- In business11 years
- Funding modelClient-driven
- Team size71
We are strategists, researchers, designers, and developers who craft custom digital experiences for publishers, nonprofit institutions, museums, and brands.
How do you maintain flexibility & balance for your team?
At Alley, talking about balance isn’t enough; we have implemented systems to support different work styles and honor the needs of everyone at the company. We expect that Alley team members choose a work schedule that works for them and communicate with their team what that schedule will be so their team can best coordinate with and support them. Our time off policy includes but is not limited to flexible vacation time with a recommendation of 15 days/year and more whenever you need it, competitive parental leave, mental health leave, a day of service in which team members can select a paid day off to serve their communities or an organization of their choosing, and Covid-specific time off. Additionally we host workshops to discuss strategies for building healthy Slack boundaries, offer a library of mental health resources, and have built many Slack channels for affinity groups across different parental roles, gender identities, and hobbies including fitness, mindfulness, mental health, womxn, and mothers.
How do you ensure autonomy and plan for the future?
At the company level, Alley’s Partners communicate quarterly and annual goals to the company during monthly Town Halls, including a transparent overview of the company’s financial health; policy updates are communicated biweekly — all are driven by feedback obtained from our team members (primarily via quarterly employee Net Promoter Score surveys). On teams, we champion team autonomy by using the Scrum Framework as the backbone of our team operations. Within this framework, clients work closely with a liason on the team (called the Product Owner) to determine a vision for their product, while the remainder of the team is given full autonomy to use their expertise and determine how to turn the client’s vision into reality. Additionally, team facilitators are trained in strategies for conducting weekly reflections on a team’s work, and cultivating equity of team voice, participation, and trust.
How does your company try to hire people from underrepresented groups and improve the diversity of your team?
Over the past year we have engaged in a long-term sustainability plan to embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts in all areas of Alley’s business, focusing on supporting equity at all intersections and improving team member learning and development around DEI topics.
Here’s what we’ve done this year as initial steps towards change:
- We formed an employee-driven, partner-sanctioned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion internal working group, meeting weekly and guiding the future of all DEI efforts at Alley in collaboration with the company.
- We chose 5 key focus areas for taking action to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at Alley including: retention, outreach, hiring, demographics, and education.
- We expanded our partnerships and sponsorships to include Out In Tech and Women’s Leadership Accelerator. Out in Tech is a group of tech leaders creating professional opportunities for LGBTQ+ communities in our industry. We volunteered for their Digital Corps and provided web services to LGBTQ+ activists and social entrepreneurs. Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a program through the Online News Association focused on empowering women in digital journalism by providing leadership and management skills.
- We established a #belonging Slack channel to share and discuss our unique perspectives and experiences of belonging (or a lack thereof) in our personal and professional lives.
- We embarked on a partnership with Culture Cipher—a consulting firm founded by Nadia Jones focused on building inclusive environments. Nadia is guiding us to improve the diversity of our hiring pool, among other initiatives.
- We’ve audited our hiring practices to include: -Mandatory anti-bias training for anyone involved in the hiring process -Review of job descriptions and hiring process for possible bias or language that might signal an un-inclusive work environment -Identifying new job boards aimed at diverse and underrepresented communities that we have historically not utilized before -Ensuring we’re prepared to make any needed accessibility accommodations an interviewee might need.
- We invested in antiracism and unconscious bias training for all staff, including additional training for Alley leadership related to their responsibilities in recruiting and hiring, client engagement, team dynamics, and professional development.
- We commenced work on an external developer education program, which will form an integral part of our efforts both to recruit a more diverse workforce, and provide the support and training necessary to allow that workforce to succeed.
- We conducted qualitative research to evaluate our Coaching Program and have begun rebuilding it with a focus on equity and honoring the diversity of all Alley coaches and coachees.
- We launched a professional learning group for Alley employees focused on strategies for equity-minded leadership and facilitation.
How do you support your team to grow and improve?
We help our teams grow on both an individual- and and team-level through 1) Feedback systems for growth, including individual Year-End Retrospectives and weekly team retrospectives for continuous process improvement (technical & interpersonal) 2) Ongoing training opportunities 3) A coaching program for one-to-one support and career development 4) A Professional Development (PD) policy that includes a commitment to both time and resources—after a year at Alley individuals receive $1,000 annually for PD, which scales to $2,500, then $4000 as the individual takes on different roles at Alley.
Perks and benefits
- Flexible time off, with 15 days recommended (our previous “unlimited” vacation policy caused team members to take off less time and we adjusted it accordingly)
- Competitive salaries
- 401(k), profit sharing, health/dental/vision insurance, life insurance
- $100 monthly lunch allowance
- Annual equipment and software budgets which can be accrued year to year to a maximum total of $3,000.
- Pre-COVID co-working memberships or office rentals paid for by Alley