Yarris’ people: tinker, laugh and build some software

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Katherine King, Chief Operating Officer at Yarris, discusses the Yarris People Strategy.

Yarris is a company that prides itself on creating an inclusive, family-oriented environment for its tight-knit and highly talented workforce.

As chief operating officer, my primary responsibility is to help guide strategy and ensure our operations are extremely efficient. But that’s not just to make or save money; I want to find ways to make Yarris a happier workplace.

Our employees come from all walks of life. We have an astoundingly diverse and innovative group of people from all religions, races and cultural backgrounds. We’re also very keen to create, explore and experiment on a really wide range of different ways of changing how people work. We’re tinkerers and innovators who do lots of experimentation. In fact, we’re involved in doing different types of experiments and prototypes all the time, so we actively seek people who are creative, technically brilliant and want to be a part of a team.

We employ about 30 people, with a very flat company structure. Our people are all encouraged to be the very best. Our learning and development budget means our people are always improving and bringing these new skills and ideas to the company.

When we search for new employees, it’s crucial that individuals fit both our technical and cultural needs.

When we were last looking for a new developer, for example, we interviewed approximately 30 people before we could find someone who matched our technical requirements. We expect our people to be absolutely technically brilliant. Culturally, we want team players who are inquisitive and especially innovative: people who mentor and encourage each other.

Our people come from a wide range of countries, including China, Sri Lanka, the US, Australia, Denmark, Romania and the UK – and we celebrate everybody’s cultural events!

That means we do Christmas, Easter, Chinese New Year, Diwali and more. Basically every holiday, we get together and have food and celebrations. We learn about each other’s culture, so we really encourage that kind of togetherness and cultural appreciation.

We pride ourselves on our company benefits. We have very open leave policies. So when people need study leave, they can take that. We are also very good with sick leave and paid maternity leave; everyone who has gone on maternity leave has come back to us. Our work-from-home policy is extremely popular, and people often work from home two or three days a week. We use technologies like HipChat, Jira, Hangouts, Dazychain and GoToMeeting to stay in constant contact with each other.

We have a very celebratory kind of a culture. Our employees love the flexibility and the challenge of working here, as well our focus on teamwork and a balanced home life. We’re very close-knit and family-oriented.

We also have a very innovative shared-working space at Teamsquare, in Melbourne, Australia. In our space, there are many other technology companies and businesses that service small, innovative companies like us.

We’re also very keen to support women in their technical career journey. We hire and develop women in senior technical roles, as well as mid-level and junior roles, including developers, DevOps engineers and product owners, and we actively mentor our people to help them grow in their chosen career path. We actively encourage women to be involved leaders in our organisation. We provide extensive support for women, and men if they chose, to have their children and re-enter the workforce, while developing in their career.

Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more about Yarris’ people, culture and innovative cloud-based platforms.