Growth Strategy for HR: How DoorDash Built Processes that Scale

Like most HR professionals, you probably find yourself wondering how you’re going to get through your seemingly endless list of daily tasks, so everyone has what they need to achieve your company goals.

What would that look like if you were also seeing 325% growth year on year – four times faster than your closest competitor? Imagine the number of new hires to onboard, managers to train, and processes to manage in order to scale a business that’s adding 30,000 customers a week!

This is what DoorDash is facing as they just announced their Series G funding – making them one of the 10 most valuable venture backed companies in the US.

This latest announcement means they’ve grown 60% since their latest funding round in February 2019, with annualized total sales hitting $7.5 billion in March. Yes, you read that right. $7.5… BILLION.

How do you achieve that level of growth without impacting performance, diluting your company culture, or drowning in manual tasks?

Lucky for you, we have some insider knowledge into how the People Operations Team at DoorDash built their processes to scale with extreme business growth, while still supporting People Enablement. Here’s a sneak-peek into how they did it, so you can leverage best-practices from one of the world’s fastest growing companies.

How did DoorDash approach their performance management processes to ensure they would scale with extreme company growth?

As a startup, it’s easy to defer to intuition, which works when everyone knows each other and conversations happen freely over the lunch table or in the hallway. But when you’re growing as quickly as DoorDash, organic moments to share feedback, align on direction, and measure performance become less frequent. You need performance processes, or people enablement programs, that scale, ensuring teams remain aligned – no matter how quickly people join.

Their primary goal was to ease the administrative burden on the People Operations Team, so they could spend their energy on other priorities. Moving from 6+ Google docs per person to a purpose-built performance management platform helped to automate scheduling and communication, as well as increase participation. This also allowed Doordash to surface actionable insights for managers and their teams, while increasing feedback exchanges between members.

“Prior to Impraise we had 8,000 different Google Docs to go through every review cycle. None of our teams liked it and it was a huge administrative burden. With Impraise, our bi-annual reviews are lighter, less scary, and more helpful.”

— Lianne Hajduch, HR Business Partner

Impraise provided them with a customizable reviews builder, automated distribution and notifications, so scheduling reviews was now a breeze: the People Operations team could now work smarter and not harder. With high participation the team was collecting more high quality insights, making it easier to visualize overall company performance and track trends over time.

Benefits were seen beyond the People Operations Team, as managers now also have access to insights on performance they use to better support the professional development of their team members.

How did DoorDash structure their processes to allow them to scale 4x faster than their nearest competitor?

There are a number of ways you can structure your people enablement programs depending on your needs. DoorDash decided to set up three scheduled moments to provide feedback, supported by the opportunity for real-time feedback – anytime they like:

  • Bi-annual self-assessment + performance reviews (run at the same time)

  • Annual manager reviews (upward feedback)

  • Real-time continuous feedback

The self-assessment is run alongside performance reviews twice a year, and is followed by manager reviews once at the end of the year.

Bi-annual self-assessment + performance reviews

These scheduled review moments provide individuals with the opportunity to reflect personally on their own performance, followed by feedback from their manager on the same criteria.

This is an opportunity for managers and their team members to align on what they each see as important for success in their role, and then how they feel they’re performing against what they’ve both previously agreed upon.

Manager reviews

This is a great opportunity for managers – especially those new to this role to receive insights into how they’re performing and if there are opportunities for improvement. Because people are often afraid of providing feedback to their manager, this is a crucial opportunity for productive feedback to be shared so managers and teams can progress together.

Real-time feedback

While this is not a scheduled moment, it is still a crucial element of DoorDash’s people enablement strategy. This provides an opportunity for real-time feedback between team members, which people can engage with at any time to support development.

What does this look like in real life?

Within their first review cycle, DoorDash teams shared over 10,000 pieces of feedback and achieved an astounding 85% adoption rate. At the same time, the People Operations team gained valuable and actionable insights in half the time it used to take them with Google Docs.

“Impraise makes it easier for me to get feedback for my direct reports and my peers. It makes it easier for me, as the leader of the People Operations Team, to have a pulse on how the company is doing”

— Nathan Tanner, Director of People Operations

The People Operations Team at DoorDash managed to build processes that meant they could focus on other areas where they could add value to the business – rather than always scrambling to get their reviews done.

Are you already imagining how good it would feel to begin ticking off those dream projects you’ve always wanted to get off the ground? This is your opportunity! Or maybe you have a different plan in mind…

Whatever your plans, building a scalable people enablement program is your path to getting there.

Download our latest “Guide to People Enablement Programs” today, to better understand the main priorities to take into consideration, and how you can build a program best suited to your organisation.

Download your free copy of the guide here

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