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Team Spotlight: How Asana’s Growth & Impact team shapes company culture globally

December 10th, 2021
4 min read
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Welcome to our Team Spotlight series, where we take a look inside how teams at Asana work together, grow in their careers, and make an impact.

At Asana, we build work management software to help teams around the globe work effortlessly together. We are mission-driven, believe in doing great things fast, and believe a strong culture drives business success. Like any fast-growing company, we focus on impact and results. For us, it’s critical that our culture enables our employees to do their most impactful work. This supports the business, enables us to achieve our mission, and ultimately enhances employee satisfaction and growth.

Our People team, committed to supporting every employee at Asana, creates programs and infrastructure that put our people and culture at the forefront. Part of the People team is our Growth & Impact team. As Mike Jordan, Head of Growth & Impact says, “Our people are our product and our greatest asset.” This team is dedicated to ensuring that both happen in the smartest, most effective way possible. 

How is the Growth & Impact team structured?

Made up of Employee Relations, Talent Management, Learning and Development, and People Partners, the Growth & Impact team is filled with “people” people. Known as co-creators that work hand in hand with other business teams, this team’s goal is ensuring all Asanas are thriving, growing, and making an impact.

“Our work is seen as being just as vital to meeting Asana’s mission and objectives as the revenue-generating parts of our company. That’s something I really notice and appreciate,” shares Joanna Miller, who leads Organizational Effectiveness & Coaching. “As Asana continues to scale, the Growth & Impact team has been foundational in making sure we remain true to our core values while emphasizing the importance of a culture of inclusion, belonging, and growth.” 

The Growth & Impact team at Asana has been globally minded since its earliest days. There has always been an effort to treat the entire team equally regardless of location. “With team members working from numerous offices around the world, there’s a real value placed on finding ways to immerse ourselves in the culture of other offices so that we can build our programs and policies from a place of deep empathy,” says Joanna Miller.

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Asanas outside of the Growth & Impact team are very willing to share their expertise and support the programs that we’re doing. There is a trust that allows us to challenge each other on our work and perspectives. It always leads to really powerful decisions.”

Meet a few members of Asana’s Growth & Impact team

Mike, a newer member of the team, has worked with large companies as well as startups. Motivated to get back to a growing tech company, he sought to find an organization that “walked the walk” when it came to culture.

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Our team is made up of super sharp people who have top-notch experience. Watching them celebrate each other’s gifts is special. I’m looking forward to adding more talent to our team as we grow so we can keep thinking differently. I love hiring people who come from non-traditional backgrounds and value different perspectives.
Mike Jordan Head of Growth & Impact, San Francisco

Olivia came to Asana as the first recruiter in our New York office. She is a former G&I team member, and now is a close, cross-functional partner to G&I and oversees a team that works on recruiting in New York and Vancouver as well as for the global data organization within the company. 

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I’ve seen a lot of people in Growth & Impact start in individual contributor roles that then grow in a variety of different ways. Whether it be by increasing scope in what they’re currently doing or moving into a people management role, team members are encouraged to explore new opportunities and challenges.
Olivia Zysman Talent Acquisition Manager, New York

After spending time reflecting on what she really wanted to do in the next phase of her career, Aoife came to Asana as the first People team member outside of the United States. Aoife creates and executes global people strategies that accelerate the organization’s objectives and enable Asana to scale for hyper-growth. For Aoife, joining a mission-led organization with a phenomenal product was important. 

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My team makes me feel valued each day. We embrace the experiences, perspectives, and insights that we each bring to our discussions. There is this sense of vulnerability that we have within our team that is very unique and special. We can speak our truth and work through challenges together.
Aoife Minihan International People Partner Lead, Dublin

Joanna started at Asana when there were fewer than 250 employees. She played a significant role in scaling the Learning & Development operation, which focuses on creating and executing end-to-end scalable programs for the training and development of managers and employees at all levels of the organization.

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The People team at Asana is the most low-drama place I’ve ever worked. How you’re seen is based on the actual merits of your work versus the politics that might exist in the environment.
Joanna Miller Organizational Effectiveness & Coaching Lead, San Francisco

The Growth & Impact team’s mission and purpose at Asana

The Growth & Impact team is very intentional about the role they play at Asana. It’s their responsibility to get a pulse on what challenges managers and individual contributors are experiencing on a day-to-day basis so they can help find a solution. “There’s a mindset shift that happens when we collaborate with other teams. Rather than seeing us as the ones that set the rules and policies, they look at us as advisors with a wealth of information and resources. That’s the most special part of my job,” explains Joanna.

Each individual on this team is dedicated to protecting the culture and morale that has been so carefully built. Going the extra mile to get things done the right way has allowed this small but mighty team to expand globally even faster. “Just as Asana’s Reject False Tradeoffs core value states, we reject the notion that strong business results and a thriving culture are mutually exclusive,” explains Aoife. “We’re always pushing the boundaries of what we can do and thinking about the employee experience that we’re trying to create.” That means when choosing one option over another dilutes the benefits of both, this team gets their creative juices flowing to find a third, more powerful way.

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Our work is critical to the company as a whole. We enable our employees to do great work and to be successful in their own roles. I’m proud of the impact we’re making.”

What is it like being part of the Growth & Impact team?

Anna Binder, Head of People Operations at Asana, explains that workplace culture is a critical part of every organization’s DNA. “It’s the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes who you are and how you will succeed.” Every member of the larger People team is on a mission to invest in a people-first culture where Asanas feel heard and supported. 

From supporting regional employees to building a culture where feedback and growth are the norm, this team is at the forefront of bringing clarity and community to all of Asana. Mike joined Asana during the pandemic, which meant his onboarding was 100% virtual. “It’s the first time I had experienced onboarding in a virtual way, and I was a little nervous about it. But there was a lot of care in the process and from my new colleagues and that went a long way for me.”

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We have a lot of traditions across the team, such as a question of the day on Slack. Having that daily point of connection is critical. We do awards and spotlights at our People team town hall meetings to see what folks are working on. Career journey spotlights have become a unique opportunity for us to get to know each other as well.”

What career growth and development opportunities exist?

If you like to create, Mike says the Growth & Impact team is the place to be. If an approach or policy doesn’t exist, team members are encouraged to problem solve and create it themselves. According to Joanna, “A lot of my growth has been in my ability to scale programs. I’ve had the opportunity to do so as the size of our employee base has increased, but also along the different stages of maturity that our business has experienced.”

Because the team is expanding quickly, there are always opportunities for growth. Aoife started as an individual contributor and after a year was able to partner with other teams across the world. Within two and a half years, Aoife was learning about the local laws and cultural norms to better position Asana in different countries. Today, she is building an international team.

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People are genuinely rooting for each other and willing to help amplify each other’s ideas. I’ve seen folks move from different disciplines such as Talent Acquisition into being the architects of some of our core people systems.”

Like Asana as a whole, the Growth & Impact team is really thoughtful and intentional about career growth. It’s one of the big reasons why there’s a large population of long-tenured employees. “People come in, whether they’re early in their careers or midway in their careers, and see opportunities to grow. This happens both vertically and laterally across the company,” says Olivia.

Join Asana’s Growth & Impact team!

The team is rapidly growing with opportunities across the globe. Specifically, there are opportunities across People Operations and Talent Acquisition. Take a look at our openings, and apply to one that excites you. Could you be our next Asana?

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