Our culture – our WeRoad way of doing things – is unique. We’ve always done things a little bit differently, and over time we’ve come to realize just how important our culture is to our success.
Our way of doing things is a kind of trademark. It gives us superpowers. It’s gotten us to where we are today and it will get us where we want to go in the future. In the words of our co-founder Fabio, “if we become a Unicorn, it will be thanks to our Culture.”
So we take culture very seriously. And in 2019 – the year we doubled our team in size, and started transitioning from team to company – we decided to write everything down: who we are, what we stand for, and how we work. We believe this Culture Manifesto will help us find, keep, and engage the people who are most aligned with our culture – and help us foster and protect it as we scale.
We talk a lot about objectives, numbers, and results. But WeRoad is first and foremost a community, and our vision is to connect people, cultures, and stories. This means our business is profoundly human: it’s built on relationships and interactions.
On the one hand, this is tough because it requires a lot of our time. We organize a lot of events to build and engage our communities, which means many of us devote several of our weeknights and weekends to WeRoad. We are also responsible for ensuring the safety of our traveling Coordinatorsand WeRoaders, which means many of us are on call 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s true: our business demands a lot of energy. But it gives back so much more.
Everyday we get to see the impact our work has and we’re reminded that we earn a living making connections and changing lives. Not many companies can say that. This is our “why” – the reason we come to work everyday – and we consider it a privilege.
Join WeRoad and within just a few days you’ll hear the phrase “road to Unicorn.” From the start we’ve had big dreams, which have only grown over time as we opened up to external funding and gained ambitions to go international. We’re not satisfied with offering great experiences to WeRoaders, or with being a great company. We’re here to offer life altering experiences, and to disrupt the status quo in our industry – to go down a path no other company in the industry has gone down before. So forget what you thought you knew about travel companies, or startups. We bet we do things differently here at WeRoad.
To give you an idea, we crushed our original goal of 5.250 WeRoaders this year, increasing the goal halfway through to 8.000 and finishing the year with 9.200.
Speed is a habit at WeRoad. Our philosophy is: if we aren’t scared we’re doing things too fast, we aren’t moving fast enough.
Curious just how fast? When we launched WeRoad, we went from idea to first trip in less than six months; we launched the OffRoads in one month; we’re launching WeRoad Spain in
Our experience has taught us that execution is everything.
Example: no developers? No problem. We first built our back-end on Google Sheets with what we called the “Big Bandaid” and in 2018-2019 sent 9.200 WeRoaders around the world using it.
Being on the road to unicorn means that, for better or worse, all bets are off. So we “surf the growth.”
Case in point: in 2019-2020 our goal is 20.000 WeRoaders in Italy, but we know that if we do another round in 2020 it could change, almost overnight, to 25.000 or 30.000. We’re prepared for that – and welcome the added challenge.
We want to work with people who are as passionate as we are – not only about travel and WeRoad but also about the work they do. We feel we owe it to each other and to our WeRoaders to do our best, everyday, at work. Passion means:
Working at WeRoad means getting comfortable with being out of your comfort zone: we will expect you to move fast and take risks (here, making mistakes isn’t a problem; standing still is!) all while working with little direction and certainty. Discovery means:
We love breaking things: we continuously put what we’re doing in question in order to raise our own standards and work smarter, better, and faster. Daring means:
WeRoad is a team effort. Seriously, pretty much everything we do involves cross-functional teamwork. We also love storytelling: we communicate what we do and how we do things constantly, both internally and externally. It’s all second nature to us; we don’t know any other way. Luckily, it fuels our growth. Sharing means:
Our business is necessarily one founded on empathy and respect: for each other, for all members of our community, for our partners, for the people living in our destinations, and for the natural and historical wonders of the world. Respect means:
WeRoad is based on human interaction, which means we have endless opportunities to leave a positive impact on other people. WOWness means:
We know that the only way we’ll grow fast is if everyone in WeRoad lives our values and acts like an owner. So our philosophy is to find the right people – smart, hungry problem solvers who fit with our culture and who are “all in” – and then inspire them, empower them, and set them free. Here’s what it looks like in practice:
We’ll be honest, this usually takes some getting used to. The first few months at WeRoad can be a blur: a dose of culture shock is almost always inevitable and no one will be there to hold your hand.
But while being empowered is tough, we think it’s also the key to being happy at work.
Of course we want our people to grow and reach their fullest potential with us. But we aren’t fans of formal, one-to-many training. In most cases, assuming we’ve hired high performing, curious people, it’s not the most effective use of their time, or ours. Instead, we believe that people grow most when:
As a company we check in regularly to make sure we’re putting people in the right context to grow and learn. But the assumption is that they are growing and learning – we believe that by definition working at WeRoad should be stimulating. So in the end we expect our people to take responsibility for their own professional development. We have a strong culture of self-improvement and self-learning, and endless opportunities for doing, sharing, and getting feedback. Think of WeRoad as a “gym” (as we say in Italian), not a “school.” We get out of this experience what we put in, and it’s up to us to take advantage of what’s around us to unleash our own potential.
WeRoad’s growth is driven by the growth of our people. So we want people to grow as fast as possible, and without limits. But at WeRoad things are in constant evolution. This means it’s hard enough for us to define roles and responsibilities today, let alone clarify what will happen in the future. So we try to avoid a “landing spot” mentality (“you will go from A title to B title if you do C within D timeframe). We’ve found it to be a waste of time at best and that at worst, we make promises we can’t keep or set false expectations. So we don’t promise people clear growth paths. Instead, we strive for a “growth agreement” mentality.
We commit to promising growth opportunities to people who consistently:
As explained in the OneDay Total Compensation Guidelines, in WeRoad people can grow along a “managerial” path (managing complexity, people and/or businesses) or an “expert” path (specializing in a particular area). Both are equally valued at WeRoad, and regardless of which path someone is on, opportunities for growth can come in different forms. They could, depending on each of our people and on the needs of our business, mean:
How do we know if we’re on track? We ask. We don’t like the idea of formal performance reviews, mostly because can’t afford to wait around to give feedback or put a lengthy process behind it. We need to improve in real time, everyday. So our managers check in with us regularly:
We repeat: we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that we can’t make any guarantees. What we can promise is that we will be as open, honest, and transparent as possible about how things are going and possibilities for the future.
If you’re joining (or you’re a part of) WeRoad now, there’s one more thing you should know: we’re experiencing growing pains. We grew from team of 3 to multinational company of 65 in two years, and by October 2020 we will be a team of 100. This stage of growth is really tough. Read to get an idea of some of the growing pains we’re facing now and we’ll continue to face during this particular phase of our journey.
Working at WeRoad means living this Manifesto. (It’s a sort of oath of employment, if you will.)
We’ll be honest: if you’re not 150% aligned with our approach and prepared to dive “all in,” it’s hard to thrive and be happy here. So if reading this scared you, or you’re skeptical about what’s written here, then working at WeRoad isn’t for you. And that’s fine. We know that WeRoad isn’t for everyone, and not everyone is for WeRoad. It’s both an incredibly rewarding and incredibly demanding place to work.
If on the other hand you felt a spark and found yourself in these pages, we hit the jackpot and found culture fit. So pack your bags. Because maybe we’re biased, but we believe working at WeRoad isn’t a job, it’s the professional adventure of a lifetime.
There’s nothing else quite like it.
(We)Road to Unicorn.