Culture · 5 min read

3 ways we bring clarity to career development at FullStory

Jaclyn Spangler
Posted July 15, 2021
3 ways we bring clarity to career development at FullStory

At FullStory, we believe that a more perfect digital experience benefits everyone, and helps our customers drive user happiness and loyalty.

We take the same approach to our employee experience, following the belief that satisfaction at work benefits both our employees and our business. FullStory focuses on prioritizing the employee experience throughout the talent management process, ensuring that career development opportunities and exciting challenges are always within reach for FullStorians.

Recently, we’ve worked hard to put philosophies and processes in place that embrace the “new normal” of the hybrid workplace. In this blog series, we’ll outline how our Watchwords (Empathy, Clarity, and Bionics) inform our approach to career growth in an increasingly dynamic workforce.

Empathy and clarity are better together

When I was a hiring manager in Customer Success, I liked to ask candidates if they believed that the customer was always right. Many interviewees assumed I wanted to hear an emphatic “Yes!” But really, I wanted people to understand the difference between empathy and action. In other words, I wanted them to bring clarity into the equation. 

Clarity, by the FullStory definition, is the habit of thoroughly describing what you mean and why. Putting our empathy hats on, we can agree that a customer’s feelings are always valid, as they are a byproduct of unique perspective and experiences. However, a customer’s past experience may not hold the answer to their problem, so the suggestions they make may not necessarily be “right.” 

And that’s why empathy must always pair with clarity. Once you've cared to understand how someone is feeling, the next step is to get to the root of why they feel that way, so you can work toward a solution. 

Adding clarity to empathy for career growth

So how does this relate to career growth? As a Customer Success-turned-People Operations professional, I view the role of people operations as serving internal customers (aka FullStorians) to help them derive the most value from the product (aka the company). Getting clear on what the company does and does not offer in the way of career development helps employees map their needs to tangible solutions.

In the previous post, we discussed how people seek different indicators of success at different stages in their career development. Leading with empathy allows space to have conversations with your manager about your dreams and goals. Adding clarity helps you to know exactly what outcome you may expect from that conversation.

3 examples of clarity in FullStory’s day-to-day

In relation to career development, clarity means providing a company perspective that helps people identify where their unique story fits in. Here are three ways FullStory provides clarity around career development:

1. Identifiable values and culture

Culture is hard to define, as it’s almost a feeling more than words. Rather than trying to build a culture that we've defined, we reverse the order: We define our values, we talk about them often, and we let company culture spring forth from those guideposts. Our watchwords—empathy, clarity, bionics—form the basis of what we value in interacting with each other. Our operating principles act as a common language around how we work, make decisions, and collaborate together. When a company knows who they are and what they value, that intentionality and clarity seeps into your daily role and future opportunities. 

 2. Stated career philosophy and vision 

FullStory wants to launch careers. To make this a reality, we rely on a clear definition of growth that guides our talent programming: We believe growth is centered around learning and challenge.

We seek to hire good people who delight in their craft, are lifelong learners, and who act as leaders regardless of their position or title. We contend that bringing these types of people together creates an environment where curiosity is nourished and professional development can occur. 

3. Transparent systems and processes

To support our definition of growth as learning and challenge, we strive to ensure that equitable systems are in place to provide timely recognition to FullStorians in the form of salary and title. To achieve this, we’ve found that consistency is the best way to build  trust and reduce surprises (aka, non-clarity). In that spirit, we conduct regular company wide reviews of total compensation and title, and we double-check those against market benchmarks and defined criteria specific to each role. 

Just like in any startup environment, rapid growth can make building a successful career development program feel like a moving target. In a post about clarity, it’s only fair to admit that we can’t tell FullStorians exactly what opportunities may be available to them in the next three to five years. There’s no way to know how much exciting growth or change FullStory will have experienced by then. But having a clearly defined vision and philosophy centered around growth, learning, and challenge helps FullStorians know that if they can imagine it, they can reach for it. 

In our third and final post of the series, we’ll explore bionics, or how operational rhythms can be layered on to a foundation of empathy and clarity to produce very human career results at scale. 

Looking for some clarity in your career journey? Check out our open roles.  

Jaclyn SpanglerPeople Operations

About the author

Jaclyn Spangler is a lifelong nomad currently calling Atlanta, GA home while helping to scale culture at FullStory. Since joining as employee #16 in 2015 she has worn many hats, most recently focusing on talent development and employee experience in her role as People Operations Director. You can find her eating, drinking, or running her way through Atlanta in her spare time.

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