Editor’s Note: The following is a personal story from a member of Dwolla’s Risk & Compliance Team. It illustrates why the company is committed to benefits that work for people of all backgrounds and situations. By offering flexible benefits that are personal to each team member, adjustable according to life’s milestones, and doing it in a manner that respects and treats workers like adults, Dwolla does its best to emphasize the human in human resources.
Let me take you on a little journey back in time. Don’t worry, we aren’t going too far back, but just about a year ago to October 18, 2018. I had gone into work for a half day which was my new norm since I was preparing for maternity leave. I was just shy of full term in a semi-complicated and painful first pregnancy (who knew adding 60 plus pounds could be so taxing on a body?). After four hours at work I went to finish my day from home. As I cozied up in my office chair in the comfort of my own home, I elevated my extremely swollen feet and began to feel the onset of intense contractions. It was all about to begin!
After emailing my work at 9 p.m. that evening that I would not be returning to work the following day, per doctor’s orders, my husband and I began the journey into delivery and parenthood.
Why does it seem that social media portrays all other parents as having everything together? Hair, jobs, infants are all perfect with all beautiful pictures that appear to be glamour shots. Here my husband and I are dealing with spit-up, blow outs, first colds, snot sucking tools, no sleep, bed hair and barely being able to leave the house.
Enter postpartum and the overwhelming need for family and support. This is where my Dwolla journey began. My husband, baby and I lived just outside of Portland, Oregon, and our extended families lived in Des Moines, Iowa, and Sand Lake, Michigan. We desperately needed to be closer to them. The old adage is true: it takes a village. As I polished up our resumes, I began a search online with the following criteria; Area: Des Moines, IA, Title/Position: Fraud Specialist. The first successful search was for the company Dwolla and showed they were in need of a Financial Crimes Specialist. As I dove into the website to learn a little more about the job and the company, I fell in love and in awe.
This company was a tech company in business for nearly ten years and their website had a few key things that resonated with me: flexibility, family, supportive environment, unlimited PTO, volunteering time. Is this too good to be true?! That was it, there was no other job calling to me, so if it wasn’t this job, then I wasn’t sure I wanted any other. Resume submitted.
Fast forward—through meeting with my wonderful HR Recruiter and feeling that sense of family that was alluded to, through the accommodating interviewing process via Google Hangouts while I was still in the Pacific Northwest, through that nerve racking email scheduling a last call to discuss the outcome of my interviews—to being hired! After 8 years, my family was picking up and moving to the Midwest.
Maybe it is just me, but I feel like parents aren’t completely up-front about how hard the first few months of parenthood can be. Babies really do rely on you! How crazy to have a little human who solely looks to you for all of their needs. The company I work for truly understands. My new team embodied what was presented online through the company website. First sickness? I was able to work from home while holding my sleeping baby who was running a temperature. First teeth? I was able to take off early from work to soothe my child through the pain. First time starting to crawl? First virus? Well I think you get the idea that flexibility was the option and was actually encouraged that I put my family first.
Moral of my story is that companies like Dwolla, that value its employees AND their families, that treat its employees like adults, get its return on investment tenfold. For all of the flexibility that I have been allowed, I have also pushed even harder to make up time missed and give that 150% for my team and company. To make a company successful, you have to invest in your employees in order to receive their buy-in to make the company better than it already is.
I spend a third of my day working for Dwolla and there are more than 100 people at Dwolla who do the same. We are committed to the company’s mission and, in return, the company is committed to us. For me, I needed a company that could support the type of parent I wanted to be. For my colleagues, it could be that they want to go back to school, or start an organic farm or run a marathon. As long as we’re professional and honest, the company is behind us. I am a risk and compliance specialist, which is why Dwolla hired me, but they were also happy to hire all the other things I am—wife, friend, parent. Despite all the technology we work with, the company is run by human beings, and Dwolla has the radical idea to treat us that way.