Wealthsimple is a culture-driven company that provides long-term investment management without the high fees. “We want to democratize wealth by giving the financial tools of the rich to everyone.” With this being the fundamental objective they needed to show the world who they are, and why they’re truly different from the rest.
At first they introduced the Wealthsimple Way, a basic black and white worded document created by the founders that highlighted their beliefs and values. Although the values stayed the same Executive Creative Director Mike Giepert felt it didn't feel as fully realised as it should, and wanted to bring it to life. Through stunning design and storytelling they were able to give their brand a spirit. Today this is known as the Culture Manual.
We spoke with Mallory Greene, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Wealthsimple. To learn more about their culture, why they created the Culture Manual, and what they’re hoping to achieve from it.
A manual is a guiding light for your business and informs the decisions you make on an everyday basis. It ultimately creates alignment within your organization, but also showcases the important work you're doing to the world.
Our day to day work and how we treat each other is centered around the Wealthsimple Way. For example, at every all-hands meeting we give kudos to team members who best demonstrate living our values. At our annual retreat, we all voted for one employee who exemplified one of the core values (prize included). It essentially solidifies that this is how we work and this is why it's important.
We aim to hire people who will bring diversity of thought to the organization while aligning with our values. It's about building a set of standardized questions throughout the interview process and understanding how people can demonstrate those values throughout.
Our values as an organization have remained pretty consistent, with small changes as we scale. I think it's kept us grounded despite growing so fast. The beauty of creating a digital manual is that an update is as simple as any other product update. We also have an assigned team who built the manual and are dedicated to maintaining it.
My biggest tip will always be to ensure that the words you're putting into the manual are reflective of how you operate as a business, how your employees treat each other and how your culture has scaled overtime.