.