Accountability to our People & Values
Published April 11, 2023

Accountability to our People & Values

by Megan Coyle 🥣
People Director

Walking the talk of Township’s core values

A culture built for people has been in Township's charter from the time we decided to start an agency. While creating a positive professional and personal ecosystem is ongoing, our efforts have been in service to our team. 

We believe our commitment to experimentation has allowed us to create a workplace that truly prioritizes the well-being of our employees even when they’re away from work. We’ve had to make a lot of decisions over the years to hold tight to what works and to toss out practices that don’t serve us. We recently shared an introduction to our values and today, Senior People Specialist, Kenna Hynes, and I are expounding on how we live them out in support of our team. Why? For accountability and in hopes of inspiring others who share our vision for a better way of doing business.

First, you should know— Township is people first. Period.

We created Township to prove that a positive impact on our people's lives and quality technology design can coexist in a two-way relationship. We extend this belief to our client partnerships, the products we develop for customers, and the communities our work impacts.

All of our Township values are centered on empowering people to find their highest potential.

Life-Work Harmony

We see everyone we work with as whole people who live full lives. We strive to maintain functional benefits and emotional security at work to fuel a life that can thrive outside of work.

While it may seem arbitrary, replacing life work “balance” with life work “harmony” was an important distinction - we want work to harmonize with our team’s life, rather than trying to find a balance between the two.

Life-Work Harmony

How we live Life-Work harmony

Prioritizing being a distributed team that is able to find our own best rhythms working from home is the basis for this value. But, there are a lot of functional ways we put it to work (literally): 

  • Provide a workspace for all, from anywhere.

  • Put quality of work over the number of hours worked.

  • Embrace asynchronous work and the success that comes from being able to work when and where you’re firing on all cylinders.

  • Offer 9 different types of time off to our team, from vacation PTO and sick time to paid parental leave and bereavement leave to extended leave of absences. 

  • Provide a monthly stipend for workplace and wellness expenses with a focus on both physical and mental health. 

What we want Life-Work Harmony to mean

Being an organization that values Life-Work Harmony means we support our people and in turn, those people are able to do their best work for our clients. We aim to model this standard as a work style that furthers the Life-Work Harmony of our client partners as well.

Supportive Growth

There are few things we love more than seeing each other flourish. We provide our employees and client partners with the foundation and means to grow together.

We strive to be a valuable part of our people’s path whether they are with us for the long-term or we’re a stepping stone to the next big thing on their journey.

Supportive Growth

How we live Supportive Growth

We are heavily invested in making sure that each person on our team can grow at their own pace with goals they choose and a clear, tangible roadmap in the form of a career framework.

  • Establish a development plan and growth areas, designed by the employees themselves, to help them achieve attainable goals.

  • Provide an annual individual education budget.

  • Facilitate quarterly workshops to learn more about applicable cross-functional skills.

  • Put an emphasis on ongoing. consistent feedback throughout the year (rather than an annual review).

  • Ensure managers are viewed as responsible not only for the success of a project but also the growth of their team.

What we want Supportive Growth to mean…

We want Township to be a place where people can grow while they’re here, as individuals, for our team collectively, and to fuel the amazing work that growth supports.

Healthy Longevity

Our purpose is to build for the long-term by fostering an ongoing sense of stability. We adapt to the environment around us so we can sustain the lives of the teams who are working on the products of the future.

For everyone involved in our work, we want to create a sense of lastingness. We aren’t simply trying to solve a problem or finish a project, we’re trying to create work and digital spaces that flourish into the future.

Healthy Longevity

How we live Healthy Longevity

  • Yearly and rolling 6-9 month planning horizons allow for vision and agility. When the business foresees challenges, we look ahead and move ahead of targets to ensure the longer-term goal can be pursued while maintaining short and medium term stability.

  • Place a big emphasis on ensuring there are no surprises when it comes to time commitments. We try to minimize blurry lines between work time and personal time.

  • Many of our benefits look long-term, from our 401k match and healthcare all the way to estate planning.

What we want Healthy Longevity to mean

We understand that it can be risky for someone in the tech industry to stay at one job for a long period of time. So, we’re always striving to refine and improve our workspace to give people a reason to stay for the long-term, or take their healthy whole-self on to the next thing if it’s what serves them best.

Transparency Always

We opt for transparency at every level, whenever possible. It’s one of the most powerful tools available to us when striving for equity. We keep things transparent because we stand behind our decisions.

It can’t be understated how important fostering trust between our teammates and clients partners is for us, and what better way to do so than through open communication and transparency.

Transparency Always

How we live Transparency Always

  • Consider as little information as possible as “off limits” to our team. 

  • Share company vision,  goals, and financial state to all of Township. 

  • Communicate early and often when things are tough. We don’t shy away from conversations about turbulent times in the industry and what it means for Township, whether it be COVID, economic uncertainty, or otherwise. 

  • Make career frameworks and transparent compensation structures widely available. 

  • Hold a bi-annual engagement survey where our team can anonymously share feedback about all aspects of the organization (and of course, we also release the results of that survey, as well as a plan of action for improvements).

What we want Transparency Always to mean

We want to be both a model for being a people-first agency, while also students of the industry to always be finding ways to improve. We’re committed to sharing both our successes and failures. By making our values, policies, and practices as public domain as possible, this level of transparency is our small way of providing a positive impact to the industry as a whole.

Shhh... it's not a secret!

We’ve been gathering and sharing resources so you can re-use or evolve the work we’ve put in here. We’re excited to share our full handbook with the world in the near future, as well as begin sharing an annual end of year report with financial and performance metrics along with what we’ve accomplished (and tried and failed) from the year.

Sharing how our values come to life for our employees and putting ourselves out there makes the responsibility real. We look forward to this post becoming out of date. Because it will mean there are new learnings to be shared, and we will have grown in the direction of continuing to be people first.

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