Take a seat in an Ops meeting in any organization and you’ll surely hear the word “scale” tossed around more than a few times.
While most people associate it more frequently with growth, expansion or investments, its simplest definition is the ability to adapt to change over time. When the novel Coronavirus entered the picture in February 2020, companies all over the globe entered the sink or swim scalability arena.
In this article, we will reflect on some things we learned while scaling during a pandemic—that we will take with us in our continued journey as a company.
monday.com: A Rarity in the Time of COVID-19
monday.com was founded in 2012 and works to democratize the power of software so organizations can easily build work management tools that suit their needs. Like many other companies, monday.com CEOs Roy Mann and Eran Zinman were faced with the sudden outbreak of the pandemic and what it would mean for their product users and their employees.
Ultimately, swift thinking, flexibility and prioritizing the needs of our employees and customers allowed monday.com to not only get through the first few months of the pandemic—but to actually scale our team by 100%.
4 Lessons We Learned About Navigating Unpredictable Times
Lesson #1: Your People Matter
In addition to concern for how the pandemic would impact our business and customers, much of how we adapted during this period revolved around the individuals and teams that fuel the company—the employees.
Like many teams around the world, the challenges faced by talent at monday.com globally varied for reasons that were just as unique as they are. When the world suddenly shifted into WFH and government-mandated lockdowns that are still challenging many teams worldwide, each team needed to find their way to “make it work”.
One R&D group could have student employees, young singles or couples who suddenly needed to work remotely or take care of family members, and of course parents with children to entertain. Team leads and their reports learned to adapt to modified schedules and still work together to create an impact. More on this later.
All of our teams, from Operations to HR, Communications and beyond did their part to prioritize the health and engagement of monday.com employees, especially during this stressful time. COVID-19 testing is available onsite at our offices that are open and online resources such as individual counseling sessions and high-quality fitness subscriptions are available to employees, free of charge.
We also worked to maintain team engagement and “de-stress” time by shifting our employee-planned team night outs into virtual opportunities.
Lesson #2: Lead with Transparency
Despite much of the fear that surrounded business health during 2020 and the harmful effects that companies are still seeing as a result of the impact—as of March 2021 close to two-thirds (63%) of businesses affected say they are experiencing only signs of recovery.
monday.com believes in setting ambitious goals—some might wonder how or if these would change when the pandemic started.
CEOs Roy Mann and Eran Zinman embodied transparency by addressing our employees in a letter to give direction and solidify our purpose as an organization. Known as “Full Steam Ahead”, the letter described our unique mentality as it related to the virus outbreak. A few key takeaways were:
- We have a huge opportunity, perhaps more now than ever, to help teams and organizations outdo their best with our product and expertise.
- We take action swiftly and continuously—a testament to how much potential we have to keep scaling and improving despite the challenging circumstances.
- Our company culture was built to not just manage but prosper in such conditions. There is a powerful mutual trust between monday.com the employer and monday.com employees as it relates to expectations around workload and support.
Because of the shared goal, direction and clarity this letter provided, we achieved many goals we are proud of. At the time, we had a goal to not just continue hiring, but to double the number of monday.com employees.
Within capacity and reason, some goals are worth standing your ground for.
Lesson #3: Goals: Know When to Push Forward and When to Pivot
From conversations with R&D Group Leader Oron Morad, it was easy to understand that monday.com’s employees share a common trait—the spark for innovation and the ability to flex and be creative around new challenges.
“When Corona first started to really touch the world, you could feel it and also see it in our customer base. The first month or so there was this sort of shock period, where you could see businesses were either closing or reevaluating their budgets and what their teams would look like in the near future.”
He went on to explain that despite the fact that most of the quarter’s work had already been mapped out, he and his colleagues quickly pivoted their focus to address the needs of existing and new customers around the corner. Across the board, our teams raised their own ideas and highlighted the frictions they were experiencing. That, combined with feedback from our customers painted a clear picture of where our team needed to focus. In this way, our value of striving for impact shined through.
The result? Our teams built, tested and launched a lineup of features suited for remote work, such as a Zoom recipe that allowed users to create an item when a meeting is scheduled, as well as when it has started. We even created a way to define your online status system so users could indicate if they were available and if they were working from home or the office.
Lesson # 4: You Never Know Who Your Next Customer Is
monday.com Work OS is used by 127K companies to manage workflows spanning countries and industries— including Hulu, BBC Studios and L’oreal Paris, to name a few. In a rapid moment of change, monday.com landed a customer that perhaps wasn’t ever expected—the Israeli government.
Known for being one of the world’s fastest countries to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it makes sense that Israel’s government would seek an intuitive tool that could get their efforts up and running quickly—in less than one day, to be exact. Through a series of complex workflows, the Israeli government created a synchronized and efficient control center to fight COVID-19 that was built completely on monday.com.
Israel’s National COVID-19 Control Center required the collaboration of several different civilian and military agencies for the first time in order to manage the crisis while supporting the labs, hospitals and first-responders working on the front lines. Prior to the implementation of monday.com, there was no central cross-governmental system with standard processes and procedures in place to manage the crisis. They were faced with multiple challenges:
- Effective communication with stakeholders
- Sourcing and managing essential healthcare equipment suppliers
- Collaborating with multiple ministries and departments with unique systems during a national crisis
Within a few hours, the Control Center and the monday.com team implemented the powerful, centralized and flexible Work OS that multiple ministries and departments continue to rely on to:
- Collect accurate and real-time data from labs and hospitals
- Make swift, data-driven decisions to maximize efforts
- Manage a multi-level procurement process swiftly
Custom to their workflow is an integrated web-based form on its website, in Hebrew and English, so any vendor and supplier anywhere in the world can easily submit an offer for supplies related to the response. These offers flow directly into the monday.com workflows, in real-time.
Several apps and integrations were a part of making this process much faster and seamless. For example, every workflow app is built with complex automations and permissions that give specific officials permission to grant approvals while locking the capability for everyone else.
This unique case study not only served as a lesson in the diversity of customers and processes that can thrive with our Work OS, but also that we can always expand and explore new ways to use our platform to achieve unique goals.
Staying Mindful of the Road Ahead
The early months of 2020 presented almost unprecedented conditions globally and we are still seeing their impact.
At monday.com, our dedication to serving our people and our customers while continuously evaluating our goals allowed us to make great strides as a company and an employer, despite the challenges. We truly believe the foundation of our continuous scaling and innovation rests in our employees and the way we stand behind our values.