I wanted to have a look back at my first month at Monzo and write about some of the things that have stood out for me. This is a slightly delayed post because I am in my sixth week now, but time flies past so quickly!
Before joining, I had not anticipated exactly what onboarding was going to be or consist of at Monzo. I had caught a glimpse of some new employees going through onboarding when I was in the office for my interviews, and noticeably everyone was lounging on beanbags, eating pastries and looking at a screen filled with emojis. My previous experiences of onboarding had very much been "this is what we do, this is the codebase, crack on" and this was the polar opposite.
My first day I was treated to breakfast with my manager and my "buddy" (a buddy is who you partner with in your starting period at Monzo). I was really grateful for that hour or so just getting to know a little bit more about the people I will be working closest with before being dropped in at the deep end.
We headed back to the office, met up with the other first dayers and then it was a day of back to back slide decks and group activities. At never point did it feel boring, the slides were filled with relevant and genuinely interesting information and even the dreaded group participation activities never felt awkward and I put this down largely to the awesome work of the onboarding team - Tristan and Holly.
More sessions are then staggered over the next couple of weeks and automatically put into your calender, which is a really nice approach, as it allows you to start integrating into the company and gaining valuable context.
#Trust & Flexibility
One of the nicest things about the company is that everyone is trusted. Completely.
You have no set working hours, so you are trusted to do the right amount of work for you. If you aren't feeling 100% one day or are having trouble focusing, then you are encouraged to call it a day and relax. If you want to work from home, you can. If you want to come in at 6 every morning and leave at 2 you can. If you want to migrate to the local coffee shop and work there all day, you can. As long as you are getting your work done nothing is questioned.
When I was first going to pick up my computer equipment I was greeted with a wall of different tech, keyboards, mice, noise cancelling headphones. "Do I have to book this out", I asked sheepishly. "No mate, just take it", was the response. "Help yourself to whatever you want".
This level of trust took some getting used to as it is never something I have had before. I am an early riser, so I like to get into the office as early as possible and leave early. I have never felt so comfortable doing this before as I have here and allowing me to work to the routine that suits me best is really appreciated.
#Slack and Notion
I was big fans of these applications before I started at Monzo and used them regularly. Monzo uses them on another scale.
I have heard somewhere that there are more Slack channels than people (1500) and I fully believe it. You are discouraged from using email at all in your job and all communication is done via Slack to keep things as transparent as possible. This creates its own problems in the sense that your usual workflow of being able to keep up with everything on Slack goes out the window. It takes some getting used to, but the positives far outweight the negatives.
Monzo uses Notion for pretty much everything. All the company docs are within its pages and you could literally get lost for days scrolling through the content. It makes finding things difficult, as Notions search function is absolutely shit, however being able to have pretty much all of your documentation on one platform that can be accessed by anyone on both computer and mobile is really nice.
There is free street food on Mondays and Wednesdays, and usually sweet treats (🍩) floating around somewhere in the building!
Monzo's emoji game is strong as fuck.
They have an onboarding session on how to use them correctly. It takes an hour. Enough said.
#"Be hard on problems, not people"
Monzo is without doubt the friendliest place I have ever worked. Monzonauts are encouraged to go get coffees with your peers and you really feel as though you can walk up to anyone and say hello without there being any awkwardness. Building connections with people and feeling like all of your team have got your back is a really really nice culture to be part of. Not once have I ever heard anyone say anything negative behind someones back, everyone has everyone in their best interests.
We are also encouraged to provide people with feedback. If someone isn't performing to their best, then it is the job of their manager to provide them with the answers on how to improve to help the employee to grow as much as possible. Feedback never comes from a bad place, and that really shows.
I will definitely be writing more articles from my time at Monzo. If you would like to hear about anything in particular then please feel free to give me a shout on any of my social accounts and I will do my best to write about it and share my thoughts! <3