How Etsy created a Culture of Learning
Etsy is known for its unique culture, which fosters creativity, learning, and empowerment among its employees. Its Learning and Development team has implemented innovative learning formats and evidence-based leadership practices to support the career advancement of employees.
Written by HYER NEWSROOM
The company also has "Etsy School," a platform for employees to teach and attend classes on a wide range of topics, from 3D printing to jewelry making. According to Brian Christman, SVP of People and Workplace, Etsy's non-hierarchical culture encourages employees to learn from one another, regardless of seniority. This culture has been fostered through various initiatives, such as anonymous communication tools that allow employees to ask questions to the CEO during weekly company-wide meetings.
While Etsy's culture has been a strength, it has also posed challenges, such as difficulty in providing critical feedback in its "nice" culture. Despite this, Etsy's People Operations team works on various groups, including HR Operations, Talent Team, Workplace Ecology and Design, and Culture and Engagement, to ensure the safety, productivity, and well-being of the employees, while amplifying the company's existing culture and value system.
Etsy is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in its workforce. Although diversity is a challenge in the tech industry, the company is laying a foundation for a multi-year strategy that addresses diversity and inclusion, with a focus on ethnic diversity this year. Initiatives include opening up talent pipelines and increasing community engagement to promote inclusion.
One of the keys to Etsy's culture is the company's commitment to learning and development. Its Learning and Development team integrates innovative learning formats with evidence-based leadership practices to help employees advance their careers. This team offers a range of programs and resources, including personalized coaching, team-based learning, and leadership development programs.
Another important aspect of Etsy's culture is its focus on creativity. The company's "Etsy School" provides a platform for employees to teach and attend classes on a wide range of topics, from 3D printing to jewelry making. The goal of this initiative is to nurture and share creativity among employees, which in turn helps drive innovation and growth at the company.
Etsy's non-hierarchical culture is also a crucial factor in its success. According to Christman, employees are encouraged to learn and grow from one another, regardless of seniority. This creates a sense of empowerment that inspires employees to take ownership of their work and to feel invested in the company's success.
Their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion has been an ongoing effort. In 2020, the company released a Diversity and Inclusion Report, which outlined its goals for increasing diversity and promoting inclusion in its workforce. The report highlighted the need for more diverse hiring practices and the importance of creating a culture that values and celebrates differences. Since then, Etsy has made significant strides in increasing diversity, with a focus on ethnic diversity in its current initiatives. The company has also been working on increasing community engagement to promote inclusion, opening up talent pipelines, and fostering a culture of belonging for all employees.
As Etsy continues to grow and evolve, its unique culture will undoubtedly play a central role in its success. By fostering a culture of learning and empowerment, Etsy is creating an environment where employees can thrive and the company can continue to innovate and make a positive impact on the world. Despite the improvements that could be made, it is clear that Etsy's unique culture and its impact in the marketplace are evident, and it remains a calm, quiet leader in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.