Making an Impact with #ACCW22: Why We Invest in All Company Culture Week

Time has certainly flown since our first All Company Culture Week in September 2021! Now here we are, in the summer of 2022, with Personio’s second-ever ACCW already in the rear-view mirror. In the months since the first ACCW, this annual event has already become a highlight of the year for our teams. This reputation isn’t without reason: it’s the only time of the year when nearly the entire company is in the same place at the same time. For those not based in the Munich office, it’s an opportunity to travel and visit a new city. For international teammates, it can be the first time they’ve met each other in person. 

ACCW was designed to create space for teams to connect, collaborate, and strategize together. It’s a dedicated time to celebrate our culture, but also to lean into what that culture actually means. It’s a week of coming together to make an impact – for our culture, our community, and our customers.

We believe that our people and culture are the single biggest influencers of Personio’s success, which means that All Company Culture Week is worth the investment. As co-founder and CEO Hanno Renner says, “We invest the time, energy, and resources into this week because it’s a key opportunity for our teams to come together and to strengthen our culture. It helps build bonds and collaboration within departments and between teams that don’t usually work together. All of this combines to help us serve our customers even better, who are the ultimate reason we exist.”

One way we’re seeking to improve is through the accessibility of our product. Personio’s Accessibility Working Group, led in part by Holly Smith (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist) and Steven Busuttil (Head of Design & Research) took advantage of Culture Week to host an accessibility workshop, aligned with our company value of Customer Empathy. They partnered with AbilityNet, a UK-based charity that helps organizations build accessible digital products and services.

During the workshop, three AbilityNet consultants conducted a live demo of Personio across multiple use cases to demonstrate the ways we can increase accessibility and inclusivity in our product. As Steven describes it, “The goal was to highlight our opportunities to improve, and create a sense of ownership for our team to step up and make a difference for our users.” Over 600 members of our Product, Design & Engineering team were able to attend in person – a great example of the activities and impact that All Company Culture Week is all about. 

Accessibility Workshop of Personio’s Product, Design, and Engineering team together with AbilityNet

Along with time dedicated for team workshops and strategy sessions, Culture Week also included a day to live out another of our values: Social Responsibility. Our teams partnered with multiple nonprofits to help upgrade a children’s playground, clean up the Isar river bank, and organize and distribute food for those in need.

Internally, we also hosted a variety of “Community Cafés,” where different groups of Personios could come together to hang out. One group that took advantage was the NextGen P’s, bringing Personio’s most junior team members together to connect, network, and learn career-building skills they can use in their next roles. The employee-led Sustainability Committee also enjoyed some face time, along with our resident Brazilians (who, incidentally, make up the largest group from a single country where we don’t have an office!).

Our NextGen Ps get together during a Community Café

Each of these activities occurred throughout the first half of the week, leading up to Values Day – arguably the highlight of Culture Week. On Thursday we brought the team to an off-site venue to focus on the foundation of our culture: the Personio Code, a combination of our company values and operating principles. Last year we drilled down into our six values: #Ownership, #Transparency, #TeamSpirit, #CustomerEmpathy, #SocialResponsibility, and #Fun. In 2021, we focused on our operating principles: #DrivenByImpact, #BeDiligent, #SeekToImprove, #SolutionsOverProblems, and #CommunicationIsKey. 

Personios participating in an Operating Principles workshop during Values Day.

To help each person walk away from Values Day with a better understanding of these principles, members of our management team hosted multiple workshops throughout the day. Personios from across teams and departments gathered to deep dive into a specific principle before breaking into groups. They then discussed how they and their teammates live out that principle each day; what challenges or barriers at Personio are holding them back from achieving that principle; and what specific actions define it. Int he next weeks and months we’ll use this input to iterate on and sharpen our operating principles and improve on the way we educate new and existing Personios on them.

As part of our continual focus on #CustomerEmpathy, we asked two of our customers to join us at Values Day. Flora Kwong, COO of Kiron, and Selma Sadikovic, HR Lead at Snocks, participated in a panel discussion with our COO Jonas to discuss their journeys and how their own company values helped guide their decisions. It was a great opportunity to speak with our customers face-to-face and see how our product impacts them on a day-to-day basis.

Selma Sadikovic (left), Flora Kwong (center), and Jonas (right) during our #CustomerEmpathy panel

All of that said, just because having fun isn’t the primary focus of ACCW doesn’t mean we don’t have any! Many teams took advantage of time early in the week for team building and bonding, but our Customer Experience (CX) team took it to a whole new level. Dubbed “CoaXella” by our CX Business Manager, Micaela, (“If only I could make puns for a living!”), the event included mini-competitions like potato sack races and tug-o-war. Nothing says team building like yard games in the sunshine! 

The Customer Experience team enjoys a game of tug-o-war during “CoaXella”

And that’s not all! Our Pub Quiz King, Rulo, hosted one of his renowned music pub quizzes that led directly into our first-ever Karaoke Night, where one or two Personios made their fame – including one memorable rendition of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” And, of course, after the Values Day workshops and presentation comes the Values Day celebrations! The latter half of the day and evening was dedicated to our values of #Fun and #TeamSpirit, with food, drinks, and live performances from Personio vocalists, bands, and DJs. 

Are you feeling the FOMO? Join our team and make sure you’re a part of next year’s All Company Culture Week! Head to our careers page to learn about our teams and open roles.

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