One SoFi: Refining our Culture
by Jing Liao, Chief Human Resources Officer
This year’s events at SoFi have served as a stark reminder about the importance of company culture. Since September, our board and leadership team have been taking a hard look at SoFi’s culture—and we have identified several areas for improvement. To address those areas, we have launched an initiative called “One SoFi” to work together to define the culture and values we want to embrace as a community across our nearly 1,300 people and seven offices.
We began the initiative with a company-wide survey to assess the present state of our culture, recognize our strengths, and identify opportunities for improvement. We had extremely strong participation across the company, with 81 percent of employees taking the survey. Once the results were compiled, we held discussions on the issues raised amongst leadership, across teams, and together as a company.
The findings of the survey were clear: people love working at SoFi, appreciate our mission, and enjoy working with their teams, but they also want to see a concerted effort on building a cohesive culture and in fostering communication across teams.
Working with the executive team, we created two separate but related working groups to drive these efforts forward, one focused on the culture as a whole, the other focused on inclusion and diversity. Both groups drew employees across teams, seniority, and locations.
The 25-member core culture team has convened workshops in every SoFi office over the last few weeks to facilitate discussions about what kind of culture people aspire to create here, with the goal of supplementing our survey research with additional perspective and dialogue. Every member of our executive team participated in at least one of these workshops.
The 15-member inclusion and diversity team kicked off its first meeting last week, focusing on developing a set of recommendations for the executive team and board about how to build inclusion and diversity into everything we do.
Refining our culture also means strengthening our approach to HR. We have developed new channels for people to anonymously provide feedback on any issue within the company, rolled out new training and education programs for both managers and individual contributors, and launched new learning and development programs for all managers in all locations focused on helping them serve and support their teams.
To be clear, these are all just initial steps. We are under no illusion that we can do a few quarters of work and cultivate the culture we aspire to have. We have to define our new core values and craft our internal programs around them. It will be a continuing, daily effort to both build and maintain that culture as we grow. And we are committed to the work required to foster a transparent, respectful, and accountable business culture.