TL;DR: Some great insights in the lessons learned from scaling Stripe’s engineering team. How you scale your team has an enormous impact on your #culture, productivity, and employee engagement, and subsequently the success of the business.
Clear goals enable you to measure success and make the right changes to your process when needed. If you rely primarily on a passive funnel of inbound applicants and referrals, you can end up hiring whoever walks through the door rather than who you really need right now.
Tips and tricks:
Growing teams work incredibly hard to hire new employees, but can overlook helping new teammates succeed once they start. Joining a high-growth startup can be an intimidating experience, and without guidance, new hires have to work twice as hard to learn what they need to be productive.
The first few months are critical for new hires. Asking an engineer to build a feature in their first week is tempting, but investing in onboarding and training makes for happier and more productive teammates. For all new employees, we developed Stripe 101: a general onboarding program that connects new hires across the company. Stripe 101 is a positive experience and extraordinarily effective in sharing key information with them:
Engineering teams provide specialized guides for specific tools (e.g. GitHub or JIRA) or common practices like code review. These act as a source of truth and allow teams to collaboratively agree on their processes upfront, reducing ongoing debate or confusion. Self-serve documentation also decreases our reliance on oral tradition, helping us scale more quickly.
Employee happiness often depends on two factors: whether they know the impact of their work and feel autonomy in the decisions they make every day.
People stay engaged when they feel a personal sense of growth, and you can support this by looking beyond day-to-day productivity and asking the right questions. Twice a year, we send out an employee survey called StripeSat to measure engagement.
Helping people discover new opportunities and create independent projects enables them to shape their story and role at the company. At Stripe, we create internal resources to advertise new teams, encourage employees to rotate onto new projects, and run hackathons to foster creativity.
As companies grow, responding to employee feedback requires both a scalable approach and listening carefully to individuals. Employees recognize problems at companies all the time, but don’t always know how to translate what they’re seeing into effective change.