January 18, 2022
Photo: Alvarez/Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter, where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern tech office. Today: DoorDash, talent trends and bad bosses.
Right before the start of the year, DoorDash made news when it announced it would require all of its employees — including engineers (gasp!) — to deliver food once a month. And while most outlets got the news right, what was left out of the conversation was that the effort is part of a larger revamped program that launched years before the pandemic.
Here’s what’s happening at DoorDash:
Some refer to this practice of having employees test and use their own product as “dogfooding.” It’s far from new. In fact, it’s been around for decades and has been adopted by a large number of tech companies over the years. The origin story of ye olde “dogfooding” has been debated and is probably less exciting than you might think:
Companies like Salesforce and Instacart have also become anecdotally known for encouraging employees to complete or shadow tasks outside of their day jobs in order to gain a better picture of how their work relates to the business.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced on Twitter today that he would be doing his own form of dogfooding by living in Airbnbs and staying in different cities every couple of weeks. “It’ll be fun, but more importantly it will help us improve the experience for people who can now live anywhere,” he tweeted. Also, this seems expensive, which Chesky did not tweet.
Ben Bentzin, a lecturer at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, said dogfooding has fallen out of practice at a lot of companies, but it can lead to huge benefits for an organization if done right. Bentzin is CEO and founder of health tech company Interactive Health Technologies, and has taught courses in marketing, e-commerce and product strategy.
“It's really a way to connect executives, and all the employees, with the value that's being delivered to customers,” he told Protocol.
Dogfooding comes with its own set of challenges:
The trick is finding the right frequency for employees to test the product, whether that be monthly or annually. Even with the high cost to productivity, Bentzin still recommends the process and continues to do it within his own company. His case for why you should still consider pulling your highly skilled tech workers off their jobs to dogfood the product:
It now seems almost certain that antitrust action, privacy laws and more will influence the tech industry and will soon affect the most powerful companies. Our expert panel will discuss what lawmakers hope to achieve, how tech companies are already responding to possible regulation and what it might look like a few years from now. Speakers for our free, online event include Justin Brookman, Julie Brill, Samir Jain and Linda Moore, moderated by Protocol Senior Reporter Ben Brody on Jan. 26 at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET.
LinkedIn released its 2022 Global Talent Trends Report on Tuesday. The findings are clear: What jobseekers want out of an employer has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. Now, it’s all about flexibility, well-being and culture. Jobseekers are rejecting old norms like set work schedules and being tethered to an office, and companies are responding accordingly in order to compete for talent. LinkedIn found company posts using the word “flexibility” attract 35% more engagement, with more interest from Gen Z and millennial users. For many companies, the wants of jobseekers have sparked a cultural overhaul. “Organizations are looking at: What are those true, unique differentiators in their culture that go beyond in-office perks?” Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent acquisition, told my colleague Allison Levitsky.
Honeywell's Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Kimbell sits with Futurum's Daniel Newman to talk through the world's emerging trends in innovation, sustainability, tech and markets. Don't miss the insights into Honeywell's latest strategy for 2022!
Have you heard of Clockwise, the smart calendar extension that moves meetings for you in order to maximize uninterrupted chunks of “focus time”? The company announced its $45 million series C funding round today, bringing its total funding to $76 million. I caught up with CEO Matt Martin to talk about the tool’s present and future.
Let’s face it, managing people is hard. And the relationship between managers and their direct reports can be a delicate one. We’ve all heard the saying, “Employees don’t quit bad jobs, just bad managers.” Ok, so I likely butchered that quote, but you know what I’m getting at here. Well, turns out there might be some data behind that statement. Employee background check company GoodHire recently surveyed 3,000 full-time workers about the relationship between workers and managers to find out what employees really think. Here are the highlights:
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Thursday.