At Xero, we take pride not just in the work that we do every day to help accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses around the world, but also in how we try to create a workplace culture where our people love coming to work each day.
This is why we’re incredibly proud to now be certified as a Great Place to Work here in Canada. The Great Place to Work Institute Canada is a research and management consultancy firm, founded in the U.S. with International Affiliate offices throughout the world. Our new certification was based on a comprehensive review of things like our culture, benefits, approach to leadership and development, alongside responses from our employees.
It’s those responses from our people that make me excited the most about this certification. Great Places to Work surveyed employees located here in Canada on how we are doing to foster a culture where they can do the best work of their lives. Below are just some of the results we’ve seen this year.
Camaraderie is key
Team culture was overwhelmingly positive at Xero here in Canada, with 99 percent of surveyed Xeros saying that they were made to feel welcome. We have biweekly all hands calls where we introduce new team members, plus weekly standups where we rotate hosts and they get a chance to talk about themselves and personal lives. We want to make sure that everyone can be themselves at work.
This spills over into another stat from the survey, which was that 99 percent of surveyed Canadian Xeros say they feel we all care about each other here. In addition, 97 percent said they can count on their coworkers. These are particularly impressive considering that our hybrid work policy means many Xeros work from home most of the time, and yet they still feel more connected to one another
A space for collaboration and innovation
As we continue to grow in Canada, it’s important that we continue to move quickly and adapt. Because of this, a big part of our culture at Xero is innovating, experimenting and trying new things, and this resonates with employees as 97% of surveyed Canadian Xeros say that the company celebrates and encourages new ideas. Because of this and the camaraderie among the team, 97 percent say they look forward to coming to work each day while 97 percent also say they are proud to tell others where they work.
After these last few years, work-life balance is more important now than ever. Protecting the wellbeing and mental health of our employees is a top priority, and 99 percent of surveyed Canadian Xeros say they feel they’re able to take time away from work when needed while 96 percent say they are encouraged to have work-life balance.
At Xero, we have a wellbeing hub and a mental health toolkit for our people leaders to support their teams, plus we we repositioned our sick leave as ‘wellbeing leave’ to encourage our staff to feel comfortable to not only take leave for physical illness, but also to take time off for their own mental and emotional wellbeing as needed. In addition, we also added funds to our annual allowances for health benefits, such as therapy, and extended our compassion and bereavement paid leave policies – enabling employees to take time away from work around a miscarriage or stillbirth, should they choose to.
Giving working parents the time and support they need to care for their children is also so important to us. We’re committed to supporting parents on their journey, before, during, and after parental leave. All primary carers, regardless of how they become a parent, are entitled to up to 26 weeks of parental leave payments. Over that time, Xero will ‘top-up’ any government allowance or other regional support to 100 percent of their base salary. We also have up to six weeks of paid partner’s leave and ten paid ‘keeping in touch’ days to help parents stay connected while on Parental Leave.
What we’ve learned and adopted from return to office
These last few years have been unpredictable to say the least, so we’ve tried to stay in tune with what our people value the most and how we can support them regardless of whether they choose to work from home or come into the office.
In our Toronto space specifically, which is our Canadian HQ, we’ve brought back regular in-person events which help people to know when colleagues will be in person for both professional and social collaboration. For example, every third Thursday of the month we do Xero Connect days that have activities, lunch and learns, or themed parties, among other things. You can always count on the office being full on those days and seeing others give people a reason to make the commute in.
We also have half-year kick offs for professional team building activities, catered lunches every Thursday (which are always delicious!) and more. Not requiring people to come into the office every day but providing the option to gather collectively on specific days throughout the month has helped create and maintain a strong culture among employees while maintaining the flexibility they love.
These are just a few of the amazing benefits we offer our employees here at Xero in Canada to make it a great place to work. I encourage you to visit our Humans of Xero page where you can learn from some of the great Xeros who work here and the amazing things they do each day.